Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday April 21, 2016
Marijuana legislation coming to Canada next spring
Canada’s legislation to begin the process of legalizing and regulating marijuana will be introduced next spring, Health Minister Jane Philpott announced Wednesday at the United Nations.
During her impassioned speech at a special UN session on drugs, Philpott acknowledged the pot plan “challenges the status quo in many countries,” but she said the Liberal government is convinced it’s the best way to protect youth, while enhancing public safety.
Canada must do better when it comes to drug policy, she added, saying the government’s approach will be rooted in science and will address the devastating consequences of drugs and drug-related crimes.
“I am proud to stand up for our drug policy that is informed by solid scientific evidence and uses a lens of public health to maximize education and minimize harm,” she said.
“As a doctor, who has worked both in Canada and sub-Saharan Africa, I have seen too many people suffer the devastating consequences of drugs, drug-related crime and ill-conceived drug policy. Fortunately, solutions are within our grasp.”
Philpott began her speech with an emotional recounting of a story she recently heard from a mother who lost her daughter to substance abuse.
The woman described watching her daughter die as she sought help that should have been available to save her life, Philpott said.
“She described watching her daughter slip away as she struggled to access the treatment and services that should have been available to save a beautiful, fragile life,” she said.
“Stories like this are far too commonplace. Countless lives are cut short due to overdoses of licit and illicit substances. Today, I stand before you as Canada’s minister of health to acknowledge that we must do better for our citizens.”
Philpott’s address happened to coincide with 4/20 the annual day of celebration for cannabis culture lovers, which takes on greater significance in Canada this year, with the government planning to green-light recreational marijuana use. (Source: Toronto Star)