Mr. Speaker, we need to put this in the context of what has happened. I heard one of the Conservatives talking. It was like was one of those speeches that we heard being given in our legislatures, and in the United States in particular, in the run-up to prohibition. The words being used were exactly the same: prohibit the use of alcohol and all of society's evils will be cured. There is the same attitude with regard to drugs.
As for incarcerating our youth, we are seeing in the Conservatives' attempt in the youth justice bill, which is waiting before the justice committee right now to be reviewed, this attitude that more penalties and harsher penalties will cure all of society's evils, contrary to all the evidence.
We know with regard to drug consumption in particular that the vast majority of users of illicit drugs have other emotional, psychiatric and psychological problems. We can look to all sorts of experiences in Europe, where the treatment model is to get the youth at an earlier stage, and which in fact does work to a significant degree.
I am not going to suggest for a second that it is perfect. It is not. We are human beings and the people who provide that treatment are human beings and it does not work in every case, but it is clear especially for youth that if a treatment modality is used, versus an incarceration modality, the treatment modality has a success rate that is four and five times that of the incarceration modality rate.
We have the knowledge. We have the ability, from a social science standpoint, to treat. We just do not have the resources. We are much more prepared to spend millions of dollars on the war on drugs, tens of millions and hundreds of millions, as opposed to spending similar or perhaps greater amounts on a meaningful modality that would work.