Recently, our Prime Minister Stephen Harper made an announcement about his party's stance on marijuana. He made several controversial claims:
- The Prime Minister claimed that most Canadians do not want the full legalization of marijuana.
- Mr. Harper also explained that he is opposed to legalization because "...the statistics in places like Colorado are very clear on this. When you go down that route, marijuana becomes more readily available to children."
We thought these claims were pretty questionable, so we did a little digging and her is what we found.
1) Although this is true, it’s only true on a technicality. The reality is that the majority of Canadians have not decided exclusively on legalization as the preferred type of reform.
However, more than 70% of Canadians are in favour of changing our marijuana laws, which was not illustrated at all during the period in which Harper was addressing drug policy.
We know one thing about Harper, and that’s that we can trust him to only ever provide a small and incomplete portion of a larger picture.
2) Harper stated his position on legalization : “I think the statistics in places like Colorado are very clear on this. When you go down that route, marijuana becomes more readily available to children.” This simply isn’t true. According to reports from 2014, teen usage rates in Colorado have not changed since the state legalized marijuana in 2012. 
Additionally, when Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division investigated whether or not dispensaries were selling marijuana to underage buyers, their undercover officers found that 100% of businesses were compliant with the law. 
Our Prime Minister is arguing that marijuana should remain illegal because the product will be more available to children if it is regulated. Although there is always a potential that an individual could be harmed from a regulated product and clearly prohibition is harming young people because marijuana is widely available to Canadian youth through the black market.
We know that the lack of regulation in Canada places no borders on distribution, supports an industry that does not pay taxes, and which also is not subject to quality control.
This logic also defies the costly reality the current Prime Minister Harper has promised should he win a 4th term, that policing will be increased by 20%. We’re filling our jails with non-violent drug offenders purely so Mr. Harper can fulfill his ideological fantasy of the war on drugs.
Canadian taxpayers are already paying hundreds of millions of dollars every year to enforce marijuana laws and now they are being asked to pay out of pocket for more bad choices. With an election just 61 days away, we need to be asking ourselves what type of government we want representing us for the next 4 years, and when it comes to marijuana, it certainly isn’t a Conservative one.