Mark Strahl, MP for Chilliwack-Hope, is taking a run at the federal Liberal government’s approach to drug policy and legislation.
The local MP is against the plan to repeal the Respect for Communities Act put in place by Conservatives, and replace it with C-37, a bill to make it faster and easier to open supervised injection sites.
He’s also uneasy with the Task Force on Cannabis Legalization recommendations released Tuesday.
Public safety, and protecting young people are at stake, according to the MP.
The task force recommendation that marijuana only be sold to those 18+ goes against the advice of the Canadian Medical Association, which posits that even occasional pot can cause serious negative psychological effects on brain development up to age 25, recommending a legal minimum age of 21.
“I am deeply concerned by the report put forward by the Marijuana Task Force,” said Strahl. “It contains serious shortcomings with respect to both the protection of young people and public safety.”
Police do not have reliable technology in place yet to test for drug- impaired driving, and significant resources are needed to do that.
There’s also issues around harder drug policies, the MP said.
The effect of the proposed Bill C-37 relaxes the strict rules put in place by the Harper Government to control the creation of new supervised injection sites like Insite.
“The Respect for Communities Act gives police, residents, and municipal leaders a say when it comes to opening an injection site in their community.
“Instead of making it easier for drug addicts to consume drugs, the Liberal Government should support treatment and recovery programs to get addicts off drugs, and enact heavy mandatory minimum sentences to crack down on drug traffickers,” added Strahl.
“Dangerous and addictive drugs tear families apart, promote criminal behaviour, and destroy lives.”
Some of these proposals point to the Liberals “abandoning community consultations,” he reasoned.
“I will be consulting my constituents directly on these issues through my regular public meetings and through paper based and online surveys in the New Year,” said Strahl.
“I will report these views back to the Liberal government even if they no longer want to hear them.”