British Columbia Sun

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Officials force Ottawa to cease treating addiction as an offence


Key takeaways: 

  • Specialists and policymakers decide the position quo is dying. 
  • Time for a distinct path?
  • The region’s overdose casualty toll persists to increase. 

Overdose casualties struck a fierce new record: 

As British Columbia observes another sad milestone in overdose deaths, force is increasing on the federal government to decriminalize private custody of drugs, including opioids.

The region declared a record number of individuals in B.C. have died so far this year from overdoses — 201 in October sole.

“Simply put, we are failing,” stated B.C.’s chief coroner Lisa Lapointe. She’s been repeating calls from officials in Toronto and MPs from across the nation and party lines to begin treating addiction to narcotics like fentanyl as an acute health problem, instead of a prohibited crime. Source –

B.C., Vancouver and Toronto are formally requesting the federal government to exempt them from the rule to allow decriminalization of small-scale possession. They’re framing it more as a need than a request.

The status quo is not working,” stated Toronto Mayor John Tory. “And in cities all across this country, literally hundreds of people are dying, often alone and in alleys where they shouldn’t be.” Source –

Also read: Victoria police detention man about sexual brutality at bar and grill

Deaths with drugs overdose are increasing

“And they haven’t (got) a legal problem, not a moral problem. They have a health problem.” Source –

Decriminalization of so-called hard narcotics is an authorised approach of the Liberal Party, approved back in 2018 at its way in Halifax.

At the moment, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau — still negotiating with his government’s commitment to legalize marijuana — wasn’t interested in embarking on another politically difficult transition to national drug regulations.

“On that particular issue, as I’ve said, it’s not part of our plans,” Trudeau informed reporters back then. Source –

It now seems the federal government’s unwillingness is weakening. “We are looking at these proposals very, very seriously,” stated Carolyn Bennett, the first-ever federal minister of mental health and addictions. Source –

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