Mr. Speaker, my colleague from Yorkton—Melville very clearly laid out some of the concerns that still exist in society, and that is why we in the NDP have taken the strong position that on this road to legalization, the government must be very clear and must have the resources to make sure we have that public awareness and that public health approach.
When I was listening to the facts and figures, it seemed to me that the member was building a stronger argument against the status quo, because if there are a high number of youth using it in an unregulated system that is illegal, where we cannot keep track of it and have a public health approach, it seems to be an argument against the status quo, and we need to move beyond that.
I want to reference something for the member. What prevents people from getting the help they need is the stigma attached to using drugs when they are criminalized. I will point out the example of Portugal. Portugal, which decriminalized all drugs in 2001, now has a rate of overdose deaths of three for every one million citizens. That compares to about 44 in the United Kingdom, where drugs are illegal. By removing that stigma, perhaps we can take a more public health approach and encourage people to get the help they need without fear of being criminalized for their actions.