Madam Speaker, it is with great disgust and sadness that I rise today to speak again to this bad bill that will have a major impact on the lives of our children, adolescents, and parents. If by some misfortune this bill is passed and the government's goal of legalizing marijuana on July 1, 2018, is achieved, this will have an adverse and terrifying effect on Canadian families.
Legalizing marijuana normalizes it and that is not the message we want to send to our young people. From now on, under the Liberal government, it will be legal to smoke pot, a gateway drug for all other drugs. No one knows anyone who just one day decides to start using cocaine or other hard drugs. It always starts with a little joint and ends with hard drugs. This Liberal government is practically giving unholy permission to use drugs for the first time. After that, the procession of family tragedies that this will generate, the procession of lives destroyed, and the procession of incredibly destructive problems that Canadians will face, like the people of Colorado and Washington have for far too many years, will be on the Liberal government.
In Canada, the Liberal government's initiative did not meet with the approval of the police, municipalities, or the provinces. Let us first talk about the police. They are telling us in all honesty that in the unfortunate event that this bill goes ahead, there will be a host of problems on our roads, in society, and with the preventative measures that we will need. It is impossible to assemble and appropriately equip every police force from coast to coast to coast in order for them to respond directly to the new challenges that this bad Liberal legislation will give rise to. The head of the RCMP recently said that it would be naive to believe that the new Liberal legislation will help eliminate organized crime. The head of the RCMP said that.
Those people who know the business, those people who have to deal day after day with the reality of the consumption of marijuana and other drugs, will tell them clearly that if they think criminal people will put that aside and kill their criminal activities, they are being naive. This is totally unacceptable. Those who know the business say do not go there.
It is the same for the provinces. Whether we are talking about British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Saskatchewan, Quebec, or any other province, not one minister of health, not one minister of justice, not one minister of housing, not one provincial premier cheered for the Liberal government's new approach. On the contrary, our provinces are grappling with the implications for their jurisdictions. The provinces will also be saddled with millions of dollars of spending on health, social services, security, training, and equipment. All of this thanks to the Liberals in Ottawa. The provinces could really have done without this.
This is being rushed through. Municipalities are being affected too. They have to adjust their bylaws to accommodate the Liberal government's ridiculous plan to allow every Canadian household to grow four pot plants up to three feet high. Will that be great for Canada or what? As everyone here knows, a house where pot is being grown is not two times or four times or 10 times more likely to catch fire, but 24 times more likely to catch fire. That is a fact. People are going to have to deal with that situation. How are multi-unit building owners supposed to deal with that? How can they check on things? How can they be sure everything is safe? They cannot retroactively prohibit people from doing it because there is already a lease in place.
How is this going to work in each of the provinces? Every province has its own jurisdiction. Every province will do things its own way. Every municipality will have to pass bylaws, and that opens up a whole can of worms. What is the government doing about that? The federal government says this is all up to the provinces and it will not interfere. The Liberal government is the one causing these problems.
The current Liberal government, which is proposing to normalize marijuana by legalizing it, is creating a whole host of problems and washing its hands of them because they do not fall under its jurisdiction, but that of the police, municipalities, and provinces.
Even worse, the government, because of an obsession unbecoming of any elected representative of any stripe, is pushing for the bill's passage and implementation by July 1.
I will never understand how the government decided, without laughing at people, that the launch date for legalization would be Canada Day. There are 365 days in a year, and it chose Canada Day to launch its bad policy. It is totally unacceptable, and un-Canadian to do that.
I will be proud to sing O Canada, but be assured, I will never sing O cannabis on July 1. We are laughing, but it is not a joke because here, in the House of Commons, we have seen so many great Canada Days. On the other hand, we have also seen so many stupid and obvious demonstrations by those who smoke marijuana in front of Parliament. We will see people there, smoking marijuana. That is a real shame. It will not be a great Canada Day in 2018, thanks to the Liberals.
Let us remember the example: unfortunately, two U.S. states, Colorado and Washington, decided to legalize marijuana. What has happened after some years of legalization?
In Colorado, three times as many people have been hospitalized for marijuana related problems since it was legalized. The Liberals tell us that the problem will be solved. On the contrary, it will make it worse. There has been a 108% and 68% increase in overdoses in Colorado and the State of Washington respectively. Will that solve the problems? On the contrary, it will generate twice as many problems and give rise to new ones.
The number of traffic accidents has doubled in the State of Washington and tripled in Colorado. The Liberals are saying, with a straight face, that, on the contrary, it will resolve problems, because we are currently unable to manage them. They are going to legalize marijuana and solve the problems.
It is quite the opposite. There will be twice as many problems in certain situations and we will make things worse. Is it not a fact that, after California, Colorado has the largest illegal production of marijuana?
Those people say, with that, we will kill, we will attack, we will be aggressive with the criminals. That is not true. The criminals are laughing today. They are saying: “Oh, that's great, the dirty job of introducing people to marijuana for the first time will be done under the Liberals. That's fantastic. The government will do the dirty job, and after that we'll enjoy it because those kids will then be able to use other harder drugs”. That is a Liberal reality. That is why we will never accept this kind of bill.
We need to remember that normalizing the legalization of marijuana has an unfortunate effect on children. I will quote Ms. Seychelle Harding, director of communications for the Portage group's addiction rehabilitation centres, who said, “It is clear that just saying it, writing it, talking about it sends a message to young people that it is okay.” That is the reality of the Liberal government. It sends a message saying it is okay when, in fact, nothing good will come of this.
Also, beginning July 1, if the bill unfortunately passes, 12-year-old children will be allowed to have five grams of pot in their pockets. I was very surprised to hear that five grams can be 10 to 15 joints. That is the reality.
Come June, young boys and girls, 12-year-old sixth graders, will walk around the school yard with 15 joints in their pockets thinking it is okay. They will come home and say everything is okay because the Prime Minister of Canada told them they could. Is this the type of country we want to build for our children? Not at all.
The same goes for the four pot plants which the Liberal government will authorize in every household. This represents 600 grams of pot per house, and yet, we are told this is meant to protect children. The opposite is true. Children will have direct access to 600 grams of pot. For these reasons and many others, we must reject this bill.