Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canadians who buy pot are funding gangs and organized crime and will continue to be charged until marijuana is legal.
The Liberal government is looking at ways to deal with criminal records for possessing pot, but Trudeau said there will be no amnesty until after cannabis is legalized and controlled in July.
“Certainly we know the current legislation is hurting Canadians and criminalizing Canadians who perhaps shouldn’t be. But that is an engagement we will take once we have a legalized and controlled regime in place — not before,” he told reporters after a two-day cabinet retreat in London, Ont.
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Trudeau said the government’s plan for marijuana is “fundamentally” about public health and safety, and until the critical regulatory and security regimes are in place it will be treated as an illegal product.
“We recognize that anyone who is currently purchasing marijuana is participating in illegal activity that is funding criminal organizations and street gangs, and therefore we do not want to encourage, in any way, people to engage in that behaviour until the law has changed,” he said.
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