This past Sunday (Oct 21), Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appeared on Quebec talk show 'Tout le monde en parle'. Naturally, the biggest topic of conversation was the days-old legalization of cannabis.
Note: the quotes that follow were translated from French to English.
"You’ve said that you've smoked a joint in the past, but don’t see yourself doing it now," host Guy Lepage asked Trudeau. "Why? Because it’s less fun when it’s legal?"
"Because it was never something that interested me much," replied Trudeau, before explaining that the previous, 90-year-old system of prohibition wasn’t working.
Cohost and 'jester' Dany Turcotte then asked if Trudeau was surprised by the lineups at cannabis stores around the country, adding that there seem to be "more smokers than we thought".
Trudeau seemed unsurprised. "Last year, five million Canadians consumed cannabis," he said, noting that many of these people were interested now in trying a legal, safe product.
The conversation soon came around to former Liberal politicians with links to the cannabis industry, such as Chuck Rifici and Pierre Pettigrew - do Liberals (Trudeau's party) have a vested interest in cannabis? Trudeau points out that Progressive Conservative politicians like Brian Mulroney and Julian Fantino are also involved, and for his part, Trudeau has his finances in a ‘blind trust’ that he doesn’t look at or touch.
Also of note: Trudeau has had the talk about cannabis with his kids; and when the conversation comes around to the ideal age for cannabis use, Trudeau says of cannabis, “it’s a drug, it’s not recommended’.
“The challenge we face is to replace the black market," Trudeau says, "and we know that this market could continue to exist for university students, people between 18 and 21, who drink alcohol and are cannabis users."
In short, Trudeau summarized things by saying, “not everything will be resolved in the first week, but I think that we’re headed in the right direction."
Watch the video - in French - below.