Justin Trudeau led Canada’s Liberal Party as they were voted for into power on Monday. The party won enough seats to “form a majority government by itself.” The liberals won 184 seats in the lower house of parliament yet they only needed 170 seats to form a majority since there are only 338 seats in the lower chamber. The election has brought an end to the Conservative rule which has reigned for over nine years. When it came to drugs, they were extremely regressive and extremely against legalization. The liberal platform, on the other hand, had this to say about marijuana legalization:

“We will legalize, regulate, and restrict access to marijuana,” the platform says. The prohibition of marijuana does not stop the youth from using marijuana, but instead they raise crime rates. “We will remove marijuana consumption and incidental possession from the Criminal Code, and create new, stronger laws to punish more severely those who provide it to minors, those who operate a motor vehicle while under its influence, and those who sell it outside of the new regulatory framework.”

However, this was not expected to happen in one night. The Liberals stated that they are planning on creating a task force whose purpose is to design a system that will efficiently tax and regulate cannabis sales. After that has been done, a bill would be made that would pass in Ottawa. Marijuana was not the main issue in the campaign, but it was, nonetheless, an issue. However, the Tories’ anti-marijuana position did not fall well with the country that was ready to bring marijuana back. Voters look to be getting their wish as Tom Angell from Marijuana Majority had this to say:

“While US states led the way by becoming the first places in the world to legalize and regulate marijuana in 2012, it looks like Canada could soon leapfrog ahead of us and become the first country in North America to legalize cannabis nationwide,” he stated. “If that happens, it’s not only good news for Canadians who will be able to purchase marijuana from legal and regulated storefronts instead of being treated like criminals. It’s also likely to give reform efforts in the US a bit of a boost — not that we really needed it, but a little friendly competition is always a good motivator.”

Here’s more hope for marijuana in Canada from Ethan Nadelmann of the Drug Policy Alliance:

“Last night’s victory for Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party is the single biggest news in global drug policy reform this year,” he said. “It promises an 180-degree turn in Canada’s national drug policy both domestically and internationally, and will hopefully inject new energy and direction into planning for the UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on Drugs six months from now.”

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