As skyrocketing rates of overdose deaths across Canada demonstrate, prohibition-based drug policy is a veritable death sentence for people who use drugs.
This report is a technical brief with one main recommendation:
That non-federal orders of government implement decriminalization locally, by applying to the federal government for an exemption against the offence of simple possession. Though Vancouver is the focus, this recommendation is available to all jurisdictions in Canada, including provincial governments, and broad uptake is encouraged.
By every metric, drug prohibition has failed. The criminalization of drug possession for personal use (or “simple possession”) has been ineffective in reducing the use and availability of illicit drugs; fuelled stigma against people who use drugs; targeted and incarcerated racialized communities and poor people; discouraged access to health and harm reduction services; and driven an unregulated market of unknown toxicity. As skyrocketing rates of overdose deaths across Canada demonstrate, prohibition-based drug policy is a veritable death sentence for people who use drugs.
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Using the law as a catalyst for positive social change, Pivot Legal Society works to improve the lives of marginalized communities.