Liam Britten/Metro George Takach speaks in Vancouver on Monday.

Federal Liberal leadership candidate George Takach promises to legalize marijuana if he were to become Prime Minister.

The Toronto technology lawyer, currently without a seat in Parliament, called himself the candidate of “facts, evidence, and enhancing rights.”

“I don’t support cannabis use in any way. Nor do I support tobacco use. But I do live in the real world,” he said during a sparsely attended talk at SFU Harbour Centre Monday morning. “We must stop banging our heads against the wall.”

Takach said marijuana prohibition emboldens criminals and gangs and wastes police resources. He said that the best solution is to legalize the drug, and that legalization is what Canadians want.

“Canadians are way ahead of our government,” Takach said.

Takach called for a free-market approach to marijuana production and sales, but emphasized that authorities would tax sales and monitor sellers for safety, compliance with labeling laws and to ensure they are not selling to minors.

He attacked the government’s record on drug policy as failed, and the NDP’s for being inconsistent.

“If Stephen Harper and his Conservative government have their way, every Canadian would have at least one person in their extended family serving jail time for using marijuana,” he said. “If you’re looking for leadership from Tom Mulcair and the NDP, you will be disappointed. The NDP has a shifting position on marijuana that changes depending on who they are talking to.”

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