Vancouver just decriminalized illicit drugs? Wait...what!

Understanding all of the issues at hand

There is currently a project under way where it is attempted to make Vancouver the first city in Canada where simple possession of illicit drugs is decriminalized. And in CRAB Park in Vancouver there is 1000 crosses which has been erected in order to represent all of those lives which have been saved by the safe injection site known as Insight. Statistics show that substance abusers have found life extremely challenging during the coronavirus pandemic. Kennedy Stewart the mayor for Vancouver is now in the process of petitioning the federal government in order to obtain permission for a plan to ensure that simple possession of illegal substances will be decriminalized in the city of Vancouver. This action was inspired by the sharp increase of overdose cases which shows every intention of exceeding previous records for substance abuse. There are many who feel that when substance abuse is in an advanced state it becomes a health issue and it should no longer be treated as a criminal justice issue. This is why it may be best for the sake of individual motivation too once and for all make an end to the stigma which cleaves to substance abusers. This may also encourage substance abusers to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Addiction may be prevented if treatment is received as early as possible.




A monumental time in history

If successful with his plans the mayor of Vancouver will ensure that the city will be the first Canadian jurisdiction where simple possession of substances is decriminalized. British Columbia declared the overdose crisis to be a public health emergency in 2016 and in four years over 1500 lives has been lost because of overdosing. It has become known that the city Council of Vancouver is ready to approve a motion for the decriminalization of simple possession within days. Once this has been accomplished, there will be a further request addressed to the federal government that it should be granted an exemption from the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act which will effectively allow people to have small amounts of illicit substances in their possession. However, this will only be allowed within the boundaries of the city. There are advocates of this important initiative who are very certain that this action will be instrumental In the saving of many lives.

Coronavirus hit substance abusers very hard

These serious problems involving substance abuse which has been ongoing for the last four years has been made a lot worse by the appearance of the coronavirus. Health officials in the city are reporting that because of coronavirus the supplies of illegal substances have been more toxic. However, because of the restrictions which was in place because of coronavirus it has been extremely difficult for people to have access to much-needed treatment. There can be no doubt that our attention should extend to all patients suffering from coronavirus but in the midst of that crisis we must also remain conscious of other problems afflicting our communities. To put matters into perspective, the amount of deaths resulting from substance abuse was twice as much as those deaths which resulted from coronavirus. This is why in an attempt to better manage coronavirus we simply have no other choice but to attempt a different approach to the simple possession of illicit substances. Far too many public resources are tied up in the war against illegal substances and it would be best if those resources can be made available to other important situations such as the management of coronavirus. In the province surrounding Vancouver there was only 290 deaths resulting from coronavirus while an astounding 1200 deaths resulted from substance abuse and overdosing.

Considering all of the available statistics

the sad reality is that a large number of people who become victim of substance overdose are relatively young with more than 90% between the ages of 19 and 59 while coronavirus is more prevalent under older people and those with compromised immune systems. These important statistics require that urgent action is taken in order to balance the situation and to provide those people addicted to substances with a reasonable chance to mend their ways and to hopefully come to a place where they will make better decisions about their future. Many discussions will still need to take place in order to iron out all of the differences as far as the approach to decriminalization of simple possession is concerned. It still needs to be decided what amount of the possession of a substance is acceptable in order to qualify for decriminalization.

Expanding the good work

A close eye will be kept on the progress of this pilot project and once it has been determined to be a success and when it is noticed that it has achieved all of the objectives which was deemed important in order to call the project a success then this initiative will also be expanded to other provinces and eventually nationwide. There is another overdose crisis which in growing worse with every passing day in the northern regions of Canada. There have already been initiatives where people have been provided with some prescription alternatives which could be used instead of illicit substances in an attempt to better deal simultaneously with coronavirus and with substance overdose. The health of a country is closely connected to the health of its people and therefore every decision which is made and every initiative which is launched which ultimately succeeds in uplifting communities and in providing people with hope is ultimately also of benefit to the country as a whole. This is why the people of Canada and specifically those in Vancouver have to be commended for their efforts in bringing critical relief to fellow citizens who have unfortunately become captives of unwise decisions. However, instead of leaving those people to wallow in the mire, they have instead opted to act as their brother’s keeper and to find ways in which to motivate those people and to provide them with hope in an otherwise impossible situation.




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