Mr. Speaker, I was pleased to hear in the minister's speech on Bill C-45 that she noted that criminal prohibition is not working and is indeed failing. She also noted that the majority of Canadians support the end of criminal prohibition and punishment. Indeed, going back to the Liberal platform of 2015, it noted that, “arresting and prosecuting these offences is expensive for our criminal justice system. It traps too many Canadians in the criminal justice system for minor, non-violent offenses.”
The Liberals have repeatedly said that they want to legalize, strictly regulate, and restrict access to keep cannabis out of the hands of kids and the proceeds out of the hands of criminals. I accept that. I do not think the minister will find any argument in this House against that.
In the minister's preamble, she seems to have made a very strong case for decriminalization. She has acknowledged the harms criminal prohibition and punishment do to our society, particularly to youth and racialized Canadians.
The government has now been in power for almost 20 months. Many regimes around the world have instituted decriminalization quite well. I still have not heard a good argument from the Liberal government as to why it will not institute this as a good interim measure on the road to legalization.