Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague from Calgary for his speech. He is one who has been in the field as a police officer and has dealt in the past, day after day, with the effects of all kinds of drug use. Certainly, marijuana use back then was the drug of choice and very prevalent in the city in which he lived.
He mentioned part of something with which my question deals. When I look at legislation like Bill C-10, I think what is the upside? What are the positives of the bill that would bring a government, as he already mentioned, to sit down and consider taking us down the road toward legalization, toward a much more liberalized way of dealing with drugs?
We do not have a drug strategy in our country. A couple of years ago a committee was struck, the non-medical use drug committee, to study drug strategy. Not since the 1970s, with the Le Dain Commission, had there been any type of study of the drug strategy. When we come out with Bill C-10, which brings out summary offences and has a fine structure, what is the upside? Does he see any upside in the bill?
Another point I would like him to make reference to is what message is being sent to the children? We heard in another member's speech that in one small community of about 7,000 people, already 780 possession charges have been stayed. Charges have been laid, but the courts have stayed those charges pending the outcome of Bill C-10. Therefore, we have young people running around, many who believe we already have legalized marijuana. Many of them believe we have said that pot is not that harmful, that it will not hurt them, and that is why the government is working toward legalization. I agree with those members who have said that this does not make marijuana legal, but the public believes that it does.
Therefore, could he comment on the upside of this, if there is any, and could he comment on what our messaging to our young people is?