NORML Canada

January 20, 2006 12:46 ET

NORML Canada releases it's election survey report card

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws releases report on it's survey of political party candidates Attention: Assignment Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor MONTREAL, QUEBEC, MEDIA ADVISORY--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 20, 2006) - NORML Canada (the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) set out to identify where each of the candidates in this general election stand on the issue. Given the prominence of the marijuana debate in recent public discourse, we assumed that candidates would have strong opinions on the matter. However, soliciting responses proved much harder than expected.

Read the full report at www.norml.ca

Each candidate was asked a single, straightforward question: "Which of the following statements best represents your position on marijuana prohibition?" The available multiple-choice answers ranged from "a more punitive prohibition" to "legalization." We mailed our survey to every single candidate, from every single party, in both English and French, to try to assess their positions. Not content to simply wait by the mailbox for responses, we also called the candidates to follow up on the question.

So, how did the results stack up?

Green Party: As is stated in their platform, the Green Party supports legalization, based on the regulatory model of alcohol. With over 60 candidates responding to our survey, the Greens were also the most responsive party.

NDP: As detailed in a direct letter to us from Jack Layton, the NDP supports, "a non-punitive rule-based approach to adult marijuana use with a major emphasis on prevention, education and health promotion." Significantly, a few independent candidates suggested that they are in favour of a more progressive policy of legalization. (See his letter here: http://www.norml.ca/article84.html

Bloc Quebecois: Gilles Duceppe responded to the survey by outlining his party's support for Bill C-17's version of decriminalization, which amounts to fines for simple possession and for the cultivation of small amounts for personal use. (See his letter here: http://www.norml.ca/article85.html

The Liberal Party: With the exception of a few candidate responses, the most we got from the Liberals was Paul Martin's statement in the French leaders' debate - in which he advanced his support for decriminalization, but insisted that he would never legalize the plant. We are still waiting for an official response.

The Conservative Party: Although the Conservative candidates were equally reticent in answering the survey as the Liberals, the party did address marijuana prohibition in the release of their final platform. As such, the Conservative Party is opposed to any form of decriminalization and wish to increase penalties for growers and traffickers, including mandatory minimums for those who are involved in particularly large amounts. While we do not support the Conservative position, we at least admire their candor.

NORML Canada will not tell you who to vote for - such a decision is a personal responsibility. However, if you support the loosening of the marijuana laws, we can certainly tell you who not to vote for - the Conservative party.

Read the full report at www.norml.ca /For further information: Marc-Boris St-Maurice
514-808-8682/ IN: JUSTICE, POLITICS, SOCIAL

Contact Information

  • Marc-Boris St-Maurice, President, National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws
    Primary Phone: 514-808-8682