On Harper’s War on (the Wrong) Drugs
Stephen Harper has promised to get tough on drug crime in Canada.
He will put an end to the Constitutionally upheld right to drug treatment centres in Vancouver.
He will make everyone who tokes on a bong or joint a criminal.
He will vastly expand the ridiculously expensive incarceration infrastructure – all at the expense of average Canadians – just to be the ‘tough on drugs’ guy.
Honestly, I don’t know what he’s smoking, but he’s insanely out of step with the rest of Canada.
Prescription drugs account for just as many deaths (if not more) in Canada than ‘illegal’ drugs.
And yes, I’m making that up because Statistics Canada no longer tracks these numbers and gives sociologists and lawmakers something to work with.
But here are some of the facts that I’ve been able to collect after a quick Google search:
- The harm associated with psychoactive prescription drugs has emerged as one of the leading public health and safety concerns across North America.
- Canada is now the second-largest per capita consumer of prescription opioids (exceeded only by the United States), according to the International Narcotics Control Board (2013). Globally, North America consumes approximately 80% of the world’s opioids.
- Deaths related to prescription opioid use doubled in just over 10 years in Ontario, from 13.7 deaths per million people in 1991 to 27.2 deaths per million people in 2004 (Dhalla, et al., 2009).
- Some First Nations in Canada have declared a community crisis owing to the prevalence of the harms associated with prescription drugs (Dell, et al., 2012).
- Between 2005 and 2011, there was a 250% increase in the number of emergency room visits related to overdose, psychosis, etc related to prescription drugs.
- Problematic opioid use is the leading cause of demand for methadone clinics in Canada.
- Illegal use of Fentynal is one of the fastest growing markets and causes of gang violence and crime.
- Prescription drugs are now one of the leading causes of vehicle-related accidents and deaths.
- Legal substances (tobacco and alcohol) account for nearly 80% of the total cost of substance abuse (roughly $32 billion) compared to $8 billion for illegal drugs.
The ‘tough of drugs’ stance is a complete smoke and mirror tactic used by the Cons to play to their base that’s probably fucked up on ‘Hillbilly Heroin’ (ie. Fentynal, Oxydodone).
Stephen Harper has to get with the 20th century and understand that the drug companies that are lining his pockets are the culprits here.