Justin Trudeau recently came out in favour of legalization of marijuana in this country, then went further, saying he has smoked weed while an MP.
A bold move, likely one to help set him apart from his older rivals and curry favour with a certain demographic of voters.
But I hope those who were fawning over his admission actually take a look at his public record on pot.
He has been cool to legalization, according to a recent editorial: “He has said legalization would likely increase marijuana consumption, which is ‘not great for your health’ and ‘disconnects you a little bit from the world,’ adding, ‘I don’t know that it’s entirely consistent with the kind of society we’re trying to build.’”
In 2010, he even spoke out against decriminalization: “I lived in Whistler for years and have seen the effects,” Trudeau told Maclean’s. “We need all our brain cells to deal with our problems.”
You could say that his position on the issue “has matured over the years,” which is natural, I suppose, among politicians who are seeking the country’s highest office.
What really gets me in all this is that during the period the pot-smoking occurred while he was an MP for Papineau, Trudeau actually voted in favour of legislation to create mandatory minimums for growing as few as six plants.
You can’t on one hand smoke pot while on the other vote for mandatory minimums and expect to be taken seriously as a leader.
The fact Trudeau has smoked pot doesn’t make him special, or more equipped to lead the country.
The only policy issue that Justin Trudeau speaks about with any interest or passion is marijuana.
Sure, he reads speeches about the economy and asks questions in question period about other subjects. But they’re prepared by the policy wonks in the Liberal research department.
Marijuana, though, is something he keeps bringing up, unscripted.
The man couldn’t find Syria on a map. Probably not Calgary, either, come to mention it. But he knows his pot.
He’s proud of it, too — when asked by reporters, he laughed it off, saying he’s more embarrassed about the revelation that he doesn’t drink coffee.
That’s not just an easy way to deflect a tough question with an attempt at a joke. It’s a trivialization of the use of drugs. He’s making a serious point with a laugh. He really doesn’t think smoking pot is a big deal. He’s done it himself. Even since becoming an MP.
It’s one thing for Trudeau to smoke pot as a private citizen. But he’s a lawmaker. That’s the central job of an MP — to write our laws. And, if he thinks a law is wrong, to try to change it.
But Trudeau has never introduced a bill to legalize marijuana. In fact, he spoke against it at a Liberal policy convention last year, saying it was the wrong direction for society.
And when the Conservatives introduced Bill C-15 — a law to bring in mandatory minimum sentences for drug offences — Trudeau didn’t vote against it. He didn’t even skip the vote that day (which he often does, as an MP with one of the worst attendance records). Not that day. He showed up and proudly voted with the Conservatives to bring in mandatory minimums, to take away any discretion that judges would have in the matter.
He was just as tough on crime as Harper or Vic Toews or Jason Kenney.
But unlike Harper, Toews and Kenney, Trudeau was also a marijuana user.
He wanted jail terms for the little people. But for himself, well, he’s a child of privilege. He’d never get charged with a drug offence — and if he did, you better believe he’d hire the best lawyer money could buy. Why one set of laws for regular people, and an exemption for special elites, like himself?
Trudeau’s whole life has been a special exemption. Born a millionaire with a massive inheritance from his father — including a rare supercar worth over a million dollars in itself — Trudeau never had to do middle class things like earn a living. He flitted around, dabbling in being a drama teacher, starting some college courses but getting bored. You can imagine that pot use was extremely normal amongst the millionaire heirs club.
Not so much for normal people. Marijuana is a part of millions of Canadians’ lives. As in, they get drug tested for it at work. Construction sites, factories, truckers, anyone in the oilsands — people who work hard with dangerous equipment are tested for pot all the time. It’s not because their bosses are squaresville conservatives. It’s because being on dope is a very real danger on a job site. Trudeau wouldn’t know about any of that. Drugs are also a big deal for parents — especially moms. Is there a greater worry for moms than their children running with the wrong crowd in school? It used to start in Grade 10.
Now it probably starts in Grade 5, an older kid, a bad kid, saying, “Here, have a puff of this! Why not — did your mom say not to?” That happens right now. It will happen a lot more with Trudeau legalizing pot — and normalizing it. He’s a role model for youth — just ask him. He has done countless speeches at high schools.
And he’s now saying drug use is OK.
Yeah, it was always a stretch for this silver spoon liberal to pretend he was for the middle class. His comfort with drugs shows it was always a fake.