Fighting Our Corner: In Praise Of Justin Trudeau

by Calum Armstrong


Earlier this week Civilized shared a short piece on Justin Trudeau, warmly welcoming him to the cannabis community as he begins his premiership.

Civilized is an online journal that represents ‘the millions of motivated, productive adults who choose to enjoy cannabis recreationally’ across the USA, and, for Civilized, the emergence of Trudeau appears akin to that of a long awaited saviour, modernising and maturing the face of cannabis advocacy.

[Trudeau] makes familiar arguments about protecting kids and killing the black market, but he speaks with such ease and a sense of conviction that he inspires both confidence and a sense of connection with ordinary people – necessary ingredients for making the broader Canadian public embrace legalization. It’s why he should remain Canada’s front man on the issue, even if he has appointed MP (and former Toronto police chief) Bill Blair to be his point man.

Civilized share some excellent clips that demonstrate Trudeau’s midas touch when it comes to talking cannabis to doubters, quibblers and contrarians alike.


For a platform like Civilized, openly committed to moving cannabis advocates beyond outdated, regressive ‘stoner’ stereotypes, a world leader who can fuse progressive social policies with professionalism and compassion is an absolute godsend.

Trudeau is very much at ease with reporters, gives extended answers to questions about his views on legalization. Sure, he has standard “talking points” like all politicians. Whether he’s engaged in an impromptu chat with someone in a grocery store or talking to journalists, he repeats his practiced message about protecting youth and shutting down criminal organisations… [Trudeau is] direct and elaborates on his points, and willing to participate in both back-and-forth informal conversations, or more formal question-and-answer sessions with journalists.


Trudeau’s candour certainly comes across in the article, with the new Canadian PM admitting his previous doubts around decriminalisation.

Up until a few years ago, though, he actually opposed decriminalization. By 2013, he’d come around to supporting legalization, while not being a huge fan of cannabis himself. “I’m not someone who is particularly interested in altered states, but I certainly won’t judge someone else for it,” he said.

For most politicians, changing their opinion is often a red flag – revealing their inherent cowardice, exposing their once-so-carefully-concealed reptilian features to the unforgiving electorate.

Not so, for Mr Trudeau.


Finally, the global drug reform movement has, in perfectly packaged Trudeau, a politician prepared to fight in their corner. His presence in world politics is one to be celebrated, as he remains poised to honour his promises to protect Canadian children from the harms of cannabis prohibition.

He’s a father and husband who says all the right things about protecting the country’s young people; he’s understanding and reassuring enough to connect with people who still have doubts (after all, he once had them himself).

And yet he’s self-assured and knowledgeable about why legalization is important, which should make advocates feel confident he’ll ultimately deliver on that commitment.

But, most importantly, Trudeau knows the lingo – his appearance in Canadian sketch show This Hour Has 22 Minutes is a testament to his canna cred.

How many prominent world leaders are familiar enough with the term hotboxing to make a joke about it?

A true trailblazer indeed.


Read our coverage of Trudeau’s early struggles to set his plans in motion, and find out the other ways in which Trudeau is proving his progressive credentials.


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