Mr. Gordon Towers (Red Deer):
Mr. Speaker, reports from the RCMP estimate that Canadians consumed $9.4 billion worth of illicit drugs, mainly cannabis, heroin, and cocaine, in 1982. The RCMP states that these figures are probably low. If the indicated figures are nearly factual, illegal drugs would account for about 5 per cent of all consumer spending in Canada, or nearly 3 per cent of the Gross National Product for that year. The RCMP have indications that this percentage is rising.
What must be the horrendous cost in human suffering and damage to our society? How is the economy to sustain strains such as these? The continued growth in drug production, and the massive profits which illegal drug traffic generates, give a relative growth and assistance to organized crime to flourish in our country.
In my opinion, Mr. Speaker, we must continue to make every possible effort to curb and curtail this traffic, not only by enforcement of strict law, but by education of our youth. We must make it clear to all our citizens, and especially our youth, the damage which can befall their bodies, their systems, and the damage which the residue of these substances in their systems can cause to their progeny.