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RADIA: The potential prime minister on pot? No way
FACE TO FACE: Is it a big deal that Liberal leader Justin Trudeau smoked pot?
In the past, I’ve used this space to write in favour of legalization of marijuana. Primarily, I think the current prohibition laws have led to high rates of gang violence and huge expenses associated with growing enforcement costs and expensive legal proceedings.
Having said that, I don’t want my local mayor, MLA or MP smoking pot. And I certainly do not ever want my prime minister taking even one toke.
A couple of weeks ago, federal Liberal leader Justin Trudeau admitted to taking a puff of cannabis three years ago at a party after becoming a member of Parliament. Many people seem to want to laud Trudeau for being honest.
I guess it’s great that he was honest about breaking the law.
But let’s look ahead at a potential Prime Minister Justin Trudeau potentially smoking pot.
Canada has one of the most centralized political systems in the world. In other words, the prime minister yields a lot of power.
Do you really want your prime minister under the influence of marijuana at any time during his tenure? Do you want your PM to smoke up the night before a G-20 meeting or have his mind clouded at a gathering of dignitaries?
Should the head of our government be smoking pot during a vacation with the potential of being called on to make an important decision about something like deploying military resources to the Middle East?
I think most people would answer “no” to those questions.
In 2007, the Canadian Medical Association published a paper on its website about the long-term effects of pot. “There is an increasing body of evidence demonstrating that cannabis users show persistent deficits in specific cognitive functions beyond the period of acute intoxication,” notes the detailed study by a learned doctor.
That’s not right-wing propaganda — that’s a paper published by our nation’s physicians.
Of course, we don’t know if Trudeau would smoke pot after becoming prime minister. I would like to think not.
But, then again, I also would have thought that Trudeau would have the appropriate judgment not to smoke an illegal substance as a member of Parliament.
Andy Radia is a Coquitlam resident and political columnist who writes for Yahoo! Canada News and Vancouver View Magazine. He has been politically active in the Tri-Cities, having been involved with election campaigns at all three levels of government, including running for Coquitlam city council in 2005