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The move comes as Canada grapples with a devastating opioid crisis amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In a mental holdover from the 1980s War on Drugs, addicts are still judged for their circumstances, expected to "just say no" and exert more willpower.
As I did, you are likely to experience some eye rolls or even lack of eye contact when you're having the "talk" with your teens about this tough issue. But stay on course and keep a fact-filled conversation going. It's critical for the safety of our kids.
Every province with vaping legislation treats e-cigarettes as if they are similar in harm to smoking, encouraging the public to think that vaping is not appreciably different than smoking. This misinformation, actual or implied, is especially pernicious when it comes from the government.
Treatment as Prevention (TasP), pioneered by the BC-CfE and implemented in British Columbia with support of the provincial government, has shown that bringing HIV services to those in need where they are at saves lives, prevents new infections and contributes to health care sustainability.
Since 2009, Health Canada has taken the position that e-cigarettes containing nicotine are illegal. But out on the streets, Health Canada is simply being ignored. There's a brisk trade in vaping supplies including nicotine. Much of the new legislation might be found unconstitutional if challenged in the courts. Nicotine addicts who still use tobacco as a delivery method are suffering harm to their health that now appears to be quite unnecessary.
Mandatory minimum sentences for possessing drugs for personal use do not make Canadians safer. They will not improve the health of our economy, the safety of our streets, or the well-being of communities throughout Canada. The inevitable overcrowding of Canadian prisons will not only increase tension and conflict in prisons, but also cost taxpayers billions of dollars.
As someone who went from a teenager who easily bought cannabis under prohibition to a budtender keeping cannabis out of the hands of teenagers, there is no doubt in my mind that regulation creates real barriers to teen access to cannabis. There is no gatekeeper in the illegal drug market. Drug dealers never check ID. Beyond accessibility, another common misconception is that regulation produces a wealth of brand new cannabis users who are trying the drug simply because it's legal to do so.
"That little 0.4 vial is magic. It’s amazing, the turnaround. It saves a life."
I'm hoping that whoever takes over for the executive director -- and for his other cronies who believe in their own sense of righteous importance and entitlement -- will look again at these programs with clearer eyes and sharper minds. I truly hope we will soon see some positive changes in this long-running DTES agency that has served a lot of needy people.