Now that neighbouring Washington state and Colorado have legalized marijuana, Ottawa can no longer claim Canada must uphold marijuana prohibition in order to maintain good U.S. relations.
In 2002, the Canadian Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs concluded that marijuana is relatively benign, prohibition contributes to organized crime, and law enforcement efforts have little impact on patterns of use.
Consider the experience of the former land of the free and current world leader in per capita incarceration.
The United States has double the rate of marijuana use as the Netherlands, where marijuana is legally available to adults.
The only winners in the war on marijuana are drug cartels and shameless tough-on-drugs politicians who've built careers confusing the drug war's tremendous collateral damage with a comparatively harmless plant.
Robert Sharpe MPA Policy Analyst Common Sense for Drug Policy Washington, DC