As NDP leader, Mulcair would continue Harper's war on drugs, Young Liberals say
The newly-elected federal NDP leader, Thomas Mulcair, would likely continue the Conservative Prime Minister's war on drugs, the Young Liberals of Canada claimed.
When Global News reporter Tom Clark asked federal NDP leadership candidates on Sunday whether they would decriminalize or legalize marijuana, Mulcair responded:
"No. I think that that would be a mistake. Because the information that we have right now is that the marijuana that's on the market is extremely potent and can actually cause mental illness."
His comment to Clark differed somewhat from his remark earlier in the campaign, when he expressed his support for decriminalization, adding:
"I also support the party’s existing policy on further decriminalising the possession of marijuana for any use with the goal to eliminate the influence of organised crime on the production and distribution of marijuana. In order to make good on those policies, we first need to replace the Harper government with its wrong headed ideological approach to criminal issues. This is why party members should think about who is best positioned to beat the Conservatives in 2015."
Brian Topp (who came in second during the race), meanwhile, was in favour of decriminalization. British Columbia's Nathan Cullen described the war on drugs as "nothing but a failure," but was hesitant to express support for legalization of the drug, saying it may send the "wrong signal".
"The NDP will lose much support for (Mulcair's) policy," Young Liberals of Canada president Samuel Lavoie said. "They seem more concerned with emulating Mr. Harper by choosing another angry leader and now they are following in line with his crime agenda."
While former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien was among the first prominent Liberals to support the decriminalization of marijuana, the federal Liberal party showed wide support for this in January, passing a resolution to legalize marijuana at the Liberal Biennal Convention in January.