Minister of Health Jane Philpott told a special session of the UN General Assembly that Canada will introduce legislation to legalize marijuana in the Spring of 2017. The minister indicated that the goal of the legislation will be to keep marijuana out of the hands of children and profits out of the hands of criminals.
The government plans to appoint a task force led by Liberal MP and former Toronto police chief Bill Blair. The task force will look into designing a system for legal marijuana. A Health Canada secretariat will support the group.
The New Democratic Party would like the government to immediately decriminalize marijuana possession and work out the small details later. He believes the approach the government is taking is a broken promise.
The Liberal Party campaigned in the last federal election promising to legalize marijuana. It became party policy in 2012 when party members overwhelmingly voted in favour of it at the party’s policy convention.