The federal NDP is calling on the Trudeau Liberals to decriminalize marijuana until new legislation is in place to legalize and regulate the drug.
The party announced today it will make use of an opposition day tomorrow to table a bill that would that would put a stop to pot arrests for the time being.
It says the Liberals have dithered on the marijuana file despite promises to act quickly on pot laws, and are now caught in a contradiction by arresting and prosecuting people for an act that will soon be legal.
The party warns tens of thousands of Canadians could end up with criminal records for possession this year.
The proposed bill would ask for an immediate decriminalization for “simple possession of marijuana for personal use.”
Federal health minister Jane Philpott formally announced in April that Canada will introduce legislation next spring to legalize and regulate marijuana.
However little else is known about the planned regime, including how it will be distributed. Liquor stores, pharmacies, and the already booming dispensary industry all want to be the point of sale.
Meanwhile, Vancouver has already acted to license marijuana dispensaries, and last month filed injunctions to close 17 of 55 unlicensed shops that have stayed open past a city deadline to close.