A decade ago, it would have been inconceivable for a nation's leader to even consider chewing the fat with reporters over the future of marijuana consumption, let alone for 50 minutes with a youth-oriented outlet like VICE. But that's what Justin Trudeau has done. Providing his fans with yet another reason to obsess over him, the hunky head of state gave a candid interview on the subject with VICE Canada. We don’t want to spoil the compelling conversation, but here’s a taste of what to expect.
Firstly, here’s the lowdown on Canada’s proposed plan to legalise pot…
- Canadians will have to be at least 18 years of age to purchase weed, although the provinces (such as Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec) could raise that minimum age if they saw fit, as well as decide the way in which weed is sold.
- 30 grams (just over an ounce) will be the largest quantity of weed one Canadian can carry.
- Every household will be allowed to grow up to four plants.
- Once legalisation is a thing, an illegal seller could land a 14-year prison sentence.
- To combat driving while high, police will have the right to randomly test saliva.
- Driving while high could lead to anything between a $1000 dollar fine and 10 years in prison.
- It is not yet known how Canada will set the price of weed or tax it.
“I am the boringest partier”
It’s early in the interview and Trudeau’s use of language on the topic is already markedly different from any world leader that ever lived. Sure, former president Barack Obama admitted to smoking in his youth and argued marijuana was less dangerous than alcohol, but continually brought the conversation back to weed being a “bad idea” and a “waste of time”.
Trudeau, however, explains away his limited experience with weed to being “the boringest partier” among his group of friends. Apart from being the type of guy who can get away with using the non-word “boringest”, it’s also relatively surprising to hear a world leader equating recreational drug use with being non-boring. Interesting.
The audience asks tough, collar-pulling questions
It’d be easy to assume that VICE were going to kneel at Trudeau’s progressive feet or throw him underarm softballs, but it turns out the opposite is the case. It’s clear they have striven to confront Trudeau with those questions currently plaguing the minds of the Canadian population.
Case in point: a young, educated Canadian migrant who was arrested for personal pot possession asks why this minor charge should affect his future (or aspirations for a run at prime minister) when legalisation is on the horizon. Instead of hiding behind diplomacy or politico-speak, Trudeau faces the question head on by telling the personal story of his family’s privilege and how it benefited his sibling’s own possession charge.
Other fascinating questions you’ll learn the answers to…
- If the police gain the right to THC-test the saliva of any driver without suspicion, then how will they ensure the prevention of racial profiling as is so common with breath testing for alcoholic substances?
- Will Trudeau consider some form of decriminalisation of weed prior to the estimated date of legalisation (Canada Day, 2018)? And if not, why not?
- Will those who have previously been charged for the selling of cannabis be able to sell it legally?
- If it turns out people would still prefer to buy their weed from the black market, does the government have a plan B?
A famous American stoner makes an appearance
At one point, via video message, Trudeau is probed by a celebrity who may or may not have been awarded the esteemed honour of High Times' Stoner of the Year. This well-known individual elevates Trudeau’s Canada by throwing a bit of shade on Trump’s America, suggesting they believe the Canucks are overtaking the Yanks when it comes to mediating all things Mary Jane.
Watch Justin Trudeau Talks Weed this Sunday 6 August at 9:20pm on SBS VICELAND.