Thank you very much, Chair.
Thank you all for coming.
Just as a bit of an aside on international law, yes, you can be banned from the United States for saying you smoke pot, but—and I just looked this up—you can be banned from the United States for admitting to be a member of the Communist Party. That is still the law today, so whatever that says....
Mr. Tousaw, keep in mind that I'm coming from the point of view of a staunch supporter of the legalization of cannabis, but I have to take exception to something you said about those who participate in the illegal market or the black market. Again, I cannot paint all with the same brush—there are some gentle people who are just simply entrepreneurs—but I spent 17 years practising emergency medicine in Winnipeg when it had the dubious distinction of being the murder capital of Canada. I looked after an unconscionable amount of violence including gunshot wounds and stab wounds. A large proportion of that was in fact the black market in drugs and most of that was cannabis, and that was all verified. So I think we have to caution our judgment as to what we call the black market and understand there is a very dark and dangerous element to this, and this is part of what we want to control and undermine.
One of the things you said in your submission was that you did not want a government monopoly. You said that Ontario's plan was very ill advised. However, experience in Colorado and Washington has shown that, when you keep the price low, you can undercut the black market and in fact that's working very well. In Colorado at least 70% of the market is now legitimate, and that may be trending close to 90%. If you had a government program that was not profit-driven, would that not be a more efficient vehicle to sell this in a way that's not profit-driven and therefore can keep the price low and undermine the illegal market?