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May 23 2013

Report calls for decriminalizing both ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ drugs


OTTAWA — The personal use of illegal drugs, including heroin and crack cocaine, should be decriminalized as part of a federal-provincial strategy to tackle drug abuse, a B.C.-based national coalition of drug policy experts argue.

In a report to be released Thursday, the coalition denounces the Harper government’s aggressive war on drugs, which puts the emphasis on law enforcement while steering money away from harm-reduction initiatives like Vancouver’s supervised injection site.

“While countries all around the world are adopting forward-thinking, evidence-based drug policies, Canada is taking a step backwards and strengthening punitive policies that have been proven to fail,” states a summary of the 112-page report from the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition, which is based at Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Applied Research in Mental Health and Addiction.

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