Decriminalize Drugs for Personal Use
The overdose crisis is the nation’s most pressing public health emergency, yet the federal government has ignored evidence-based solutions, committing instead to the demonstrably ineffective 100 year-old war on drugs. The evidence is clear that harm reduction and decriminalization offer healthier and safer outcomes for individuals and communities affected by the opioid crisis. Criminalization has encouraged a poisoned drug supply to flourish, endangering the lives of people who use substances. It has also resulted in the disproportionate policing and incarceration of Black, Indigenous, and other communities of colour. The federal government must immediately implement an evidence-based harm-reduction approach that reduces stigma, and supports and protects the health and autonomy of people who use substances.
We will advocate for federal NDP action to:
- Immediately decriminalize drug possession. Develop legislation to shift drug policy from criminal justice into the health care system’s regulatory framework. Grant blanket amnesty for people convicted for drug possession under existing laws. Use Portugal’s successful decriminalization of drugs as a model.
- Provide a safer drug supply. Prevent poisoning of people who use substances by eradicating the need for a black market drug supply.
- Provide funding for supervised safe consumption sites and overdose prevention strategies. Provide comprehensive harm-reduction training and support for frontline workers.