October 17, 1968

MESSAGE FROM THE SENATE

IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

I have the honour to inform the house that a message has been received from the Senate informing this house that the Senate have passed the following bills to which the concurrence of this house is desired:

Bill No. S-12, an act respecting the Bona-venture and Gaspe Telephone Company Limited. Bill No. S-13, an act respecting the Excelsior Life Insurance Company.

Topic:   MESSAGE FROM THE SENATE
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STATEMENT ON ACTION TO CONTROL INCREASED NARCOTICS TRAFFIC

LIB

John Carr Munro (Minister of Amateur Sport; Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Hon. John C. Munro (Minister of National Health and Welfare):

Mr. Speaker, as requested about two weeks ago I should like to make a statement with reference to drug abuses.

The programs being pursued by the Department of National Health and Welfare to deal with the problem of the use of hallucinogenic drugs by young people fall within two broad categories, educational programs and control programs. While the ideal forum for programs designed to inform young people as to the dangers inherent in the use of various hallucinogenic drugs is the schools, the availability of this forum to us is, of course, strictly limited by the fact of education being a matter within provincial jurisdiction. What we can do and are doing in this regard is making informational materials available for use by schools as well as by community organizations.

The department has purchased a number of copies of a movie, produced in the United States, called LSD: Insight or Insanity which it is making available to schools and other interested groups. As well, we have brought this film to the attention of the provincial departments of health and a number of these have ordered copies which they are also

making available within their respective provinces. A film called Marijuana has also been obtained, and additional prints are on order. As soon as these are received they will be made available to schools and community groups as well.

A number of publications dealing with LSD and marijuana have been produced by the department in recent months and a major pamphlet, designed for mass distribution, is in its final stages of production. This pamphlet will be provided to the provincial departments of health. The distribution of the pamphlet within the provinces will be in the hands of the respective provincial health departments and departments of education.

It is our intention to expand this informational program in every was possible. We believe the most effective control is an informed public. As well as control by way of education, however, the department is continually reassessing and updating its legislative controls as new hallucinogenic drugs come into use among young people. By order in council P.C. 1968-1736, schedule H of the Food and Drugs Act was amended last month by the addition of DET, DMT and STP. This amendment prohibits the sale of these substances, as well as LSD which was added to this schedule some time ago. Item 29 in the list of bills enumerated by the government house leader on September 12, "A bill to amend the Food and Drugs Act and the Narcotic Control Act and to make a consequential amendment to the Criminal Code", the omnibus health bill, is designed to further increase our capacity to control the use of hallucinogenic drugs by making possession of these drugs an offence.

The department is involved in chemical research in the field of hallucinogens through studies being conducted in its food and drug directorate. It is involved in support of sociological research being conducted in British Columbia under the department's health grants program, and has provided assistance in pharmacological research being undertaken in Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia. The subject of drug abuse among young people will be on the agenda of the federal-provincial health ministers' conference to be held early in November, and it is hoped that further

October 17, 1968

Control of Increased Narcotics Traffic proposals of both an informational and a control nature will come out of that meeting.

Because drug abuse is a problem which involves may different aspects and functions of the Department of National Health and Welfare, an intradepartmental committee has been established involving representatives of each of the branches of the department having a role to play in dealing with the problem. As well, we are in the process of establishing a special secretariat which will work with this intradepartmental committee in coordinating all our efforts in this area and developing plans for their expansion.

[DOT] (2:40 p.m.)

Topic:   STATEMENT ON ACTION TO CONTROL INCREASED NARCOTICS TRAFFIC
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PC

Philip Bernard Rynard

Progressive Conservative

Mr. P. B. Rynard (Simcoe North):

Mr. Speaker the fact that the minister has made a statement is indeed most welcome. The contents of the statement, however, must be subject to careful scrutiny. Back in August the minister, when speaking in Regina, discussed the possibility of taking marijuana out of the category of narcotics and placing it in the category of restricted drugs, which would automatically have the effect of reducing penalties. He was quoted as follows by the Canadian Press:

The teenager who tries pot at a Saturday night party because someone has some and passes it around and everyone else tries it, may be very foolish but he isn't a criminal, at least not in the sense that I think of criminals.

He was also quoted as saying:

Nor does it seem to me that giving criminal records to several thousand curious kids each year serves any worth-while purpose.

The minister noted a huge increase in the use of marijuana as an argument in favour of a step in the direction of permissiveness. Others may view it in an opposite light. I am prepared to concede the validity of the minister's argument that curious kids, as he describes them, should not be turned into criminals on account of that curiosity; and whether the answer lies in lessening the penalties for possession is certainly worth considering.

The major offender in the increase in the use of marijuana is, of course, the distributor; and in relation to the distributor, the individual who deliberately sets out for profit to "hook" young people on the use of dangerous drugs, there should be no lessening whatsoever of penalties; they should in fact be tightened up.

We have been witnessing in recent months a tremendous increase in the use of marijuana

resulting from a tremendous increase in distribution on an organized basis, through the use of teenagers as distributors. Some of these were marijuana users who, having been introduced to this drug, have been persuaded to introduced it to others. I am sure that not even the minister will assert that it is a beneficial thing for our society to condone the widespread use of marijuana or other drugs, nor to encourage the spread of such drugs. Yet that is what is going on. Young people are being introduced in a systematic way to these drugs. They are being used to "hook" others, and then in many cases they are induced to try for a bigger kick with a bigger drug, such as heroin and others.

The only ones to benefit from this procedure are the behind the scenes peddlers working on behalf of the international crime syndicates for whom the illegal distribution of drugs brings in many millions of dollars annually, and who in pursuit of financial returns do not hesitate to destroy a whole generation of young people.

I am sure the minister must know something of the ramifications of this subject. He must know that he is playing with a force in some cases more explosive than dynamite. He must know that the accumulated experience of the ages in every country has been that these drugs, once released, cannot be controlled, and that each user is automatically a proselytizer of others. He must know that the distribution is carefully and systematically organized to create as many users as possible and to introduce them to progressively habit forming drugs. He must know that behind the teenage pusher of a few sticks of marijuana is the syndicate operator and organizer.

In August the minister talked about Saturday night parties where someone had marijuana and passed it around and everyone tried it. Does he think this is socially constructive or useful? Is this what he is trying to condone or perpetuate? We have had any number of teenagers picked up for both using and peddling marijuana. We have had teenagers picked up in increasing numbers for using other far more serious drugs. We have had an increasing number in our criminal courts destroyed mentally and physically by drug addiction at below 21 years of age. For these there must be pity and indeed some sympathy and understanding. But what of those responsible for making these drugs available to the teenagers? What of those who for gain deliberately set out to destroy young minds? Surely we are not going to make life

Oclober 17, 1968 COMMONS

easier for them. Surely the government is going to do more to deal with this situation than simply making it easier to have access to marijuana.

I assume the minister must toe aware that the use of marijuana is the classical entry into the addiction category. Not all those who use marijuana end up using destructive narcotics, but a great number using narcotics such as heroin began with marijuana. Is it a chance worth taking? It is the distributors and syndicate agents whom the government must bring to book and upon whom very heavy penalties indeed must be inflicted if we are to accept our responsibility to the young people of this nation.

A report of the United States treasury department dealing with the effect of marijuana upon the mind says:

Its continued use produces pronounced mental deterioration in many cases. Its more immediate effect apparently is to remove the normal inhibitions of the individual and release any anti-social tendencies which may be present.

Few of us are without such tendencies in one form or another. It is not enough to lighten the penalties imposed on marijuana users. If the penalties are to be lightened, then distribution must be rigorously curtailed. To lighten the penalties without taking steps to halt distribution can benefit only the international drug peddlers. Distribution can only be halted by exacting severe penalties on those who make marijuana available and who engage or hire others to distribute it.

We must face the fact that marijuana is a drug the use of which divorces the mind from reality and produces personality changes as well as a tolerance and willingness for further narcotic experimentation and sometimes addiction. To expose young people to its effects while at the same time neglecting to put a stop to the operations of those who purvey marijuana for the purpose of creating a market for this and for more destructive drugs would be an indefensible failure in carrying out our responsibility.

To control the use of marijuana we need, as the minister has stated, educational and control programs. There are four interrelated approaches to the problems created by the use of marijuana. They are research, education, treatment of the addict and legislation. Legislation or education of themselves do not constitute effective answers. There must also be treatment of the chronic user. But we need far more than this. We need a medical research committee which will come up with

DEBATES 1465

Control of Incresead, Narcotics Traffic answers concerning the effect of marijuana on the individual. The evidence we have to date points to a conflict in the assessment of the effect of this drug on the personality.

The law courts desperately need scientific guidance in the handling of the victims of marijuana, and this is a municipal, provincial and federal problem. It is not acceptable to the Canadian people for the federal government to slough off even part of the problem by saying it is a provincial matter. The fact remains that no government agency has yet set up a medical research committee to investigate the matter and report on it.

The findings of such a medical research committee should then be brought before a meeting of the provincial-federal authorities for discussion, evaluation and joint action at all levels. Then and only then will we be attacking this serious and distressing problem with all the forces at our command.

Topic:   STATEMENT ON ACTION TO CONTROL INCREASED NARCOTICS TRAFFIC
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IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

Order, please. Before continuing this discussion I think it is my duty to remind hon. members again, more particularly with regard to a statement made yesterday and to the comments made today, that they should not disregard entirely the provisions of standing order 15 (2a) to the effect that statements made by ministers should be limited to certain facts which it is necessary to make known to the house, and that spokesmen for each of the parties in opposition to the government may comment on them briefly. I have said before and I will say again that brevity is a relative standard. It may be that my standards are slightly old fashioned.

Topic:   STATEMENT ON ACTION TO CONTROL INCREASED NARCOTICS TRAFFIC
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NDP

Frank Howard

New Democratic Party

Mr. Frank Howard (Skeena):

Mr. Speaker, I will certainly try my best to comply with your standards. I listened with a great deal of interest to the statement of the minister and to the comments of the hon. member for Simcoe East, because this is an extremely important subject confronting not only people in the younger generation but society in its entirety. When we look at the fact that from January 1, 1967 to October 31, 1967, the number of arrests for possession of marijuana was in the neighbourhood of 1,300, up 300 per cent over the year before, we can realize the enormity of the problem.

[DOT] (2:50 p.m.)

This statement relates only to the so-called hallucinogenic substances, but I think there is a parallel here in terms of the attitude we have adopted to the hard line narcotic drugs

14g6 COMMONS

Control of Increased Narcotics Traffic which are dealt with under the Narcotics Control Act. The experience not only in Canada but in the United States with regard to narcotics may be a guide as to what our attitude should be in relation to the so-called hallucinogenic substances.

The procedure we have followed in dealing with narcotics control in Canada does not carry with it any real proof that this procedure has been effective in either controlling the trafficking in narcotics or in reducing the number of narcotics addicts. Our approach has been a sustained hard line approach involving harsher and harsher sentences and even the use of the habitual criminal section. However, the use of the habitual criminal section of the code has not had the effect it was hoped it would have.

Even the limited recognition we give medical attention in the field of narcotic drugs must follow the arrest, conviction and penalty process. It comes as an aftermath of the more severe and harsher penalty. Probably there will always be those in our society who will look for this false paradise, who will use marijuana, amphetamines, lysergic acid, dried banana peels, nutmeg and so on. The list is interminable. In fact some people are now inhaling poisonous insecticides like Raid which people use to kill off mosquitoes. They fill a room with this spray and then inhale it. There is probably no limit to the substances people will use. In attempting to deal with the use of such substances by going to stiffer and stiffer enforcement with harsher penalties, more illegalities, more restrictions, we will find we have adopted a futile course.

As past experience has shown, such a course could be ludicrous in its application. We need only look at the types of substances the minister listed in the answer he gave yesterday when he referred to nail polish, gasoline and such substances, to realize the number of substances with which we are dealing.

I do not believe, however, we can abandon that control system. I think it is necessary. In addition, however, we have to embark on a program of research and public education. The minister's statement was much too narrow, because he said the form of education must be through the schools to our younger people. In my opinion this question of education is a much broader one. We must separate myth from fact. In so far, as marijuana is concerned there is a great deal of myth about it. We have to get to the stage some day of looking at marijuana as probably one of those

[Mr. Howard (Skeena).l

DEBATES October 17, 1968

substances which are less harmful than alcohol in so far as its deleterious effect upon the individual and upon society is concerned.

There is probably no single answer to this problem, Mr. Speaker, because we are dealing with individuals, and I feel we are dealing with individuals who have an illness. I believe the great increase in the use of hal-lucinogenics should point out to us that the illness is not confined to the individual but is an illness of society and will have to be coped with in that way. In that context the minister's statement was barren. There was no realization of the fact that it is a social illness with which we are dealing. His statement was barren of any reference to the necessity of freeing the medical profession, for the sake of argument, from any impingement upon the so-called doctor-patient relationship, upon which the profession looks with some delight. We should free ourselves from this relationship and permit the medical profession to search for treatments and for opportunities which will in turn provide answers and cures.

We have also, Mr. Speaker, to embark upon the total research and education fields. I submit that in our so-called "live it up" society where everything is done to suit the pleasures of the individual, something that seems paramount today, a few pamphlets and films referred to by the minister will not provide what is required.

Topic:   STATEMENT ON ACTION TO CONTROL INCREASED NARCOTICS TRAFFIC
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RA

André-Gilles Fortin

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. Andre Foriin (Lofbiniere):

Mr. Speaker, in accordance with the wish you expressed earlier, I should like to make some very brief remarks so as not to prolong the debate.

First, I should like to say that the statement just made by the hon. Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Munro) can but please us, because the minister tackles a major problem which tomorrow will overcome us if we do not assume our responsibilities since we are already far behind in this field. Secondly, I should like to say that the minister's statement cannot solve the problem.

Mr. Speaker, what I regret in the minister's statement, is the fact that he says the provinces are responsible for the problem, because if you ask the provincial authorities to deal with it, they will tell you that it comes under federal jurisdiction.

It seems that the problem of the distribution of hallucinogens is going to be dealt with in exactly the same way as the problem of alcoholism in Canada these last 25 years. Mr. Speaker, there are over 100,000 alcoholics

October 17, 1968

in Quebec alone, and when you bring up the problem, people point a finger at you. When you put the problem to the provincial government, they say: That falls within the jurisdiction of Ottawa. On the other hand, when Ottawa is asked to do something about it, they say: that falls within the Quebec jurisdiction. In the meantime, people stay convinced that alcoholism is a vice instead of the disease it is proved to be.

I do not wish to hold up the debate any further, but I should like to tell the minister that although his statement pleases us to some extent, it cannot solve the problem. Indeed, we would be very happy if he were to submit to the standing committee on health and welfare legislation that could be studied in depth, so that we could really come to grips with the problem of the distribution of hallucinogens. It seems to me we should delve deeply into our methods, our ideas, our policy and our philosophy, in the field of research as well as in the fields of information, education, legislation and cure, since it is more of an illness than a vice.

I would not like attacks to be made against the young under the pretext that they use hallucinatory drugs. I think they should be directed instead against the adults who use those young people to attain their own ends.

I therefore ask the minister to take immediately effective measures to protect our young generation against certain adults who think they are the only ones who have discovered America, who exploit the possibilities of our children and who will bring about tomorrow the degradation of our children, if we do not assume our responsibilities.

Once again, Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the minister to introduce specific measures to enable us to assume our responsibilities in that field. We should stop passing the buck from one government to another. We should work hand in hand to treat those people as they deserve.

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EXTERNAL AFFAIRS

LIB

Mitchell William Sharp (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Hon. Mitchell Sharp (Secretary of State for External Affairs):

Mr. Speaker, on October 15 the Leader of the Opposition asked whether I would make a statement on exchanges of a political nature with Warsaw pact countries.

External Affairs

When the invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Soviet union, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria and East Germany took place, Canada condemned it unequivocally. Our condemnation, if it was not to be simply a matter of words, clearly required concrete expression as well. Since much of the substance of our relations with the invading countries has been in exchanges of visits and information under official auspices in various technical and scientific fields, it was in this area that our position could be most clearly demonstrated.

[DOT] (3:00 p.m.)

In the case of departments and agencies of the government, this policy has been applied directly. In the case of individuals and private organizations we have naturally left the decisions to them to make, while giving advice on request.

The government decided first that planned exchanges having political content, that is those at a ministerial level, should not take place for the time being. Among these, for example, was the attendance of a Soviet delegation at the convention of the Canadian Institute of Forestry in St. John's, Newfoundland. This delegation was to have been headed by a minister of the so called Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic, a government which I may say is the product of an earlier Soviet military occupation, the legality of which Canada has never recognized. Our decision in this case was taken in consultation with the government of Newfoundland and the interested private companies. Certain other visits, proposed or contemplated, which would have involved other Soviet ministers have also been set aside for the time being.

The government decided, second, that under the circumstances created by the invasion of Czechoslovakia it would be inopportune to embark on new exchange projects for the present, irrespective of their political content. Certain existing and ongoing exchanges of a purely technical, cultural or academic nature, some of which are of long standing and of considerable value to Canada, are nevertheless continuing. Most of these are, of course, carried out under private auspices. Among them I might mention the established exchanges of students between certain Canadian and Soviet universities.

A number of private Canadian firms and organizations which had planned shorter term visits or exchanges have postponed or cancelled them on their own initiative, since they, like other Canadians, were shocked by

1468 COMMONS

Changes in Standing Committees Personnel the invasion of Czechoslovakia. In some cases these organizations have sought the advice of the government and have taken their decisions in the light of government policy as it was explained to them. As I have indicated, however, where private organizations or individuals have decided that for various reasons they wish to continue existing arrangements, it is not the government's policy to put obstacles in their way.

In adopting the policy I have described we have borne in mind that the exchanges which have grown up and flourished in recent years between Canada and the communist countries can be of considerable intrinsic value to Canada commercially, technologically, culturally and in other ways.

We have made it clear to the U.S.S.R. and its allies that our relations have been damaged by their action, and that the continued presence of their occupying forces in Czechoslovakia is an obstacle to their restoration. In doing so I wish to make clear we remain convinced that genuine and peaceful co-operation between east and west is in fact possible without the abandonment of principles on either side, but will not be possible as long as one side believes it can do violence to the principles of the other. Human survival itself may depend on the recognition of that fact.

Topic:   STATEMENT ON ACTION TO CONTROL INCREASED NARCOTICS TRAFFIC
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   PRIVATE AND OFFICIAL EXCHANGES WITH WARSAW PACT COUNTRIES
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PC

Robert Lorne Stanfield (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Robert L. Stanfield (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, I shall not take the time of the house this afternoon to make any particular comment about the minister's statement. I only wish to say that I do not think the measures he is discussing will take the matter very far.

Topic:   STATEMENT ON ACTION TO CONTROL INCREASED NARCOTICS TRAFFIC
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   PRIVATE AND OFFICIAL EXCHANGES WITH WARSAW PACT COUNTRIES
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NDP

Francis Andrew Brewin

New Democratic Party

Mr. Andrew Brewin (Greenwood):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to make a brief comment about the minister's statement. We, like other members of the house, were deeply shocked by the military intervention of the Soviet forces in the internal affairs of Czechoslovakia. It is perfectly obvious that that move must damage international relations. Nevertheless we suggest that there should be no overreacting to this event. One of the reasons for this occurrence may have been the internal situation and fear within the U.S.S.R. which, we believe, is not as monolithic as it looks from the outside. We hope this occasion will not be used in any way to cut down or cut off the contacts between this country and other countries and those countries behind the so called iron curtain.

DEBATES October 17. 1968

Topic:   STATEMENT ON ACTION TO CONTROL INCREASED NARCOTICS TRAFFIC
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   PRIVATE AND OFFICIAL EXCHANGES WITH WARSAW PACT COUNTRIES
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COMMITTEES OF THE HOUSE

CHANGES IN PERSONNEL OF STANDING COMMITTEES

LIB

Donald Stovel Macdonald (President of the Privy Council; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Hon. Donald S. Macdonald (President of the Privy Council) moved:

That the name of Mr. Lind be substituted for the name of Mr. Borrie on the standing committee on agriculture.

That the name of Mr. Stafford be substituted for the name of Mr. Hymmen on the standing committee on broadcasting, films and assistance to the arts.

Topic:   COMMITTEES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   CHANGES IN PERSONNEL OF STANDING COMMITTEES
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LIB

James (Jim) Gordon Lind

Liberal

Mr. Lind:

Mr. Speaker-

Topic:   COMMITTEES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   CHANGES IN PERSONNEL OF STANDING COMMITTEES
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IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

Order, please. Will the hon. member kindly allow me to put the motion.

Is it the pleasure of the house to adopt the said motion?

Topic:   COMMITTEES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   CHANGES IN PERSONNEL OF STANDING COMMITTEES
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Motion agreed to.


LIB

James (Jim) Gordon Lind

Liberal

Mr. J. G. Lind (Middlesex):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to have had the privilege of speaking before the motion was adopted by the house, because I have a grievance. Originally I was placed on the committee on agriculture. I received notice to attend the agriculture committee meeting at 9.30 yesterday morning. When I arrived at the committee meeting I was told I was no longer a member of the committee.

Topic:   COMMITTEES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   CHANGES IN PERSONNEL OF STANDING COMMITTEES
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October 17, 1968