Canada's Trudeau to legalize marijuana, but not smoke it

Thu Jun 2, 2016 7:59pm EDT
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By Rod Nickel

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has admitted to smoking marijuana in the past, said on Thursday he has no plans to light up even after his government makes it legal to do so.

"I don't think so. I'm not someone who has a history of using drugs," Trudeau said, speaking in Winnipeg in a question and answer session with the Winnipeg Free Press newspaper. "I lived in Whistler (British Columbia) for a few years, surrounded by friends who did.

"It was never my thing."

Trudeau, 44, said he does not drink much alcohol or coffee, either.

Canadians are allowed to use medical marijuana with a prescription, but recreational use is illegal. The government has said it will introduce legislation to legalize recreational use in 2017.

Trudeau said he wants to change the law for two reasons: to better protect young people from marijuana by providing increased control over points of sale and to take revenue away from organized crime.

(Reporting by Rod Nickel; Editing by Alan Crosby)

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivers a statement before the start of a Liberal caucus meeting on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, June 1, 2016. REUTERS/Chris Wattie