Vancouver Calls to Decriminalize Drug Possession


In Face of Crisis, Vancouver Considers Legalizing Drugs

In the face of an overwhelming opioid epidemic, officials in Vancouver are calling to decriminalize individual drug possession.

As reported by CBC News, the city of Vancouver is calling on the federal government to immediately decriminalize the personal possession of all drugs.

Managing director of social policy, Mary Clare Zak, says this is a new position for the city, but it is consistent with Vancouver’s Four Pillars Drug Strategy.

“What we’ve learned from countries, for example like Portugal, is that when you decriminalize then people are feeling like they’re actually safe enough to ask for treatment,” she said.

“People who are dying are more likely to be indoors and struggle with accessing help or assistance because of their illicit drug use.”

Zak says the city also recommends the following actions:

* Rapidly roll out funding for evidence-based treatment programs.

*Support the scale up of innovative programs that provide access to safe opioids for those most at risk for overdose.

*Support the de-stigmatization programs that are co-led by people with lived experience of substance use.

*Continue to roll out innovative overdose prevention services in areas where users remain isolated.

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To read more about Vancouver’s aggressive policies for addressing the opioid crisis, please visit CBC News.

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