One Puff Goes a Long Way

By: Alexa Batitis  



So, Justin Trudeau admitted that he had a “puff” from a joint about three years ago.

I bet he didn’t even inhale.

Does it matter what Mr. Trudeau did three years ago at a party in his backyard? He paints a good scene: kids gone, friends over, slight peer pressure as someone passes him the joint. He’s not even doing anything unlawful – Canadian law only deems possession of cannabis illegal; nowhere does it say anything about smoking.

It’s something easy for the media to fuss about, sure, but his admission to smoking pot has led to the acknowledgment from other political figures, including Ontario’s premier, Nova Scotia’s premier, and Toronto’s mayor. It has clearly shaken the political world.

But what exactly is Justin Trudeau trying to achieve by saying he’s smoked pot? It sounds like he’s trying to admit that he speeds on the highway, or downloads music from the Internet.

Canada is moving on: Health Canada recently announced the launch of a new medical marijuana market, where distributing cannabis will be regulated by the RCMP and health inspectors. The new regime will come into effect in March 2014, and Health Canada will stop producing medical marijuana in April of 2014.

If you have a medical marijuana license, you can still grow it in your own home, until the new system is fully established. Bottom line: Canadians are smoking pot.

So, let’s talk about why Mr. Trudeau stole the spotlight with his admission.

After we overlook his flawed chain of actions – in 2009, he voted in favour of the Harper government’s marijuana laws, but in 2011 he changed his mind and voted against – we can easily see his admission as an obvious appeal to the everyday person. “Look at me. I do what you do, too! After I was elected MP!” It’s easy to see right through his actions, especially after news sources reported, days later, that Mr. Trudeau doesn’t touch caffeine. Doesn’t even have a morning cup of joe.

He is kidding himself if he is trying to connect with the everyday person. The son of a former prime minister born into a family of wealth and privilege – tell me that he knows what it’s like to be an average person.

Ask a group of young stoners if they care about Justin Trudeau’s pot smoking confession. They probably don’t. Because they are going to smoke pot anyway, whether it’s legal or not; whether the Liberal leader said he did or not. Tell a group of middle-aged voters, and they freak out because drugs are bad, end of story. No vote for the Liberals this round.

You missed it, Mr. Trudeau. You’ve overestimated the reactions and your confession looks out of place. What could have been a strategically placed declaration has only turned into an excuse for the media to roll their eyes at you.

Next time, if you really want to cause a fuss, take a leaf out of Rob Ford’s book and pick up a crack pipe.