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Top of Trudeau’s Agenda? Legalizing Marijuana in Canada


As one of his first official orders of business, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is focusing on legalizing marijuana.

On Friday, newly elected Prime Minister Trudeau sent a letter to Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, outlining his administration’s priorities. Among that list are some fairly expected policies. Ensuring transparency over the appointment of Supreme Court Justices and an overhaul of the criminal justice system, for instance.

But also among Trudeau’s priorities is the creation of a “federal-provincial-territorial process that will lead to the legalization and regulation of marijuana.”

This would be a major reversal from the previous administration of Stephen Harper, which enforced mandatory minimum sentences for minor drug crimes. The endeavor is also part of a broader goal of reducing the incarceration rates among Indigenous Canadians.

For the time being, regional police are using their own best judgement when it comes to drug enforcement, deciding when and when not to enforce existing drug laws.

“I am deeply grateful to have this opportunity to serve with you as we build an even greater country,” Trudeau wrote in his letter to Wilson-Raybould. “Together, we will work tirelessly to honour the trust Canadians have given us.”

And together, the two have set their sights on some pretty high-minded goals.


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