Regulating marijuana is 'the way to protect our young people,' says Charlottetown MP and Liberal justice critic Sean Casey.

Sean Casey

Legalizing marijuana will help take it out of the hands of young people, says Charlottetown MP Sean Casey. (Matt Rainnie/CBC)

Casey has been given the Liberal Party's file on its plans to legalize marijuana. He sent an email in support of the change to thousands of party members and supporters on Friday.

Casey told CBC News one of drivers behind the policy is a 2013 UNICEF report that found Canadian teens have the highest cannabis use among developed countries, with 28 per cent of 15-year-olds admitting use in the last year.

"It's very easy for young people to get their hands on marijuana now," he said.

"Let's go at the source. Let's get it out of the hands of the gangs and organized crime, tax and regulate it, so it's not going to be as easy, so we do have some control over access. Quite clearly what's happening now isn't working and we believe that this will, that this is the way to protect our young people."

Casey believes Canada should follow Colorado and Washington State in legalizing the drug.

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