People are starting to realize drug policy in Canada and especially starting in British Columbia is changing right before their eyes.
Overdose deaths continue to rise and violent street crimes, assaults’ and robberies have made British Columbians not feel safe in their communities like they once did before.
The BC NDP and health watchdogs have been promoting “safe supply” for several years and for the most part has been going unnoticed by the wider public until recently.
British Columbia is now seeing the clash of the two extremes on drug policy that could influence the drug policy at the federal level.
Both extremes appear to have something in common, they refuse to compromise. The one extreme is free drugs for all with no conditions of ever getting treatment and the other extreme is no drugs at all.
Last week on Friday a few interesting statements and questions were floated at a media conference with BC’s top watchdogs whom are strong advocates for “safe supply”.
One idea presented was for the government to provide an endless stream of “safe supply” drugs to drug addicts funded by taxpayers with no conditions for the drug addicts to get treatment. But even if there were conditions for them to seek and attend treatment they will be waiting a very long time and there isn’t any real commitments on expanding treatment.
Another idea that Dr. Bonnie Henry entertained is to just use the legalization of cannabis as an example to follow. Henry suggested the importance to replace illicit street drugs with government drugs and pharmaceuticals.
Some things to consider. If the government just wants to supply drugs to addicts to stay high and have no requirements or expectation for them to get treatment and enter back into participating in society is it really societies responsibility to foot that bill?
First of all when it comes to free drugs to drug addicts and no plans or commitments for healthcare pathways to treatment or rehabilitation and reintegration into society. That is a government policy failure.
If there is healthcare pathways to treatment or rehabilitation and reintegration into society and that drug addict refuses it. Why should drug addicts get a free ride and drugs on the taxpayer dime with no expectation to try to better themselves when people that drink alcohol or smoke cannabis, cigarettes’ etc.. have to pay to supply their own habits?
If it moved to a full on legalization of drugs following the cannabis model. What drugs and pharmaceuticals specifically would be legalized for recreational use? Some are more addictive than others.
Are we talking about legalizing the common recreational drugs such as LSD, magic mushrooms, MDMA, cocaine and opium? Which some people have proven to be able to still perform well at work and demonstrate self control and only use occasionally when not working. Others have fallen into addiction. Or are we talking about the more addictive substances like heroine, meth, fentanyl etc..? Which almost all of these types of drug addicts are a drain on society.
One thing for sure is a debate and public discussion needs to open up and all sides need to be heard on this issue because there is more nuances to a good drug policy than what is being projected by both sides of the spectrum.
No matter what your views are about drugs, one thing we should all be able to agree on is that treatment and rehabilitation should be the most important pillar to fighting drug addiction and the starting point on policy. Also taxpayers shouldn’t be force to foot the bill for drug addicts to get free drugs with no conditions of getting treatment and rehabilitation.