Canada decriminalizes opioids and other drugs in British Columbia

“The organization supplying the drugs is an illegal criminal organization,” Ms McBain said. “Every time a person has to interact in this...

“The organization supplying the drugs is an illegal criminal organization,” Ms McBain said. “Every time a person has to interact in this dangerous environment, they take a chance.”

Not everyone in Canada celebrated the decision. Chuck Doucette, the president of the Canadian Drug Prevention Network, based in Delta, British Columbia, called the government’s announcement a “cop”. He said people should get help for the “problems that led them to use drugs in the first place” and “the help they need to get clean and sober”.

“I think facilitating drug use for them is a bit like palliative care,” said Doucette, who spent 35 years working for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police before retiring, most of it in the drug war. “It’s just dooming them to a slow death from drugs, whereas if you get them off drugs, give them a life back, they can enjoy life.”

The City of Vancouver had also previously applied for an exemption, which is still under review with Health Canada, in March 2021. If approved, the city’s exemption would apply to all amphetamines. Dr. Bennett, the federal minister, said British Columbia’s successful bid could serve as an example for other municipalities considering decriminalizing drugs for personal possession, including Toronto, which has formally applied. Montreal and Edmonton are considering it.

Approval of any additional requests will depend on the level of drug overdose in the region and other factors, such as whether decriminalization will divert people from the criminal justice system and “increase” health services, a said Dr. Bennett, the federal mental health official. and Minister of Drug Abuse.

British Columbia has one of the highest per capita death rates in North America, with 42.8 deaths per 100,000 people in 2021, according to provincial data.

In the United States, the 10 states with the highest level of drug overdose have rates ranging from 39.1 deaths per 100,000 in Connecticut to 81.4 deaths per 100,000 in West Virginia, according to the latest data from mortality, for 2020, by the Centers for Disease Control.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Canada decriminalizes opioids and other drugs in British Columbia
Canada decriminalizes opioids and other drugs in British Columbia
Newsrust - US Top News
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