Madam Speaker, I listened to my colleague's comments very intently. This is an important piece of legislation and I have a couple of thoughts on his presentation.
He presented the example of an individual driving under the influence of marijuana and that we should follow it up with another piece of legislation to ensure that it is looked after. Is that not getting the cart before the horse? Would we not be a lot wiser to bring that in before we bring forward a piece of legislation such as this that sends the message that in society it is okay to smoke marijuana? He is saying that is not what is happening. I would challenge him on that.
I want to ask him, how would he respond to the high school principal I talked to this fall when he said that just the idea of this piece of legislation going through this House has sent the message to the students in his school that it is okay to smoke marijuana?
Most of the citizens who walk the street do not follow the legislation as closely as we do here, but the message is clear to them, and to the students in that school, that it is okay. The courts are not enforcing it and the police are not enforcing it. This piece of legislation would send the message that we are going to go soft in society on this illegal drug.
I know that the bill does not necessarily say that, although it does send a message to our youth that they would get a lesser $50 fine if they were under the age of 18. So, under this piece of legislation, the repercussions to students would be far less than if they were adults. I think there is some justification to the idea that this piece of legislation sends the wrong message to society.
He is saying that the sky is not going to fall and that drug use is not going to increase. I would ask him to explain to me, how would he answer the principal that has seen the drug use in his school double this fall because of the message that is being sent by this legislation?