Oct 09, 2014

By Bob Komsic

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Canada’s largest centre for addiction and mental health wants marijuana to be made legal.

pot smoking

CAM-H in Toronto says doing so with strict regulations would be the most effective way to reduce the harm associated with its use.

The centre’s Dr. Jurgen Rehm tells the New AM 740’s Goldhawk Fights Back, places like Colorado ”came up with models which we want to avoid because we believe that they would do more harm for Canada.”

The Canadian Public Health Association welcomes the call, saying the war on drugs has failed and done more damage.

Meanwhile, Ontario’s health minister refuses to take a position.

Eric Hoskins is not wading into the debate, saying that’s a federal issue.

In Ottawa, Justice Minister Peter MacKay says he’s surprised by the legalization call, adding the government remains committed to finding ways to increase enforcement, including potentially making it a ticketing offence to possess small quantities of pot.

But Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, who’s been championing legalization for over a year, says the CAMH call demonstrates his approach is based on evidence, while the Conservative approach is based on ideology.

And NDP health critic Libby Davies, whose party supports decriminalization, says the Harper Conservatives are becoming increasingly isolated on the issue as more public health groups refuse to back their tough-on-pot stance.

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