Grit MP's push to eliminate criminal penalties for simple possession,consumption of illicit drugs

Liberal MP's are pushing the government to eliminate criminal penalties for simple possession and consumption of all illicit drugs.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has so far drawn the line at pot legalization, but is being pressured to go much further in a resolution to be considered at the federal party's national policy convention in April in Halifax.

It is one of 39 resolutions that the party has opened up for online discussion.

Others call for the decriminalization of prostitution, a minimum guaranteed income, expanding universal health care to include prescription drug coverage and building a fixed-link bridge from the mainland to Newfoundland and Labrador.

On illegal drugs, the caucus resolution urges the government to adopt the model instituted in 2001 in Portugal.

Treatment and harm reduction services were expanded there and criminal penalties were eliminated for low-level possession and consumption of all illicit drugs.

The resolution says since Portugal adopted the new approach, the number of deaths from drug overdoses has dropped significantly, and the number of people arrested and sent to criminal courts has fallen by 60 per cent.

Online discussion of the resolutions will run until February 14th.