Analysis: Canada’s decriminalization experiment no match for toxic drug supply

published on February 7, 2023 by Anna Mehler Paperny in Reuters

TORONTO, Feb 7 (Reuters) – A Canadian experiment to decriminalize small amounts of hard drugs could reduce stigma and police run-ins for addicts but does little to tackle a bigger problem of overdose deaths from drugs adulterated with lethal ingredients.

The province of British Columbia, at the epicentre of a drug poisoning crisis that has already killed more than 32,000 Canadians since 2016, last week began a three-year pilot programme in which people carrying less than 2.5 grams of drugs such as meth and heroin will not be prosecuted.

But doctors and advocates for drug users argue preventing overdose deaths also requires expanding a “safe supply” of drugs that allows those at risk of overdose to legally obtain banned substances through prescriptions…

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