Addiction Medicine, Health Policy, Medicine and the Law, Psychiatry, Public Health, Forensic Medicine, Bill-C10, Substance dependence, Decriminalization
With the passing of Bill C-10 by the federal government, Canada is getting tough on those who use illicit drugs. This policy largely follows the example of the United States when Richard Nixon declared a war on drugs in the 1970s and Ronald Reagan enforced similar mandatory minimum sentencing with the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986. As a result, the number of prisoners in the US has increased by 600% over the past 40 years giving the US the highest incarceration rate on earth. All of this runs counter to the scientific evidence of addiction being a medical condition which should be managed as a public health problem, rather than almost exclusively through the criminal justice system. The introduction of Bill C-10 comes at a time when the number of inmates in Canada’s provincial and federal prisons is already increasing, reaching an all time high in federal penitentiaries. Enforcement and incarceration of those who use illegal substances is a costly intervention that fails to curtail the supply or use of drugs in any way. Instead, Canada must look to countries, such as Portugal that have implemented successful drug policies. Physicians have a responsibility to advocate for the health of all Canadians, including those suffering from substance abuse. Therefore, it is our duty to come together and demand that the federal government repeal Bill C-10 and replace it with public health interventions that are supported by evidence and promote human rights.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).