THE NDP'S MARIJUANA MISTAKE - Cannabis Digest
For four decades, the NDP was the standard-bearer for sensible marijuana laws. From the time of the LeDain Commission report of 1971, it was the most progressive voice in Parliament for marijuana reform. So how did the NDP manage to lose that position to Trudeau’s Liberals?
PROGRESSIVE POT POLICIES
In 1971, the NDP introduced a bill to decriminalize marijuana possession, but it was voted down by the Liberal majority. In 1978, decrim became official NDP policy, and party leader Ed Broadbent made it a part of the 1980 election campaign.
In 1993, NDP MP Jim Fulton introduced a private member’s bill to legalize marijuana fully, but the Liberal government voted it down. Two years later, the NDP fought to remove fines for possession from the Liberals proposed “decriminalization” bill. The Liberals insisted on large fines for possession, but then failed to pass their own legislation.
In 1999, the NDP convention reaffirmed the party’s support for decrim, and in 2003, new leader Jack Layton boldly appeared on Pot-TV with Marc Emery, saying “our party is in favour of modernizing our marijuana laws.” Layton called upon Pot-TV viewers to join the NDP.
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