New Brunswick Southwest MP John Williamson has sent a flyer to constituents asking for their reaction to Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau's so-called "pot plan."
The survey, titled "Liberals plan to sell marijuana in N.B. stores," asks constituents to select whether they believe "Drugs are illegal and should stay that way," or "Marijuana should be stocked on local store shelves."
Williamson said the options are intended to be clear-cut.
"Questions that are namby-pamby or try to split the difference don't really receive good responses," he said. "When there's a clear choice, in this case legalizing pot or not, they tend to provide higher responses on both sides.
"Since this hit mailboxes in my riding, the first response … tends to be on the negative side, then over the next couple weeks we get responses in the mail which affirm the government's position, my position on these questionnaires.
Williamson provides his stance in the mail-out, stating, "Marijuana should not be legalized."
He also accuses Trudeau of "visiting schools to tell kids that marijuana should be legal," and says Trudeau plans to "display it and sell it in stores.
"This will make it easier for kids to get drugs," the flyer reads.
Liberal justice critic and Charlottetown MP Sean Casey calls the survey "crass fear mongering in politics at its worst" and says Williamson is disingenuous, and misrepresenting the facts.
"Our leader has indicated he supports legalization. That is on the record. But Liberals have always stood for evidence-based policy making," said Casey.
"To suggest that … the leader is going to high schools for the purpose of promoting access to drugs to young people is nothing short of fear-mongering".
Casey says the Liberals support legalization with study, followed by regulations similar to alcohol.
"Legalization implies regulation and control. So to think that it's going to be available on store shelves is extremely far-fetched … We are simply talking about the fact that the war on drugs has been an abject failure, and a more sensible solution is to pursue legalization."
The total public cost of the flyer is $500, said Williamson.
He says even though his mind is made up, these mail-outs are part of the job.
"This is just part of the give and take of good representation," said Williamson.
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