The hazy future of cannabis

The current state of marijuana legalization is up in smoke for some voters. Photo by Ethan Butterfield

Graham Rothwell, a dispensary budtender in Regina, didn’t believe that Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer would backtrack on his latest comments about maintaining marijuana legalization, saying it wouldn’t be in the party’s best interest.

“I do not believe that the Conservative party, who are running on fiscal responsibility and giving back to Canadians, would want to give that revenue stream to the black market.” said Rothwell, who has been selling marijuana in the city for 6 months.

“Additionally, in order to stay competitive with the other party’s pro-cannabis standpoints, the Conservatives, will have to be neutral at the very least.”

Rothwell, who was concerned with the results of Monday’s federal election because of the outcome, said, “Conservatives could not withstand the financial and political backlash from re-criminalizing marijuana, and destroying a quickly growing industry.”

Simon Jefferies, associate director of media relations for the Conservative campaign, was asked about the party’s current stance and how it would deal with marijuana legalization.

“We are not going to re-criminalize it,” said Jefferies. “What we talked about was increasing education programs in order to properly inform individuals of the consequences and harms of using cannabis.”

In terms of Conservatives possibly growing the industry in Canada, Jefferies said “On that, we don’t have anything specific in our platform relating to that.”

Concerned voter Andy Trussler had different feelings on the Conservative stance.

“A Conservative plan to roll back legalization is purposeful,” said Trussler. “It will impact the people they hate most: racial minorities, poor people, gendered minorities, queer/trans folks, et cetern.”

The Conservative Party of Canada has been rather controversial on the topic, with CPC Leader Andrew Sheer having semi-recently walked back on re-criminizaling the drug in a June 27 interview on CTV’s Power Play Thursday with Doug Martin.

“We will maintain … the fact that cannabis is legal,” said Scheer. “We do support the idea of people having those records pardoned”.

Scheer’s comments before this were more wide open, having said during a Quebec radio interview he “does not intend to go back and make marijuana illegal again … but we will see what happens within the year and make the necessary corrections.”

Voter Ben Pederson wasn’t as concerned with the Conservative stance as he was with what the future government would do about the current issues surrounding marijuana legalization.

“I think they [the winner of Monday’s federal election] need to do more to fight the black market pricing … it’s far too affordable in the black market and they need to take steps to correct that.”

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