Mulcair on marijuana

Earlier in the campaign, the NDP leadership candidates were surveyed about their views on marijuana. At the time, Mr. Mulcair expressed support for decriminalization.

I also support the party’s existing policy on further decriminalising the possession of marijuana for any use with the goal to eliminate the influence of organised crime on the production and distribution of marijuana. In order to make good on those policies, we first need to replace the Harper government with its wrong headed ideological approach to criminal issues. This is why party members should think about who is best positioned to beat the Conservatives in 2015.

But when interviewed by Tom Clark this past weekend—starting at the 8:28 mark here—and asked directly whether he would decriminalize marijuana, Mr. Mulcair responded in the negative.

No. I think that that would be a mistake because the information we have right now is that the marijuana that’s on the market is extremely potent and can actually cause mental illness.

He suggests something like the LeDain commission could be created to study the issue.

The first position sounds like something Jack Layton said in 2004, but the second position is not far removed from the stance taken by Mr. Layton during the federal campaign last spring.