So what brought Trudeau to his decision to repeal prohibition? You know what they say: behind every great man there’s even greater, weed-loving woman.
In November of 2012, two NORML Canada board members, Kelly Coulter and Andrea Matrosovs, met with Trudeau and convinced him that supporting full legalization– not just decriminalization– was the right course of action for the Parliamentarian.
“Al Capone would have loved it if alcohol were only decriminalized,” Coulter said, convincing Trudeau that decriminalization wouldn’t keep organized crime rings and gangs out of the marijuana business.
“I saw the light go on in his eyes,” Coulter said. “He was seeing this as a politician, realizing ‘I can sell this,’ ” she recalled.
Following in their footsteps, NORML Canada Board members Marc-Boris St-Maurice and Abigail Sampson went to testify before Parliament last week, discussing The Cannabis Act (C-45) with other jurisdictions in which cannabis is legal, to share their experiences in terms of public health, tax, and banking implications for legalization.
In addition, NORML Canada Board member Kirk Tousaw went to Parliament to talk international considerations and how to deal with the transport of marijuana across border lines as it remains federally illegal in the United States.
NORML Canada President John Conroy then took part in a panel on the issue of household cultivation (the current bill proposes four plants per household).
NORML Canada members are proving that citizen involvement in legalization efforts with lawmakers, even simply having a discussion like Coulter and Matrosovs did with Trudeau, can make an enormous difference. Only time will tell if the United States will be able to follow the example set by our neighbors to the North.