2021-11-29 from thestar.com
The possession of small amounts of illegal drugs in Toronto should be decriminalized immediately, according to a plan recommended by the city’s medical officer of health.
Dr. Eileen de Villa’s recommendation, released Monday, will see the city’s board of health vote on whether to ask the federal government to exempt all city residents from criminal charges for having small amounts of illegal drugs on them under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, which governs the rest of the country.
De Villa’s plan will be presented to the city’s board of health Dec.6.
“The status quo approach to the drug poisoning crisis is not working,” the report released Monday begins. “There is an urgent need for a comprehensive public health approach to drug policy that removes structural barriers to health care and social services, provides alternatives to the toxic drug supply, and enhances and expands services to improve the health and well-being of Toronto’s communities.”
If approved, the move would be the next step of a public and behind-the-scenes push over the last five years to treat drug addiction and overdoses as a health crisis and to respond in a way that research shows reduces harm to individuals and the community overall.