PM says legalizing marijuana would cause us ‘a lot of trouble at the border with the United States’

A marijuana plant flourishes under grow lights in this Oct. 26, 2010 file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS-AP Photo/Ed …Stephen Harper defended his government's policy on maintaining Canada's prohibition of marijuana, this week.

In an interview with a consortium of ethnic media in Vancouver, the prime minister stated his government has no intention of legalizing the drug and that doing so would cause us "a lot of trouble at the border with the United States."

"I don't want to say they would seal the border. But I think it would inhibit our trade generally because they're certainly not going to make that move in the United States," Harper said, according to the Filipino Post.

"I think as a cross-border phenomenon this would cause Canada a lot of difficulty."

Last week, four former Vancouver mayors each signed an open letter urging politicians to consider legalization and regulation of pot, saying those policies will increase taxes to government, remove illicit profits that lead to gang violence, and eliminate costly legal proceedings.

Harper disagrees.

"Look, I know the drug trade is a frustration. I know it fuels a lot of criminal activity, he said.

"But I think people, anybody is fooling themselves if they think that somehow the drug trade would become a nice business if it were legalized."

Despite the seemingly growing chorus of voices calling for an end to pot prohibition, the government is moving ahead with even tougher legislation to increase penalties for those who traffic drugs.

"This government doesn't favour the legalization of drugs," said the prime minister.

"Drugs are not bad because they're illegal. They're illegal because they are bad. They are corrosive to society. They're part of worldwide criminal and sometimes even terrorism networks and they do terrible things to people."