Trudeau defends Veteran’s Affairs cuts to medical marijuana program, asks for patience on legalization

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Courtesy of Lift Magazine

Justin Trudeau was in New Brunswick and Québec today on his cross country tour, which began last week. The Prime Minister has been holding town hall meetings in various cities to engage Canadians on the issues important to them, and medical marijuana and legalization both came up today.

Numerous issues, like the economy, carbon tax, payroll taxes, and others have already made headlines, but legalization and the medical marijuana system came up today at the two different meetings. First, in New Brunswick, with Fabian Henry, founder of Marijuana for Trauma, addressing the Prime Minister to discuss the recent change in how Veteran’s Affairs will cover medical cannabis for approved Veterans.

Then in Sherbrooke, QC, Trudeau was asked again about a timeline and framework for legalization by Guillaume Gagnon, President of the Marijuana Research & Development Centre. The Prime Minister asked for patience from the public as the government works towards its goals, and reiterated the party’s stance on legalizing to control cannabis and take it away from gangs and protect children, and not decriminalizing in the interim.

Trudeau also mentioned that the current medical cannabis system was designed by the previous Harper government.

Video starts at ~24:00 here.

From the New Brunswick stop, via thebruns.ca

Henry said he’s concerned for the 4,000 veterans his company represents, stating that medical marijuana could save many of their lives.

He called the cost-cutting measure uninformed, stating additional research should be done before adjusting any limits or caps on dispensation totals.

“The question I have for you is, is a veteran’s life worth $85 a day?” said Henry.

Trudeau responded, stating the previous system of handling medical marijuana quotas “just wasn’t working.”

“There is still as you point out, much more research to be done…but we know there are benefits that come from it” said Trudeau.

Trudeau defended his government’s proposed cut to medical marijuana quotas, stating the framework proposed was based on evidence.

“Before there were no limits on the amount of cannabis veterans could consume and get reimbursed for, now we’ve put in some very very high limits,” said Trudeau.

However, Trudeau said the government is open to hear concerns and studies based on evidence, meaning the limit could go up if research backs it.

Henry interjected, asking again if a veteran’s life was worth $85 per day.

“You mean are you worth that much in terms of marijuana?” responded Trudeau, continuing “There’s a lot more programs that we have that we are putting forward for veterans and our focus will continue to be on evidence-based policy,” he said.

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