During a speech in Winnipeg, Green Party leader Elizabeth May promised to decriminalize all drugs as a means of tackling the opioid crisis.
“We must stop treating drug addiction as a criminal issue,” May said. “This is a national health emergency.”
Manitoba has been hit particularly hard by the opioid crisis, and May believes that decriminalization of drug possession will be necessary to handle the epidemic, as will full legalization—she said he party would “consider lifting the decriminalization in the future if the drug crisis subsides,” reports CBC.
Additionally, she drew attention to the fact that indigenous communities are often hit harder by drug addiction and subsequent arrests and said that more needed to be done to aid indigenous communities.
Tackling mental health problems in the province was also a major talking point. Specifically, May drew attention to the need for greater suicide prevention programs to curb suicide in all communities, but particularly those in indigenous areas.
May hopes that by legalizing all drugs, certified drug providers could ensure that addicts are only using a clean supply of drugs, rather than drugs found on the street which are often mixed or enhanced with other powerful drugs.
She said that, if elected, the Green Party would declare a national crisis, as well as blanket decriminalization to deal with the opioid crisis.