Bloc Pot ready to campaign in Quebec for full legalization of marijuana
Updated: July 31, 2018
Even if Ottawa is preparing to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in October, the Bloc Pot is preparing nevertheless to run in the Quebec general election with what may be its largest ever slate of candidates.
Party spokesperson Hugo St-Onge says there are already 60 possible candidates who have stepped up and expects many more will do so once the filing period for candidacies officially begins.
According to statistics compiled on the website of the province’s chief electoral officer, the highwater mark for Bloc Pot candidacies was in 2003 when the party ran 56 candidates. However, during the 2014 election that number dropped to just 14.
St-Onge, who will be a candidate in the Montreal riding of Laurier-Dorion, says the fundamental demands made by the Bloc Pot have never been met, making the party’s presence in the political landscape more pertinent than ever.
“The main demand has been to withdraw cannabis from the Criminal Code. With legalization, cannabis remains in the Criminal Code. Worse, new offences have been added and certain sentences have been increased,” he said, noting however that legalization is a step in the right direction.
St-Onge said the party wants the creation of a cannabis market that is “inclusive, equitable and coherent,” and calls the market created by the federal government as an “oligopoly similar that of tobacco.” The party also considers the requirements to obtain a production permit too restrictive for the average cannabis user.
“Legalization has made some cannabis legal, but now the vast majority of existing cannabis remains illegal,” he said. “What’s being forgotten is that cannabis will remain illegal except for that produced by the oligopoly.”