NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh urges Trudeau to decriminalize all drugs to fight opioid crisis

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is suggesting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should consider decriminalizing all illicit drugs to combat Canada’s escalating opioid crisis.

Singh said he will force up the federal New Democrats to make the position part of its own formal policy platform.

A policy convention in Ottawa in February is scheduled to hold by the  NDP.

“We have the evidence,” Singh said in an interview. “Why do we continue down a path that makes no sense?”

Singh said he witnessed first-hand how the current criminal approach is failing.

“We are prosecuting people and incarcerating people that don’t need to be incarcerated, these are folks that need to be helped and supported.”

Per sources, the NDP Leader observed that the majority of Canadians struggling with opioid addiction are also battling problems like mental health challenges and poverty. Per Singh,  he would exclude drug trafficking from any decriminalization efforts.

Singh told about 2,000 delegates on Saturday at the B.C. NDP convention that Canada’s drug laws need to change to recognize drug addiction is a social justice issue and not a criminal justice problem.

B.C.’s chief medical officer Perry Kendall said precious time and resources are being spent chasing people around the court system exertions that do nothing to curb the drug supply or prevent drug deaths.

“I think it is incumbent upon us, if we are really serious about trying to deal with this epidemic which is actually killing people, then we need to look at these alternative, regulatory frameworks to see if they might work for us,” Kendall said.

“It is up to Ottawa to shift its approach, because the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act is a federal law. Portugal did not decriminalize all drugs in all circumstances, but rather removed the application of criminal law on personal possession for limited amounts while offering education and social supports”. he said.

Singh, who visited the Ottawa pop-up site in September during his leadership bid, said while social workers and advocates are trying to step up, the government has done nothing so far to stem the tide of tragedy.

“The reason it is happening is because people are dying, it is across this country and what people are doing is they are absolutely filling a void.”

by Israt Yasmin, The Blogging Connection

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