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Author Topic: Decriminalizing drug use as we contain the coronavirus is the humane thing to do  (Read 705 times)

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source: https://theconversation.com/decriminalizing-drug-use-as-we-contain-the-coronavirus-is-the-humane-thing-to-do-136165

Decriminalizing drug use as we contain the coronavirus is the humane thing to do

April 23, 2020

In 2018, there were 83,483 drug arrests in Canada. That amounts to approximately 228 drug arrests on any given day.

We’ve been hearing a lot about police enforcing health protection acts during the coronavirus pandemic. But what are they doing about personal drug use of controlled substances during the pandemic?

Authorities should be considering the decriminalization of drugs during COVID-19 and implementing safe supply programs. Drug users are already one of the most marginalized and stigmatized populations in society without a pandemic, and unless we decriminalize drug use, they will bear the brunt of another deadly disease.



Halifax Area Network of Drug Using People rally together in March 2019 for an Overdose Prevention Site, a safe, legal place where people can consume drugs.

Policy-makers are beginning to listen to recommendations from people who use drugs. There have been federal exemptions allowing pharmacists more flexibility in renewing, refilling and transferring prescriptions, including narcotics. This has paved the way for a more patient-centred approach for implementing a plan for safer supply.

B.C. leads the way

After years of advocacy for a safer pharmaceutical alternative to the supply of toxic illegal drugs, the pandemic prompted British Columbia to create guidelines encouraging doctors to prescribe hydromorphone, morphine, dexedrine, methylphenidate (Ritalin) and diazepam — all controlled substances — to patients with substance use disorders.

Provincial correctional facilities are also releasing prisoners into the community to try to reduce the spread of COVID-19, although it’s unclear what will happen to them once it’s contained.

The Elizabeth Fry Society says an alarming 60 per cent of inmates at this women’s prison in Joliette, Que., are infected with COVID-19.
 
These are big steps for people who use drugs, but there’s no comprehensive and sustainable federal plan to reduce overdose fatalities and COVID-19 infections among some of our most marginalized citizens. Nor are there any plans to stop criminalizing them during COVID-19.

As police enforce health protection acts in cities all over Canada, we haven’t heard specifically what they plan to do about possession of controlled substances charges for people who have to buy their drugs on the street in the midst of COVID-19.

« Last Edit: May 01, 2020, 09:33:17 AM by Chip »
I do not condone or support any illegal activities. All information is for theoretical discussion and wonder.
All activities discussed are considered fictional and hypothetical. Information of all discussion has been derived from online research and in the spirit of personal Freedom.

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