Toronto mayor calls for decriminalising pot

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IOL pic nov19 toronto mayor rob ford Reuters Toronto Mayor Rob Ford adjusts his tie during a special council meeting at City Hall on November 18, 2013. Picture: Aaron Harris

Montreal -

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, who has admitted to having smoked “a lot” of pot and was once caught with a joint by Florida police, called on Thursday for marijuana decriminalisation.

“That's a debate that has been going on for years up in Canada,” the mayor was quoted by local dailies as telling a Washington radio show, The Sports Junkies.

“We have medicinal marijuana so a lot of people that are sick use it but (the federal government) won't legalise it or decriminalise it (and) I don't think they are going to ever do it unless the government changes,” he added.

Ford went on to say he has questioned the current prohibition. “Why wouldn't they at least decriminalise it and try to get revenue from it?” he said.

Liberal opposition Leader Justin Trudeau, the eldest son of late prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, has pushed for decriminalisation.

Until recently, the government rebuffed his suggestions.

But Attorney General Peter MacKay said last month the government is considering fining pot smokers for possession of small amounts of cannabis, instead of prosecuting them.

Ford has been mired in scandal since October, accused of unseemly behaviour and sexual harassment during a series of drunken rampages in addition to his admitted crack use.

He retains the title of mayor but Toronto City Council mid-November voted to transfer the bulk of his powers and duties to his deputy, Norm Kelly.

Earlier this month, he kicked off his re-election bid. - Sapa-AFP

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