Article by Kyle Jaeger, Marijuana Moment
A Canadian lawmaker recently introduced a bill to decriminalize the possession of all illicit drugs.
The legislation, filed by Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, would repeal a section of Canada’s federal drug laws that concerns possession of controlled substances.
It’s not expected to be approved, at least this session, as Canada’s Parliament shut down for summer recess ahead of the October election. At that time, bills that haven’t been acted on will expire, but Erskine-Smith pledged to reintroduce his proposal if he’s reelected.
The lawmaker has long advocated for drug decriminalization, arguing that imposing criminal penalties for personal use of illicit substances prevents people from seeking treatment and has contributed to the opioid crisis.
“When you have such a serious issue and a clear policy response that every expert has embraced, we really need to follow the evidence,” he told CBC last month. “Fundamentally, we should treat drug use as a health issue.”
Erskine-Smith also contrasted the legalization of marijuana with his plan, stating that cannabis reform was “about treating Canadians like responsible adults,” where decriminalization is “about saving lives.”