Experts: Decriminalize Drugs—All of Them

Canadian group argues that current policies are ineffective
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Suggested by Ghille
Posted May 23, 2013 5:37 PM CDT

(Newser) – A coalition of Canadian drug policy experts is calling on the country to decriminalize the use of drugs—not just, say, marijuana or other "soft drugs," but all drugs. Thanks to a "stunning display of unimaginative thinking," Canada has been cracking down on drug users, which has done nothing to hamper the flow of illegal drugs into the country, writes the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition. Instead, the strategy has only made it harder to treat addicts, the National Post reports.

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The group says the underground marijuana industry alone is a $357 million annual business in British Columbia, and the government could take advantage by regulating and taxing it. The group also wants the government to provide clean needles and pipes for drug users who need them. Canada wouldn't be the first to try these sorts of measures, the experts note; the Czech Republic decriminalized all drugs in 2010. The result? Drug use remained essentially flat, and the social costs usually associated with drug use softened, says the CDPC. The group is run out of the Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Applied Research in Mental Health and Addiction, notes Raw Story. (Read more Canada stories.)

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