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Trudeau against anti-weed ads

Federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is lashing out at the federal government over a Postmedia report that Health Canada has approached three doctors' groups to sign onto an anti-pot advertising campaign.

Trudeau says this is another example of the Harper government using taxpayer money to run partisan campaigns meant to attack him.

The Postmedia report says Health Canada has approached the Canadian Medical Association, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the College of Family Physicians of Canada.

The report quotes an unnamed source as saying the organizations wouldn't have to pay for the $5 million campaign, but their logos and endorsements would appear in them.

Trudeau says he agrees with Health Canada's message that marijuana use in young Canadians is dangerously high.

But he says the government shouldn't pay for the ads and called on doctors to speak out about it.

"We know that Canadian taxpayers are getting extremely frustrated with the fact this government tends to use public money for ads that do more for its partisan aims than for actual public service," Trudeau said Thursday during a visit to Saskatoon.

"It's a real concern that this government has its priorities in the wrong place."

He said Canadians want a debate based on logic and evidence when it comes to marijuana laws in the country.

Current marijuana laws are failing to protect teens from the dangers of the drug and are fueling criminal enterprises by keeping it illegal, he said.

The Harper government has suggested Trudeau's policy of legalizing the drug means it will be readily available to children and teens.

Trudeau said he is not advocating making pot available for young people but rather opening up discussion on how to make the current laws more effective.

(CKOM, CKRM)

The Canadian Press

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