September 13, 2013 11:37 pm
Updated: September 14, 2013 11:44 am

Harper draws Canada’s first prime minister into marijuana debate

A group of children listen as Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks at a member's BBQ at Quail's Gate, Okanagan Estate Winery in West Kelowna B.C., on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward


WEST KELOWNA, B.C. – Prime Minister Stephen Harper called upon the legacy of Sir. John A. Macdonald during a comic foray into British Columbia’s marijuana debate.

Harper says when the country’s first prime minister was a member of Parliament for Victoria, B.C., in the 19th century, he focused on issues that mattered, like economic growth, not grow-ops, and about a national dream, not a pipe dream.

The comments drew laughter and applause from a crowd of about 600 supporters who purchased tickets for a barbecue Friday evening in the Okanagan city of West Kelowna.

During a stop in Kelowna in late July, federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau announced that he supported the legalization, taxation and regulation of marijuana.

Pot activist Dana Larsen is currently trying to use initiative legislation in B.C. to propose a law that would decriminalize marijuana by preventing police from enforcing simple possession laws.

Harper says thanks to a recent bill in Parliament, he can take some B.C. wine back to Ottawa, and while he doesn’t drink alcohol, he has “lots of friends who do.”

© 2013 The Canadian Press

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