Article by Whistler Question
Alternatives to criminalizing a variety of illicit drugs in Canada could result in lower rates of use and fewer harms such as addiction, overdoses and infectious diseases, says an internal federal study.
The Justice Department research paper stresses there are healthier and less costly ways of addressing the problem of illegal drug use, and that the biggest hurdles might be political — not practical — ones.
“It is becoming more challenging to justify the criminalization of drug users,” the study says.
“Drawing on international evidence, Canada can be a leader in national and international drug policy reform.”
The Canadian Press used the Access to Information Act to obtain a draft copy of the November 2015 study, “Criminalizing Drug Possession and Use: Different Policy Approaches and International Alternatives.”
The Liberal government has promised to legalize, regulate and restrict access to marijuana to keep it out of the hands of children while denying criminals the financial profits.
The current system of prohibition does not stop young people from smoking pot and too many Canadians end up with criminal records for possessing small amounts, the Liberals say.