Election must face pot topic

Ross Rebagliati says he's been waiting 17 years for marijuana to go mainstream, and he's convinced the issue is so hot that politicians will be forced to address legalization in the upcoming federal election.

The Olympic gold medallist, who has since started his own medical pot brand, says the pro-pot movement is only growing stronger, but admits hurdles remain.

He was reflecting a day after cannabis' biggest celebration, 4/20, that it's time for advocates like him to persuade average Canadians that cannabis is a healthy alternative to pharmaceuticals, alcohol and tobacco.

He believes the wide mix of people — including families and people wearing suits — who attended 4/20 events in places like Toronto and Vancouver shows a broader demographic accepts pot.

He says his company, which hasn't actually received licences to sell weed yet, has a mission to advocate and educate and will continue to do so leading up to the October vote.

Rebagliati was stripped of his gold medal for snowboarding after he tested positive for marijuana at the 1998 Winter Olympics, but the decision was ultimately overturned.


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