Canada’s Liberal Party backs legalization of marijuana

By Agence France-Presse
Sunday, January 15, 2012 17:47 EDT
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MONTREAL — Canada’s Liberal Party overwhelmingly passed a motion Sunday proposing the legalization of marijuana on the last day of its national convention, at which Michael Crawley was chosen as its new leader.

The motion says that, if elected, a Liberal government “will legalize marijuana and ensure the regulation and taxation of its production, distribution and use, while enacting strict penalties for illegal trafficking, illegal importation and exportation, and impaired driving.”

Under the motion, the Liberals also promised an amnesty for all Canadians previously found guilty of simple or minimal possession of marijuana and to clear the offenses from their criminal records.

The motion passed with 77 percent of the vote.

The convention also decisively rejected a motion that called for studying the election of Canada’s head of state, thereby severing all official links with the British crown. Queen Elizabeth II is currently the country’s head of state.

With his election, Crawley, an energy industry entrepreneur, takes over the leadership of the once-mighty party in the lead-up to the next federal elections.

“I am re-energized by all of you,” Crawley said at the convention in Ottawa. “The party is clearly focused on the future.”

The Liberals, who governed the country of 34 million people for much of the last century, were reduced to a paltry 34 seats in May elections, forcing leader Michael Ignatieff to step down after losing his seat.

Copyright © 2012 AFP. All rights reserved.

Agence France-Presse
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