Justin Trudeau, the federal leader of Canada’s Liberal Party, called for the full legalization of marijuana at a rally in British Columbia.
Pointing to a sign about decriminalizing cannabis, Trudeau said, “I’m actually not in favor of decriminalizing cannabis, I’m in favor of legalizing it, tax and regulate. It is one of the only ways to keep it out of the hands of our kids, because the current war on drugs, the current model, is not working.”
This is a very important shift by Trudeau. For Americans who don’t know about Canadian politics, the Liberal Party of Canada is one of the major parties in Canada and one of the most successful political parties in history of the world. While it did poorly in the last federal election, dropping to third place, it governed Canada for most of the 20th century.
If the Liberals were to win the next federal election, which is expected to take place in 2015, Trudeau would likely become Prime Minister. Polls currently show the Liberal Party leading. Having him publicly endorse marijuana legalization is roughly comparable to having one of the two major Presidential candidates in the United States endorsing the policy.
Cannabis legalization is steadily becoming a mainstream political position across multiple countries.