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

Heavy rainfall warning

Rainfall expected to exceed 100 mm in North Coast and Kitimat regions

Province, feds, Wet’suwet’en announce progress in MOU talks

Community engagement process launched to implement northern B.C. First Nation’s rights and title

Dogs are matched with the person, not the person matched to the dog – Prince Rupert SPCA

Prince Rupert SPCA does their due diligence in adopting dogs to suitable human companions

Photo Gallery: Memorial totem pole raising in Prince Rupert

The memorial pole stands in memory of Prince Rupert carvers mother on Second Ave. West

Province, feds, Wet’suwet’en announce progress in MOU talks

External community engagement process launched to help implement Wet’suwet’en rights and title

STANDING TALL: Forestry workers meet the challenges, remain hopeful

A look at the forest sector in B.C. – and those hoping for the best – amid mill curtailments

Man suffers serious injuries in bear attack in remote area near Lillooet

It was deemed a defensive attack, no efforts were made to locate the animal

Parkinson SuperWalk goes virtual throughout B.C. due to COVID-19

People encouraged to walk around their neighbourhood, along community trails, through parks, forests

Missed rent payments ‘cause of COVID-19? You have until July 2021 to pay up

Each monthly instalment must be paid on the same date the rent is due

U.S.-Canada pandemic border restrictions extended into September

‘We will continue to keep our communities safe,’ says Public Safety Minister Bill Blair

578 British Columbians currently infected with COVID-19

Seventy-eight new cases confirmed in past 24 hours

WE Charity registers as lobbyist, lays off staff, looking to sell real estate

WE Charity said its financial position has been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic

Conservation seizes fawn illegally kept captive in Vancouver Island home

A Comox Valley resident charged and fined under the Wildlife Act

Pandemic could be driving more parents to get on board with flu shot: study

University of B.C. study gauges willingness for parents to vaccinate children for influenza

Most Read