Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has formed a very simple, intelligent argument for legalizing marijuana.
Trudeau – in response to someone at an economic conference saying that “Canada could be to cannabis as France is to wine,” reports The Washington Post, – stated that:
“Look, our approach on legalizing marijuana is not about creating a boutique industry or bringing in tax revenue, it’s based on two very simple principles:
The first one is, young people have easier access to cannabis now, in Canada, than they do in just about any other countries in the world. [Of] 29 different countries studied by the U.N., Canada was number one in terms of underage access to marijuana. And whatever you might think or studies seen about cannabis being less harmful than alcohol or even cigarettes, the fact is it is bad for the developing brain and we need to make sure that it’s harder for underage Canadians to access marijuana. And that will happen under a controlled and regulated regime.
The other piece of it is there are billions upon billions of dollars flowing into the pockets of organized crime, street gangs and gun-runners, because of the illicit marijuana trade, and if we can get that out of the criminal elements and into a more regulated fashion we will reduce the amount of criminal activity that’s profiting from those, and that has offshoots into so many other criminal activities. So those are my focuses on that.
I have no doubt that Canadians and entrepreneurs will be tremendously innovative in finding ways to create positive economic benefits from the legalization and control of marijuana, but our focus is on protecting kids and protecting our streets.”
With Trudeau’s plan, regulation would greatly hinder the black market and make it much harder for teens to obtain marijuana.
Polls and research studies have concluded that in the U.S., states that have legalized marijuana have seen teen use rates decline. Furthermore, federal reports indicate that “no significant year-over-year change in marijuana use” in teens in either Colorado or Washington in the 12-months after recreational marijuana became legal.
The basis of Trudeau’s argument is that marijuana prohibition hasn’t worked, and that creating a government-regulated marijuana industry will work better.