Alistair MacGregor questions the Liberals on their refusal to decriminalize marijuana

Alistair MacGregor (Cowichan—Malahat—Langford): Mr. Speaker, it has been two years since the Liberals made a promise to regulate and legalize marijuana, and in that time tens of thousands of Canadians have been subjected to arrest, charges, and convictions for simple possession. This has done real harm to future employment prospects and is burdening an already strained justice system.

 

Meanwhile, the Liberals continue to refuse any thought of decriminalization as an interim measure. Why is this supposedly progressive Liberal government continuing to hand out criminal records to Canadians for simple cannabis possession?

 

Hon. Jody Wilson-Raybould (Vancouver Granville): Mr. Speaker, our government, as we have said all along, is committed to legalization of cannabis: strict regulation, and restricting access.

 

We are going to be moving forward and are moving forward in a comprehensive and responsible way. Simply decriminalizing it will not achieve the objectives of keeping it out of the hands of children, and the proceeds out of the hands of criminals.

 

We will be moving forward, as I said, in a responsible way. Simply decriminalizing, to use the words of the member for Outremont, would be a mistake.