Doctors for Decriminalization is a coalition of Canadian clinicians that recognizes the harms associated with the criminalization of substance use, which disproportionately impacts our society’s most marginalized populations, and advocates for responsible and evidence-informed drug and substance policy with the goal to improve the health of all Canadians.
Criminalizing the possession and use of drugs takes a punitive stance toward substance use disorder, and has proven grossly ineffective in addressing rates of substance use and the harms associated with it. Consequences of criminalization include poorer health outcomes, increased risk of overdose deaths, and a plethora of costs associated with involvement with the carceral system including difficulty gaining employment, homelessness, and stigmatization. Despite similar rates of substance use across the board, racialized communities are disproportionately affected by these harms.
We call on the Federal Government to take a health and human-rights based approach to substance use by decriminalizing the possession and use of drugs and treating substance use as a public health issue. We also call on the Federal Political Parties to include the decriminalization of drugs on their campaign platforms.
For more information:www.Docs4Decrim.orghttp://csam-smca.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Policy_Brief__CSAM_in_Support_of_the.email@example.com
Susan M. Atkinson
Marie Clare Hopwood
Katie van Kampen
Adriana Di Stefano