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National debate on marijuana heats up

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Under current law, it is illegal to have marijuana on one’s person, but it remains to be seen if the marijuana laws will remain the same for much longer. There are many people in Toronto who have tried marijuana, and that includes current mayor Rob Ford and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne. Though not a Torontonian, Justin Trudeau, the leader of the Liberal Party, has also smoked marijuana and is currently advocating for the legalization of marijuana possession. Should he succeed, there may be many questions about just what is allowed and what is not.

Although legalizing marijuana for personal use is certainly not a new concept, if Trudeau hopes to succeed his bill must be clear and leave little room for interpretation. It is highly unlikely that any law would pass that allows for unlimited amounts of marijuana, so there would need to be a cut-off as to what is no longer legal. There would also need to be rules put in place for who can grow, distribute and sell marijuana.

If the law is not clear there could be real problems for people in Toronto. Say someone wanted to purchase marijuana, yet if it is not abundantly who is authorized to sell and who is not, someone may be arrested for buying from an individual or store he or she mistakenly believed to be permitted to sell pot. Similarly, if the law does not give an exact cut-off for what is legal, people may be inadvertently walking around with an illegal amount of marijuana.

It is still unclear if legalizing marijuana has the support it needs to pass. As it is, Premier Wynne has said she will wait to make up her mind on whether to support a measure.

Source: The Toronto Star, “Toronto Mayor Rob Ford: ‘I’ve smoked a lot’ of marijuana,” Daniel Dale and Rob Ferguson, 28 Aug. 2013

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