Washington legalizes pot, could Canada follow?

Voters in Washington State have approved a measure legalizing marijuana, but what does that move mean for policymakers in Canada?

One political scientist feels the move turns some conventional wisdom in this country on its head. “We can’t go ahead of the Americans because, you know, they’ll never stand for it, well, now they have,” says Dennis Pilon with Ontario’s York University.

He explains “With these two votes, I think it’ll bring increasing pressure to bear… to make some changes.”

Washington State’s law will allow those over the age of 21 to carry up to an ounce of pot as of December 6th. Voters in Colorado approved a similar initiative last night.

Canadian pot supporters are a little disappointed we’ve been beaten to the punch on the issue, but feel an important precedent has been set.

“We’ve now got two great states in the US that are going to be sort of test cases as to how you actually go through the process that will hopefully disprove a lot of ill-conceived notions about what the legalizing process means,” says David Valentin with the Young Liberals of Canada.

Earlier this year, the federal party endorsed a resolution calling for marijuana to be legalized. Both Prime Minister Harper and NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair have said no to decriminalization.