Speaking at a Conservative campaign office last week, Laureen Harper, the prime minister's better half, declared that when it comes to marijuana possession, "You don't put people in jail." On the other hand, she also said marijuana use was worse than smoking or alcohol and she opposes full legalization. Nonetheless, her view would seem to approximate the NDP's policy of decriminalization. It certainly contradicts Conservative Party policy which is the status quo—up to five years for possession of a small amount with six months or a $1,000 fine for a first-time offence.
I prefer the Liberal Party position myself, i.e. legalization. I don't use the stuff, but I can't think of any good reason why I should prevent anyone else enjoying a toke or two. Decriminalization is small progress but it's something and, according to a recent Ipsos Reid-Global poll, supported by two out of three Canadians.
Veering off message like Ms. Harper has done could get a Conservative in big trouble in her husband's control-obsessed party. It is doubtful, however, that anyone would dare scold the PM's missus, his "best political advisor." In any case, it is a pleasure to see at least one Harper on the right side of the issue, even if only marginally so.