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article imageScheer's anti-business stance — won't commit to keeping pot legal

By Karen Graham     Oct 19, 2018 in Politics
Ottawa - Now that pot is legal in Canada, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says Canada will see 'consequences' of marijuana legalization. The federal party leader also won't commit to keeping it legal if he's elected in 2019.
According to the Global News, Scheer "hinted" that his party would not seek to shut-down the marijuana industry if he is elected. Instead, he plans on scrutinizing the law. Due to the federal election schedule, Scheer will have until next fall to check out the developing multi-million dollar industry.
“The Conservative Party will do our due diligence, examine the consequences of this decision, and we’ll examine the reality on the ground,” he told Don Martin on CTV Power Play Thursday. “We have to be realistic about what a change like this means for society and all the ramifications.”
Scheer already has plans to change the law, if elected. He has said there are still some flaws in the current regime. “We’re going to propose changes to the regime based on the feedback we see,” Scheer said when asked specifically if he would reverse legalization.
He has accused the Liberal government of the poor way pot legalization was rolled out, saying legalization was "rushed" to meet an "artificial political deadline."
Scheer also cited studies and reports by health experts over the minimum age requirements for marijuana use, and the uncertainty centered around roadside testing for cannabis use while driving. But he's not the only Tory keeping quiet about the future of pot in Canada.
Conservative Health Critic Marilyn Gladu won't commit to an answer about changing the law if the Conservatives win next year. “The Conservative government will take an action plan to protect public safety,” she told Don Martin on CTV Power Play Wednesday.
Does Scheer really have an anti-business stance?
Interestingly, one journalist, Ali Taghva, writing for The Nectarine, suggests that Scheer "seems bizarrely committed to maintaining a clearly anti-business line when it comes to the legalization of marijuana."
The fledgling marijuana industry has seen billions of dollars invested across the country, creating thousands of jobs and massive tax revenues, not only for the federal government but for the provincial and territorial governments as well. Canadians are expected to spend between $4.9 and $8.7 billion each year on cannabis, and that figure doesn't include overseas sales.
The thing is, marijuana legalization is good for the economy of Canada, indicating that it should be made a national priority. Taghva points out that Scheer should understand this issue because, after all, he used the same argument for the development of the Trans Mountain pipeline.
Taghva says the Conservatives should agree on a consistent statement and take the high ground for the sake of the Canadian economy. He ends by writing: "Perhaps most importantly though, this is not a partisan issue with real room for growth, only the possibility to unite the left and centre."
More about Andrew Scheer, conservative leader, cannabis law, national economy, Politics