While introducing a private member’s bill, Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith called for drug use to be treated as a health issue.
Justifying his stance, he mentioned that Canada’s life expectancy has stalled as 11,000 Canadians have died from an opioid overdose.
“For the first time in decades, our life expectancy in Canada has stalled, and it is because of the opioid crisis,” he said. “It is a public health crisis, and public health experts across the country are unanimous in calling for drug use to be treated as a health issue.”
His plan is to “decriminalize” and “destigmatize” drugs by removing the criminal sanction for low-level possession. However, producing and trafficking drugs will still be a crime.
Such plans have been adopted in Portugal and the Netherlands to various degrees, and with massive success rates. Drug usage rates dropped and government revenue increased.