Fentanyl (The Canadian Press)

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

A group representing police chiefs across the country has announced its support in decriminalizing illicit drug possession as the ongoing opioid crisis wreaks havoc on people across the country.

“Being addicted to a substance is not a crime and shouldn’t be treated as such,” Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police president Adam Palmer said during a news conference in Vancouver Thursday (July 9).

“Arresting individuals for simple position of illicit drugs is ineffective… it does not save lives.”

Palmer, who is Vancouver Police Department’s police chief, said that the CACP is recommending the federal government form a task force to research drug policy reform.

“Bottom line is addiction issues should be handled through health-care system,” Palmer said.

In 2019, the CACP developed a special purpose committee to focus on the decriminalization of illicit drugs, which included looking at various policies in programs being tested across the country to combat the ongoing overdose crisis and the implications those measures have on public safety and policing. These programs included supervised consumption sites, safe supply programs and diversion programs.

In recent months, the pandemic has indirectly caused increased drug toxicity among the street-level drug supply. As a result, B.C. has seen the highest number of fatal overdoses since 2016, when former provincial health officer Dr. Perry Kendall declared the opioid crisis a provincial health emergency.

ALSO READ: Decriminalizing drugs the next steps in fighting B.C.’s opioid crisis, doctor says

The conference comes as the B.C. government is in the process of creating a working group to review the Police Act, amid growing calls to defund policing and instead focus that money on other social services to better serve Black, Indigenous and people of color.

ALSO READ: B.C. moves step forward in reviewing systemic racism, excessive force in policing

More to come.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

opioid crisis

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Crown Lease secured for land for new Loon Lake fire hall

Construction on hall to replace one destroyed in 2017 expected to start next year

Psalm 23 Society gives hope to people, gives back to community

‘When someone reaches out we want to be there for them’

Save Our Summer concert tour coming to Ashcroft, Clinton, Lytton

Los Borrachos embarks on first Canadian tour to bring free concerts to B.C. communities

Masks will be mandatory on all BC Transit buses from Aug. 24

New rule will apply to community bus serving Ashcroft, Cache Creek, and Clinton

Fire and pandemic haven’t derailed Clinton store’s three year plan

Hunnie’s Mercantile, which started in 2017, is ‘dead on target’ with its plans to expand

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Health Canada says several kids hospitalized after eating edible pot products

People warned not to store cannabis products where children can find them

‘It’s not just about me’: McKenna cites need to protect politicians from threats

Police investigation was launched after someone yelled obscenities at a member of McKenna’s staff

Michigan plans dedicated road lanes for autonomous vehicles

First study of its kind in the U.S. to figure out whether existing lanes or shoulders could be used

Large missing python found ssssafe in Victoria after being on the lam for weeks

The snake was located more than six kilometres from where it went missing

B.C. announces multi-year plan to double treatment beds for youth with addiction

This will bring the total number of new beds specific to those 12 to 24 years old to 247 province-wide

B.C. man who nearly died from COVID-19 reflects on one-month battle

Robert Billyard was in an induced coma to ensure his body would not fight the ventilator to breathe

Wedding party bear sprayed at Okanagan campsite irks locals

Latest criminal activity at the Meadows leaves locals frustrated

Most Read