4/20: Cannabis could be safe alternative to toxic drug supply, so why is access being cut off?

published on April 20, 2022 by M-J Milloy and Marilou Gagnon in Georgia Straight

As British Columbia struggles to implement and scale-up safer supply programs to blunt the unprecedented overdose crisis, why is provincial law enforcement shutting down community-level groups providing a safer supply of cannabis to people at greatest risk of overdose?

At the beginning of March, officials from the Community Safety Unit (CSU) operating under Minister of Public Safety Mike Farnworth raided the Blue Door, a dispensary selling unregulated cannabis to people in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside neighbourhood, the epicentre of Canada’s overdose crisis.

That followed multiple raids on the Cannabis Substitution Project, which hands out free cannabis every week from an RV near Hastings and Main, and two raids at the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club, one of the province’s oldest sources of low-cost medical cannabis for more than 8,000 members living with chronic health conditions, including chronic pain. The club now faces more than $6.5 million in fines…

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