Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to once again speak on an issue that I and many Canadians are deeply concerned about. I rise to speak against Bill C-45. This bill would legalize marijuana in Canada, a dangerous drug that is nothing less than damaging and addictive. I have been very clear that I am against this piece of legislation. I have taken the time to listen to experts from all backgrounds, and the findings continue to be the same: Marijuana is dangerous and Canada needs to think twice before going through with this bill. The Liberals really do not seem to get it.
Let me remind us all of the facts. According to the Canadian Medical Association, increased use of marijuana before the age of 25 severely impacts brain development. This means that this drug should not be made available to young people. In Colorado, where marijuana is legal, there have been cases of elementary school students consuming brownies containing marijuana and showing up high at school, as a result of how accessible the drug is in their homes. We are now beginning to see that happen in Canada. People have a misconception that marijuana is already legal.
Unfortunately, it gets worse. In Oshawa last month, on two different occasions, marijuana snacks were brought into schools in the form of gummy bears and cookies. The government refuses to think of our children. This is wrong. Unfortunately, the Liberals continue to put their political agenda above the safety of Canadians and are failing to consider the consequences. Worst of all, our police force is underfunded, unequipped, and not properly trained to react to an influx of drugs into our communities.
When it comes to health and safety, Canadians deserve the best. If we look at the example of Colorado again, Colorado is already regretting its decision to legalize marijuana. Just last month, we heard the Colorado governor say that he would not rule out banning marijuana once again. We should not make the same mistake as Colorado.
Many Canadians are deeply worried. The constituents in Markham—Unionville have told me countless times how concerned they are about the consequences of allowing marijuana to flow freely into our communities.
I will remain on the right side of this issue. The legalization of marijuana is a serious matter. I do not understand why the government refuses to look at all the facts. It has an arbitrary deadline in mind and is continuing full steam ahead. The Liberal government's plan to legalize marijuana would make Canada the first developed country in the world to do so. That fact alone should make us pause.
Why are we signing up to be the largest social experiment of the 21st century, when all the experts are telling us to slow down? I would have hoped that instead of politicizing the issue, the Prime Minister would take into consideration the many concerns presented by health experts, first responders, community leaders, and residents. Instead, the Prime Minister has opted to use everything at his disposal to rush Bill C-45 into law.
The evidence is clear. Marijuana contains over 400 chemicals. Many of these are the same harmful chemicals found in tobacco smoke and cause serious harm to youth brain development. There is no doubt about it: Marijuana is not safe. The misguided idea pushed by the Liberals that recreational use of this drug is harmless and should be legalized reinforces a misconception that marijuana is harmless. It would result in the normalization of marijuana use, for which our young people will pay dearly.
Countless medical professionals have testified that the brain continues to develop until the age of 25. According to the Canadian Medical Association, increased use of marijuana before the age of 25 increases one's risk of developing mental disorders such as schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety by up to 30%, compared to those who have not used marijuana under the age of 25.
The government cannot go through with this bill.
I have heard loud and clear from my riding that people are concerned about the negative consequences that legalizing marijuana would have on our community and our youth. They are worried about what it would do to the value of their homes. However, the Liberals just keep going.
This is a piece of legislation that pertains to an issue very close to me. Marijuana is a dangerous drug. With all the pro-marijuana publicity lately, it can be hard for many Canadians to remember that marijuana is indeed damaging and addictive.
Canadian families expect safe and healthy communities in which to raise their children. Elected representatives can and should provide guidance on this drug to reflect the views of all Canadians. Let us all remember that we are talking about the health and safety of Canadians, and they deserve better. Let us not rush through the legislation. We need to do what is right for all Canadians. The provinces, municipalities, and police forces are not ready to implement this legislation.
I have said many times before that I oppose the legislation entirely. I choose to listen to the concerns raised by scientists, doctors, and law enforcement officials. I want to advocate for the voices that are not heard in the legislation and for those who say that the government's plan is being rushed through without proper planning or consideration of the negative consequences of such complicated legislation. The passing of Bill C-45 would lead to negative repercussions at the global level.
The government claims that the legislation will control the drug, but in reality it would allow the drug to get out of control, especially when we look at the issue of home grow. I really just cannot believe it. If marijuana is in the home, youth will have access to it. We have already seen this happen. Why will the government not look at the bill for what it really is, a big mistake? We cannot normalize this drug. We should not legalize it. Our children will pay the price.
I was speaking to the police chief of York region. He is definitely against this. He asked me to ask the member of Parliament for Scarborough Southwest what side he was on for the 40 years he was in law enforcement, compared to now.
There is no money. For York region alone, it will cost $54 million over three years. The previous Liberal provincial government had promised up to 60%, and 40% will be taken by the local residents of York region. Is that fair?