Canada: Pot Smokers Feel 'Cheated' By Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
By Derrick Stanley
Recreational marijuana users who helped Justin Trudeau get elected as Canada's Prime Minister now feel "cheated" by his support of a police crackdown on storefront dispensaries, according to a cannabis industry spokesperson.
Abi Roach, a director with the Cannabis Friendly Business Association, said that marijuana advocates and users helped the federal Liberals to gain a majority government because of the expectation that Trudeau would allow small businesses to legally sell cannabis to recreational users.
Trudeau has promised to legalize recreational marijuana this spring.
The crackdown under Trudeau has been stricter than under any previous government, Roach said.
“All we’ve seen is raids and arrests and more criminal records and more issues and more problems,” Roach said. “When Trudeau was elected, I cried ... We campaigned our butts off for Trudeau because we wanted him to win so bad because we believed what he was saying ... Wow, was I cheated or what. I think that’s the way most cannabis consumers feel.”
Trudeau supported the legal crackdown in a recent editorial board meeting with the Toronto Star.
“We have always made it clear that our plan to legalize, strictly regulate, and restrict access to marijuana will be designed responsibly, with those objectives in mind: to keep it out of the hands of children, and take the profits away from criminals,” Trudeau spokesman Cameron Ahmad told the Sun in an e-mail. “Until the law changes, the law remains the law — and the Prime Minister was reiterating his expectation for it to be followed.”
Deepak Anand, executive director of the Canadian National Medical Marijuana Association, said Trudeau’s comments about restricting access until the government has a proper program in place make “a lot of sense.”
“I think the public by and large assumed it would be decriminalized and so they wouldn’t see much enforcement action,” Anand said. “If you read the fine print, in terms of what the Liberal Party outlined as their platform, it was quite clearly outlined that there would be restriction of access, there would be sort of a controlled distribution system.”