Experts say decriminalization of drug possession can help tackle the overdose opioid crisis, but it’s not enough and additional measures are needed.
Daniel Werb, director of the Center on Drug Policy Evaluation at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, said Canada’s highest priority should be to regulate its drug market.
“Decriminalization is not going to directly influence overdose mortality,” he said. “The way to directly reduce overdose mortality is by regulating the drug supply.”
Policing practices and threshold limits are other issues to consider to ensure inequities are not amplified by drug policies, said Werb.
“It’s about maximizing the benefits of this policy change by making sure that there aren’t other factors or other policing patterns that come into play that essentially make it the status quo for some people who use drugs,” he said.