Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for reiterating why we are introducing this legislation. We are committed to legalizing, strictly regulating, and restricting access to cannabis. The reason, as the member clearly articulated, is to keep it out of the hands of children and the proceeds out of the hands of criminals. By simply decriminalizing right now, we would not be able to achieve those objectives. That is why we are working very diligently, benefiting from the substantive input we received from the task force and Canadians right across the country, to ensure that we put in place, working with the provinces, territories, and municipalities, this complex regime for the legalization and strict regulation of cannabis. That is what we are focused on. We are very hopeful that this legislation will move through the parliamentary process and that we will have a legal regime in this country to achieve the objectives I stated in my remarks: keeping cannabis out of the hands of kids; keeping the proceeds out of the hands of criminals; and ensuring that for minor possession offences, we are not criminalizing young people and adults.
In the House of Commons on May 30th, 2017. See this statement in context.