March 26, 1968 (27th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Lawrence T. Pennell (Solicitor General of Canada)


Mr. Pennell:

Mr. Chairman, I wish to state explicitly that I share the concern that has been voiced by hon. members opposite with regard to the law enforcement aspect of the problem. I would again advise the committee that the deputy commissioner of the R.C.M.P. made a special visit to Washington less than a month ago to confer with the officials of the narcotics bureau in that city. Within the last seven or eight weeks the commissioner also convened a special meeting of the assistant deputy commissioners heading the several divisions across the country and they discussed, among other things, the drug problem.
The R.C.M.P. is in continual touch with all other law enforcement agencies concerned with trafficking in drugs on the North American continent. I say sincerely that I share the view expressed by the hon. member for Simcoe East, who said that we do not yet know enough about the dangers involved in the use of marijuana. I agree that we ought to carry out more research and bring together the experts who have the necessary medical knowledge. I say sincerely that I will take up this matter with my colleague the Minister of National Health and Welfare. I am not of course in a position to say what form the inquiry will take, if my efforts are successful.

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