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Justin Trudeau On Marijuana Legalization: My Opinion 'Evolved'

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Justin Trudeau clarified his stance on marijuana Thursday, saying legalizing the drug is a
Justin Trudeau clarified his stance on marijuana Thursday, saying legalizing the drug is a "very responsible thing to look at and to do." (We Day)

Justin Trudeau clarified his stance on marijuana Thursday, saying legalizing the drug is a "very responsible thing to look at and to do."

The Liberal leader explained his shift in opinion on the controversial issue during a stop in Vancouver, saying he has "evolved" in his opinion about legalization.

“I have evolved in my own thinking. I was more hesitant to even decriminalize not so much as five years ago. But I did a lot of listening, a lot of reading, and a lot of paying attention to the very serious studies that have come out and I realize that going the road of legalization is actually a responsible thing to look at and to do,” he said, according to the Globe and Mail.

In the past, Trudeau has expressed support for decriminalization, but held back from supporting legalization. In his comments to the crowd at Vancouver's English Bay, he said that isn't enough.

"Decriminalization just removes the criminal penalties that are applied to people for having consumed, or owning marijuana, and that tends to bog down the legal system, and keeps the gangs, basically and the criminal elements that are profiting from marijuana."

"Once we control it, tax and regulate it, we allow for development of a medical marijuana industry, that will actually be responsive to the needs of the many consumers of medical marijuana," he told the crowd.

On Wednesday, the Liberal leader said to a crowd in Kelowna that he was in favour of a "tax and regulate" approach to cannabis to "keep it away from kids."

The Liberal Party voted in 2012 to legalize marijuana. At the party's convention, 77 per cent of delegates voted in favour.

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