The Canadian Liberal Party, at a biannual Party convention, voted on Jan 15 to support the legalization of marijuana. The party, severely trounced in the last election in May of 2011, was seeking to get attention across the country and may have done so.
“There is no doubt that there’s a strong will from the membership to have this part of our election platform,” Samuel Lavoie, the president of the Young Liberals of Canada, told reporters on the convention floor in Ottawa. “As to whether it will be a platform commitment in 2015, we will see.”
It was Lavoie and his group who made the proposal to bring the resolution before the membership and he said that they were pleased with the 77 percent support it got. As Lavoie's remarks suggest, the vote does not mean legalizing marijuana will become part of the Liberal Party's official platform in 2015 but as they review it further it may well be. Had the resolution failed it almost certainly would not have.
Canada and marijuana laws
In July of 2001 Canada became one of the first nations in the world to make the use of marijuana for certain, designated medical purposes legal. Since then the Liberals have supported decriminalizing the possession of marijuana and the country's other major party, the NDP, have supported outright legalization of marijuana.
Steven Harper's governing Conservatives have taken things in the other direction as in some cases they seek mandatory sentencing for marijuana offenses in an omnibus crime bill now before the country's Conservative-controlled Senate.
Should the Liberals Party go into the next federal election in 2015 with legalizing marijuana as a part of its platform it would make for the first time that two of the countries three major national parties supported its legalization. The country's fourth national party, the Green Party, which holds but one seat in the 308 seat house of commons, also supports legalizing marijuana.