Marijuana is “infinitely worse” than tobacco and its use should be widely discouraged in Canada, Conservative Leader Stephen Harper says.
The remarks come the morning after the federal leaders’ French-language debate, in which Harper’s clash with Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau over the issue of legalization was among the evening’s more memorable exchanges.
The Liberals support legalization; Trudeau argued during the debate that if pot were legal and regulated, young people would be less able to easily procure the drug than they are currently.
The Conservatives are vehemently opposed to the idea, with Harper saying that regulating its sale in the same way as cigarettes or alcohol would do nothing to keep it out of the hands of kids.
When asked Saturday how the Conservatives square that position with the fact medicinal marijuana is currently used by thousands of Canadians to treat a variety of causes, Harper said there’s overwhelming evidence about the drug’s long-term effects.
But health experts are crying foul on the prime minister’s comments.
Dr. David Hammond, who is the applied health chair at the University of Waterloo, claims that 30,000 – 40,000 Canadians die each year from tobacco-related ailments like cancer. Marijuana-related deaths are very rare, which is why he believes that Harper’s comments are misleading.
Do you support the Conservatives continued fight against the acceptance of Marijuana in Canada, no matter how its used or what form it takes?