Quite so. I do not agree with the remarks of the hon. member for Lisgar (Mr. Brown); so far as I know the tests are the opposite of what he indicated. A person is first stimulated; then when the depression begins it always takes effect upon those centres which are the latest developed; that is, speech is one of the latest. First the speech is stimulated; then the speech is one of the first faculties to become depressed.
There is one point that has not been dealt with, and that is a definition of just what "under the influence of a narcotic" means. You can easily detect whether or not a man has been using alcohol, whether it is his first or his hundredth drink, but the question of narcotics is a very dangerous matter. A man may have an ordinary dose of a narcotic and suddenly, without any fault on his part, he may become numb and depressed and unable to exercise his mental faculties. I think it would be a very dangerous thing, under this provision, to rule that imprisonment should be the punishment. It is not the same thing as intoxication; there is an absolutely normal dose of a narcotic which will affect different people in different ways. The same may be said about alcohol, but it is a fact that under certain conditions a moderate dose of a narcotic administered even by a doctor may have a very depressing effect upon the man and may cause an accident. It would be very severe to punish a man for something for which he was not responsible. I think every doctor in this house will agree that a dose of a narcotic may have a peculiar effect upon even an ordinary normal man or patient, and that a normal dose may bring about a very abnormal result. I do not say anything in favour of intoxication but I do think it is rather dangerous to sentence a man to imprisonment when suffering from a condition such as I have mentioned.
Topic: CRIMINAL CODE AMENDMENT