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BCCLA supports Public Health Officers’ call for review of drug laws

The BCCLA is congratulating the courage of B.C.’s professional association of public health physicians for calling for a national inquiry into Canada’s illicit drug laws and their efficacy.

“The story about the Emperor’s new clothes is replayed time and again by governments unwilling to own up to realities,” said Robert Holmes, Q.C., President of the BCCLA. “Public health professionals in B.C. are right to point out that our current chaotic and contradictory drug laws and policies need to be reviewed against scientific evidence of what works to reduce consumption, social harms, and costs.”

The Health Officers’ Council report is a collection of up-to-date public health research from across the globe. It calls for a national commission of inquiry to examine all of the laws in place to regulate various illicit drugs in Canada, and how to coordinate those laws to ensure people are informed and to achieve the best possible public health outcomes.

“People routinely get put in jail for conduct related to active drug addictions, but the criminal justice system is hardly a surrogate for medical care. It is plain that we have inadequate treatment and detox available for people with addictions to help them cope, recover or quit,” noted Holmes. “By making cannabis taboo, our society both prohibits and makes more alluring its use. It is, of course, widely used. But instead of recognizing that and taxing it like tobacco and liquor products, with the tax revenue going to the cost of education and care, we leave the massive profits of this industry to organized crime and leave taxpayers with the bill for police efforts to contain it.”

The Health Officers report is available online at http://drugpolicy.ca/hocreport/ .


Robert Holmes, Q.C., President (604) 838-6856

David Eby, Executive Director, (778) 865-7997