Canada’s New Democratic Party has become the first major Canadian political party to call for decriminalization of drug use.
Last weekend at a national convention of the NDP, the party passed a resolution to decriminalize personal possession of all drugs. Under the proposal it would remain illegal to manufacture, sell and distribute unlawful drugs. MP and health critic Don Davies helped prepare the resolution, and had this to say:
Let's quit wasting billions of dollars on a failed, criminalized, stigmatized approach to drug use that is misconceived and ineffective...I’m proud of our party for taking that bold step, for taking an evidence-based approach to this issue.
The move follows NDP leader Jagmeet Singh’s comments last year. While running for party leader in September 2017, he said:
People who are charged with personal possession offences are often those who are poor, often those who have mental health issues and often those who are addicted...what we need to do is decriminalize and work towards harm reduction, supports and rehabilitation.
The NDP isn’t the only party weighing such a move. While Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said he isn’t considering decriminalization, some voices in the party are calling for it. Earlier this week, pro-decriminalization Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith said this:
We're light years ahead of where we were, but do I think we need to go further? Yes, without question.
Banner Image: BC NDP