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Other news sources[1] are reporting it as "legalize", not decriminalize.


It will be legalize, not decriminalize. The party has majority, they could have passed a decrim on day one. They have no intent of decriminalizing.

No, they could not pass it on day one. Getting legislation together like this takes support building in other areas of government, and getting it right so it isn't toppled because of flawed wording takes crafting. They need to bring people on board and do it well or it falls apart. It takes time.

You're confusing the two. Decriminalization needs nothing more than to be removed from the controlled substances list, and being removed from the criminal code. It's easy peasy, and could be done easily within a week. You don't need anything because it's no longer criminal, you just stop prosecuting them. Quick announcement to the feeds on the streets, and you're running.

Legalization on the other hand, which is what the current gov is going for, is legalization. And that requires all those special departments, policies, procedures, laws, etc...

Edit: I thought you were the one with your definitions reversed but it seem news organizations and stories actually seem to also use contradictory definition.

See for example:




Those two articles don't seem to contradict each other. They are both using legalization and decriminalization in the same way (i'm pretty sure).

The globalnews article talks a bit about how the Liberals tried decriminalizing it in the past and failed. And Justin Trudeau saying why they won't decriminalize before they legalize it. But the focus is on the legalization/regulation of it next year. It is not using those two interchangeably.

No, those are the same in both articles. Mulcair's views, are largely irrelevant now.

I don't get it. Are you saying in parliamentary systems legislation is only passed the day a new government assumes power? What do they do until the next time elections are called?

He just means they didnt have to wait for anything or anyone. If they're being well behaved they will have some due course and debate etc. But in Harper's government we often saw how fast things could go through the gov't with a majority, little debate/discussion or public notice even. Yay canada.

Legalization rather than decriminalization was certainly the campaign promise

Yes but decriminalization could have been an easier first step. So I think it's interesting they went directly to legalization.

It's not without rationale:

'Prime Minister Justin Trudeau fired back saying “decriminalization actually gives a legal stream of income to criminal organizations.”'[0]

[0] http://globalnews.ca/news/2650706/canada-to-introduce-pot-le...

Interesting, the linked article called it decriminalize, but the text sounded more like full legalization to me. If you have the political support to fully legalize, why take half measures?

The Guardian is simply wrong. The Liberals fought the last election on a promise to legalize, and just today in Question Period Trudeau rejected calls to decriminalize first, saying that it does nothing to keep pot away from kids and legitimizes a significant income stream for organized crime.

It's simply poor fact-checking by the Guardian.

From what I understand, legalization is a lot more complicated in relation to international drug treaties that Canada is a part of.

Nah, we're not really worried about those treaties, we're going to send our little, "thank you, but we will no longer be complying with Section XXXXX, in YYYY)". Decriminalizing is simply taking it off the current schedule, and removing it from existing laws.

Legalization requires a whole framework of laws to be created. You could piggyback off cigarettes of alcohol, but should you? Those are the discussions that will be heard over the next sever months.

Sounds plausible that it takes some time to come up with a reasonable-ish framework for legal production, distribution, and consumption. Most of the US states that legalized seemed to jump in with an attitude more like legalize it now and figure out the details as we go. It seems to have worked okay, but could be seen as being kinda risky.

I also think that many people way overestimate the importance of international law and treaties. There is no court with any teeth on these things, and nobody gets any brownie points for following treaties. The only enforcement mechanism is what other countries care to do about any violations they perceive, which could be anything from nothing at all for blatant violations to sanctions, trade war, or real war for minor violations or even not going along enthusiastically enough.

Could be. I wonder if they would be the first to fully legalize on a national level? I can't think of any other country that has.

Portugal: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drug_policy_of_Portugal

Since July 2001, all drugs are legal subject to personal consumption limits.

Looks like decriminalization to me, which matches up with what I heard. Meaning that personal users don't get thrown in jail, but the supply chain is still illegal, and nobody would dare try to set up a legitimate business for production or distribution. So all of the profits of the trade go to criminal gangs and street violence instead of either legitimate, tax-paying companies or the Government itself.

From the same article: "In Portugal, recreational use of cannabis is forbidden by law; also the medicinal use is not yet officially recognized"


That law passed in 2013 and they're still implementing the large scale sales part of the deal. Which in this case means that pharmacies will distributed the drug to "registered" customers. That will start in the second part of the year.


Could just be bad/ignorant writing where the author doesn't know/consider the distinction?

What's the difference between the two?

Legalized = "you are not prohibited from doing this"

Decriminalized = "you're not allowed to do this, but we won't treat you like a criminal if you do"

Rather than years in jail and a criminal record, the punishment would be more akin to a speeding ticket - pay a fine, go on your way.

They're also discussing how to commercialize it (and tax it), which is an important aspect of legalization. It's likely that many provinces will choose to control sales through state-controlled companies.

"Legalize" means it's fully legal to produce, distribute and buy. It may be regulated, so you may need a license and follow certain rules, but other than that it's like any other product on the market.

"Decriminalize" means it's still illegal to produce, distribute or buy, but it's not a criminal offence. So you may be fined, etc., but you can't be arrested or go to jail for it.

It should be legalized, but with one condition: any and all advertising should be banned. In fact, it should apply to all drugs (as it is in other countries).

That is fine, but beer and liquor need to be included as well.

Just because alcohol prohibition ended first, doesn't mean it deserves special treatment (I live in a state where cannabis is legal).

Ok, we put "legalize" in the title above.

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