The Canadian Senate will vote today on whether or not to legalize recreational marijuana in the country. Most people expect the Senate to once again approve the new laws, but even if they don't it will probably happen at some point in the near future. So that leaves one question: What happens to Canada's Marijuana Party when cannabis is legal?
The Canadian Marijuana Party was founded in 2000 with the purpose of ending the prohibition on cannabis. Besides this single policy, the party does not have any other platforms, so candidates can choose their own views on every other issue. Many early members of the Marijuana Party ended up leaving to join more major political parties, where they continued to fight to end prohibition.
But now that prohibition is coming to an end, what will the Marijuana Party stand for? Many look at the UK Independence Party that was formed to break the United Kingdom out of the European Union. After the country decided to leave the EU in the Brexit vote, the party failed to establish a new identity.
Blair Longley, the leader of the Marijuana Party, says there is still a future for his organization. He notes that while prohibition is ending, there are still several aspects of the law that his party want changed. For instance, Nova Scotia recently approved a law that will allow landlords to ban tenants from growing or using cannabis. And other cities and provinces in the country are implementing similar restrictive regulations.
“Legalisation is great if you’re rich and old and have your own house and can afford to buy expensive marijuana,” said Longley. “But if you’re still young and poor and don’t own your own house, it’s worse than it was before.”
So it appears the Marijuana Party will continue advocating for less restrictions and punishments for marijuana infractions. The only question is in a country with legalized marijuana, will they still be able to find the votes?
(h/t The Guardian)
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