Decriminalize all drugs, Toronto health board urges Ottawa

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notsofasteddie
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Decriminalize all drugs, Toronto health board urges Ottawa

Post by notsofasteddie » Tue 17th Jul 2018 10:25 pm

Decriminalize all drugs, Toronto health board urges Ottawa


By David Rider City Hall Bureau Chief
Mon., July 16, 2018


Canada’s largest public health board is calling on Ottawa to decriminalize all drugs, arguing that saving lives is more important than stigma-laced arguments against the idea.

Toronto’s public health board, a mix of city councillors and public appointees, voted 10-0 Monday to endorse the recommendation from Dr. Eileen de Villa, the city’s medical officer of health.

Canada’s largest public health board is calling on Ottawa to decriminalize all drugs, arguing that saving lives is more important than stigma-laced arguments against the idea.

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Canada’s largest public health board is calling on Ottawa to decriminalize all drugs, arguing that saving lives is more important than stigma-laced arguments against the idea.
(THE CANADIAN PRESS)

The vote came after the release last week of her research-filled report on the subject and argument that people have always used drugs and all those consumed today — including tobacco, alcohol, coffee, pharmaceuticals and illegal street drugs — can be hazardous to health.

“The potential harms associated with any of these drugs is worsened when people are pushed into a position where they have to produce, obtain and consume those drugs illegally, so that’s what we’re trying to address,” de Villa said, with a call for a “public health approach” focused on treatment and harm minimization rather police, courts and jail.

Councillor Joe Cressy, Toronto council’s point person on drug policy, noted her report triggered only a handful of public responses at the meeting and they were supportive of the shift in focus.

The deadly and worsening opioid overdose epidemic has “shifted the landscape,” he said, in support of safe-injection sites and decriminalization because so many people know someone touched by tragedies involving fentanyl, a highly toxic painkiller, and other drugs.


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