The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police is imploring the government to decriminalise possession of small amounts of illicit drugs for personal consumption.
Governments have been battling this war for years and according to these police chiefs, the decriminalisation approach may prove beneficial.
Canada’s joint Association of Chiefs of Police wants federal lawmakers to decriminalise possession of small amounts of illegal drugs that are being used for personal consumption.
The decriminalisation of drugs has been a hot societal debate over the last few decades. Portugal has completely decriminalised them, Ecuador has legalised small possession, Uruguay has legalised marijuana and sells it for a dollar per gram, and other countries have recently introduced harm reduction drug initiatives such as supervised injection sites.
The reasons these countries have made these changes is because some governments are becoming increasingly aware that individuals who use drugs for personal use should not be punished by the justice system, but rather should be treated by the health care system.
It’s important that we start to rethink how police and governments approach the individual use of illicit drugs. Often, the justice system isn’t minimising drug use by punishing it. Individuals need the appropriate help to battle their addictions, so a holistic approach that involves health care, rehabilitation and community service may be the best answer.
More and more research has revealed that arresting individuals for simple possession of illicit drugs has been proven to be ineffective. Perhaps, by decriminalising possession of small amounts of illicit drugs for personal use, police can have an increased focus on arresting drug traffickers and those who illegally produce it instead.
Canada’s response to the Chief of Police’s call could be a landmark move that may change the future of drug decriminalisation everywhere.