A gaggle of Canadian police chiefs is asking on the federal authorities to decriminalize the possession of all medication for private use in a committee report issued this month. The report from the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) additionally recommends that an built-in strategy to drug habit be established to deal with the nation’s ongoing opioid disaster. Canada legalized the usage of hashish by adults and established a regulatory framework for leisure marijuana commerce in 2018.

“We must adopt new and innovative approaches if we are going to disrupt the current trend of drug overdoses impacting communities across Canada,” reads the report from a CACP committee tasked with exploring the impression of drug decriminalization on policing and public security in 2018.

“Merely arresting individuals for simple possession of illicit drugs has proven to be ineffective,” the committee continues in its report. “Research from other countries who have boldly chosen to take a health rather than an enforcement-based approach to problematic drug use have demonstrated positive results.”

Police Chiefs Endorse A New Approach To Addiction

The CACP is a non-profit group that represents about 1,300 police chiefs from federal, First Nations, provincial, regional, transportation, and army police departments from all through Canada. Chief Constable Adam Palmer of the Vancouver Police Department, who serves as president of the group, stated {that a} new strategy to unlawful drug use and abuse can save lives.

“The CACP recognizes substance use and addiction as a public health issue,” Palmer said. “Being addicted to a controlled substance is not a crime and should not be treated as such.”

Instead, the police chiefs consider {that a} partnership between social companies, police, well being care suppliers, and different authorities businesses would extra successfully tackle drug use and habit than criminalization and legislation enforcement. Police would then have the ability to concentrate on the manufacturing, importation, and distribution of unlawful medication fairly than being slowed down with minor drug possession instances.

“We recommend that Canada’s enforcement-based approach for possession be replaced with a health-care approach that diverts people from the criminal justice system,” stated Palmer.

Palmer additionally famous that in lots of departments, police have already adopted a coverage of hurt discount when coping with people who find themselves experiencing points with habit and psychological well being.

“Frequently, our officers are the point of first contact and the ones who will assist individuals in accessing appropriate services and pathways of care,” he said in an announcement.

Trudeau Government Responds

Following the discharge of the CACP report, Canadian Minister of Health Patty Hajdu and Justice Minister David Lametti launched an announcement saying that they welcomed the group’s “endorsement of a holistic approach” to coping with the nation’s opioid disaster.

“We appreciate efforts made by law enforcement officers to consider alternative options to criminal charges for simple possession of illicit drugs in appropriate cases, and recognize the importance of reducing barriers to treatment, as well as integrated partnerships between law enforcement and health and social services,” they wrote within the assertion.

The ministers additionally wrote that they might proceed to pursue a public health-based strategy to the opioid epidemic by working with substance abuse consultants, legislation enforcement, and different first responders. 

“Our government remains committed to advancing evidence-based responses to help reverse the trend of opioid overdose deaths and other substance-related harms in Canada,” they stated.

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