Liberal MP John Aldag

Langley’s two MPs split on pot legalization

Liberal Member of Parliament John Aldag and Conservative Mark Warawa are polar opposites on the issue of legalizing marijuana.

Liberals versus Conservatives: Just like the divide that exists between these two federal political parties, so too does the crevasse between Langley MPs John Aldag and Mark Warawa, and their personal views on legalization of marijuana in Canada.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the federal government will be introducing legislation in the next few weeks that will legalize marijuana by Canada Day 2018. And while the federal government will change this law with almost unprecedented speed, it will be left up to the provinces/territories and municipalities to work out logistics of how it will be grown and distributed.

Aldag is the Cloverdale-Langley City Liberal MP, and he’s “anxious” to see such a law move forward.

“I’m frankly very excited,” he told the Langley Advance. “It’s the right move for the country.”

He’s convinced it will make it safer, especially for Canada’s young people, who he said register the highest pot consumption out of any countries in the Western World.

He believes taking control of growing and distributing marijuana will better keep it out of the hands of under-aged youth, and govern what it contains.

The 53-year-old former Parks Canada employee, who smells pot farm exhaust when walking his dog at night, said all too often he’s told nightmare stories of marijuana being mixed with other illicit drugs. By governing the sale, buyers will better know exactly what they’re consuming.

Another bonus, Aldag said: “It will take billions of dollars out of the hands of organized crime in our country.”

Aldag said he doesn’t expect there will be similar access to marijuana across the country, and determining how that will look in each province, territory, city and village will also be a significant undertaking.

He agrees it is an “ambitious agenda” having the law in place by July 1, 2018, but Aldag feels it is doable, and hopes to discuss the issue with both Langley Township and Langley City councils as well as his provincial counterparts in the next few weeks.


CAPTION: Conservative MP Mark Warawa is opposed to the Liberals plan to legalize marijuana by Canada Day 2018.

Warawa, who is the Conservative MP for Langley-Aldergrove, is appalled by both the move to legalize marijuana, and the speed with which the Liberals are trying to “force it” through the Senate and the House of Commons.

That process, he said, typically takes at least a couple years and said Trudeau’s “strong arm” tactics to push it through faster are simply politically motivated since it was one of his campaign promises.

Contrary to Aldag, the 66-year-old Warawa fears this will put larger quantities of the drug in the hands of young people. And he claims that numerous discussions with addicts, law enforcement, and other experts support his belief that marijuana serves as a gateway drug to other deadly substances.

He’s convinced nothing good can come from legalizing it, for the recreational users, those who use it for medical purposes, or society as a whole.

“If this is not handled very carefully,” Warawa said, “it could ruin a lot of lives.”

Just Posted

Langley Rotarians work for clinics in Kenya

Local Rotary Clubs are asking locals to think of others at Christmastime.

#MeToo at work: How reporting sexual harassment works – and how it doesn’t

British Columbians have four options to report harassment or assault, but none of them are easy

Looking Back: Dec. 14, 2017

The community’s history as recorded in the files of the Langley Advance

Throwback Thursday: December 14, 2017

Can you help us caption a photo from Langley’s past?

Giants invite fans to toss teddy bears at Langley game

The annual Teddy Bear Toss takes place at this Sunday’s home game in the LEC.

VIDEO: Recovering addict shares art and story to motivate others

A Langley City man spends time each day painting in McBurney Plaza.

Myers high on Canada

AT RANDOM: Mike Myers says it right, eh

BREAKING: Train collides with car in Maple Ridge

Mother and child both uninjured

Chinese Lantern Festival at PNE starting Friday

Event billed as the largest festival of its kind in Canada

Woman, 75, killed in Vancouver pedestrian crash

The death marks Vancouver’s fifth pedestrian fatality of 2017

B.C. government to launch coastal ferry review in January

The Province will begin a comprehensive review of the coastal ferry service in British Columbia in 2018

5 to start your day

A rhyming MP getting into the Christmas spirit on the hill, Langley boy chased by two men and more

Federal Crown drops appeal after charges against pot activist dismissed

Dana Larsen said he was served notice at his home in Vancouver and the case was to be heard July 2

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to marry May 19

Kensington Palace announced the date to the public Friday

Most Read