Canadian Beacon Blog: Trudeau Smoked Pot: So What?

By Konstantine Roccas, Staff Writer

Recently, Canadian airwaves and media outlets were swarmed with ‘terrible’ news. No, this news didn’t involve hockey or any sort of natural disaster. This news involved Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau (JT) smoking pot 3 years ago when he was still a MP.

Shocking, I know. I type that in the most sarcastic way for those who have issues comprehending that.

In typical Canadian fashion, we have turned this into a major issue these past few days with commentators weighing in on the issue nation-wide. Heck, even Captain Creepy, Steven Harper weighed in on the issue by condescendingly telling reporters that JT’s actions, “speak for themselves.”

In my opinion this is a total non-issue. In 2013 Canada we have tolerance and acceptance for the LGBQT community, hipsters permeating the streets of Vancouver with their eclectic blend of music and fashion, geek culture being accepted as mainstream and much more. Somehow when it comes to issues we are grappling with, the old Mary Jane is still at the top of the list. I lay the blame on that one squarely on the more ‘enthused’ base of the Conservative Party.

Moral or health implications aside, there should be little discussion on the issue. A MP that smoked pot is of little consequence. What should be discussed is Justin Trudeau’s frank openness and willingness to discuss the issue in order get us more in touch with our European and (I can’t believe I’m typing this) American brethren. The money that could be saved by just legalizing it is astounding. The millions we spend on policing marijuana could be injected into education, health care and social programs that Canada desperately needs.

Back to Trudeau, however, there shouldn’t be a major political backlash towards his actions. Those who live in the prairies and rural parts of Ontario will vote predominantly conservative no matter what. What Trudeau is doing is much more nuanced. He is trying to bring an issue that young Canadians care about and galvanize a part of the electorate that has been apathetic for far too long. By being open about his actions, Trudeau is attempting to pursue a path of honesty and transparency which Canadian politics left, right and centre has lacked for a long time now.

I had the pleasure of attending a banquet with Trudeau about a month back and heard him speak. He admitted that he is someone who is willing to listen to reason and change his actions if the situation calls for it. He has also mentioned in the past that his view on pot was much different but after hearing the facts was willing to change his tune.  My earlier apprehensions aside, I was impressed by Trudeau’s enthusiasm, willingness to change and overall friendliness.

Finally, by admitting that he smoked pot, Trudeau is in a sense humanizing himself. Instead of standing on a political pedestal and looking down at the masses, telling them what is right or wrong like Harper and the Doom Patrol, Trudeau is at least willing to give Canadians a voice, hear their opinions and react accordingly. At the very least, that is something to applaud.

Konstantine Roccas is an observer of local and international affairs and governance, but also writes about anything else that piques his ire. He enjoys a half kilo of Greek yogurt daily. He writes for the Arbitrage Magazine where he also pens Canadian Beacon. More of his work can be found at myriadtruths.blogspot.ca and he can be followed on Twitter @KosteeRoccas.



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