We don't have an actual estimate of costs, but what I can indicate to the committee is the magnitude of the charges and offences before the criminal justice system today. You may know that the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics releases an annual report on police-reported crimes. In the July Juristat, which reflects the 2016 data, they reported that there were just over 95,400 offences reported to police under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Of these, 58% were related to cannabis. If you drill down further, cannabis possession was the number one charged offence. In 2016, 76% of the charges, or 17,733 charges, were for possession of cannabis. How does that translate to the criminal justice system? Well, the committee may know that the Supreme Court of Canada pronounced on the issue of delays in the criminal justice system in July 2016. The number of cases being processed has a huge impact on the system.
Presumably if and when Bill C-45 is enacted and implemented, one would expect to see fewer charges being laid for simple possession. To the extent that there are charges or there is an offence being committed, police would have new authority under Bill C-45 to deal with ticketing for smaller amounts slightly over the 30-gram possession, so between 30 and 50, as an example. Beyond that, the regular penalties would apply. So Bill C-45 would definitely have an impact in diverting many charges from the system officially. To the extent that some stay in, it would provide new tools to police and the crown to deal with them in a more efficient and effective way, thereby, we would expect, reducing some of the costs to the system overall.