Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says he won’t roll back legal cannabis if his party wins power in 2019, signalling a firmer stance from the opposition leader after ambivalent messaging.
Scheer clarified his position on Wednesday in a French-language radio interview.
Scheer said Conservatives won’t reverse the law if they take control, but he still left the door open for changes.
“We acknowledge the reality now, so I do not intend to make it illegal again,” Scheer told 104.7 Outaouais, a Gatineau-based radio station. “But we will see what happens in the next year and will make the necessary changes.”
Those comments come six days after Scheer struck a more ambiguous tone on the future of cannabis.
Scheer told the Conservatives would “examine the reality on the ground” before making a decision to keep or kill the pot regime.
“We have to be realistic about what a change like this means for society and all the ramifications,” Scheer said, adding that the party would do its “due diligence.”
Scheer’s own health critic, Ontario MP Marilyn Gladu, contradicted him on the issue, saying it would be “very difficult” to reverse legalization because rules were already in place and Canadians had invested in the industry.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to legalize cannabis during the 2015 federal election, touting a government-regulated market as the best way to keep pot out of the hands of young people and end the black market.
Cannabis sales began nationwide last Wednesday.