TORONTO - Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau rolled up some misleading claims in defence of his party’s legalization of cannabis at the first French-language debate of the federal election campaign.

Four party leaders -- Trudeau, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet -- all tried to make their marks with voters on Wednesday night.

While debating the legalization of marijuana, Trudeau claimed “organized crime makes $6 billion a year on the black market.”

“We understand that by legalizing it, there is a process when there is no legal market yet, we started to develop a legal market we saw in Colorado and elsewhere and organized crime is being replaced and under age people find it more difficult to buy marijuana,” he continued.

But a government report contradicts Trudeau’s figure, instead showing organized crime makes $7 billion a year from illegal weed.

The legal cannabis industry has grown a whopping 185 per cent, while the black market has only shrunk by 21 per cent, according to GDP data from Statistics Canada. The agency also says 38 per cent of Canadian cannabis users admit to buying weed illegally.

Scheer accused Trudeau of planning to legalize hard drugs like cocaine and heroin.

Trudeau confirmed that was not happening, with the Greens being the only party in favour of such a move.

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