"Harper adheres to this notion that society should morally (penalize) people who use illegal drugs," said Keith Martin, the Liberal MP for Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca.
Martin has called for the decriminalization of marijuana since he was an MP for the Reform Party.
While Martin has concerns about people abusing marijuana he said he doesn't believe that they should be treated like criminals.
Martin favours law enforcement agencies taking a tougher approach against organized crime groups involved in growing marijuana rather than recreational pot smokers. Prohibition only makes organized crime groups involved in the sale of marijuana rich, Martin said.
"Prohibition is like music to the ears of organized crime. The day that the government chooses to decriminalize the simple possession of marijuana is the day that organized crime gangs are going to have a big problem," he said.
Organized crime groups in the U.S. experienced major financial setbacks when the law concerning the prohibition of alcohol, which was established in 1920, was repealed in 1933, Martin pointed out.
TVO: The Agenda with Steve Paikin:
MP Keith Martin and why it's high time for Canada to decriminalize marijuana.
Liberal Vancouver Centre MP Hedy Fry said legalizing marijuana, along with education campaigns, would help reduce the rising potency of pot.
"There is some truth that it's getting stronger and stronger," said Fry. "But that's why you see most countries, especially in the EU, taking steps to regulate it and make it safer.
Dr. Hedy Fry on Insite - Vancouver's Safe Injection Site
Martha Hall Findlay
Liberal Martha Hall Findlay Favors Legalization of Marijuana Source
Q1: Does it make any sense to on the one hand decriminalize marijuana possession under the guise that current punishments are far out of proportion to the act while on the hand increasing the penalties for trafficking?
MHF:No. Prohibition didn't work for alcohol---it only spawned tremendous crime, some of it violent. We are seeing exactly the same thing with marijuana. There is an interesting study by the Fraser Institute ( www.fraserinstitute.ca) which suggests that continued criminalization of marijuana does not make sense—for the same reasons that prohibition didn't work for alcohol.
Q2: The Senate committee on marijuana concluded that the "Scientific evidence overwhelmingly indicates that cannabis is substantially less harmful than alcohol"? Do you agree with this conclusion?
Politicians who support prohibition are supporting organized crime
Cannabis prohibition is expensive, ineffective, and causing significant harms to Canadian society.
For the good of ALL Canadians, it's time to end cannabis prohibition.