Decriminalize Drugs Crewneck
We got some new gear in inspired by our experience with Toronto Indigenous Harm Reduction.
Harm reduction saves lives.
Harm reduction is Sacred.
In December 2021 the city of Toronto board of health unanimously voted to give the nod to petitioning the federal government to decriminalize possession of small amounts of illegal drugs meant for personal use. Overdose deaths increased by 40% this year in the city.
This was following a community dialogue process which led up to the decision. The decrim table, altho hailed by the city was another attempt at consultation that many found to be lacking. TIHR was approached as the decriminalization table came to a close, only then finding out about it without an invitation. Many folks involved stated that the involvement of police made it an unsafe place for folks currently using substances. Many advocates said the city stacked the table with NGOs and people who would agree with an already desired pre-determined outcome. A lack of Black and Indigenous folks with lived experience was also mentioned, a community whose criminalization from the war on drugs is vastly over represented.
Decriminalization, the type the city is imagining does not coincide with the calls that advocates have had for years, which is not only to decriminalize drugs for personal use but also necessity trafficking. This also misses the mark in calls for safe supply which would directly solve many of the issues with the supply chain and resulting drug poisoning. At this time, despite “Good Samaritan laws” which exonerate those in proximity to an overdose, many drugs users in Toronto find themselves interrogated, criminalized and persecuted by law enforcement following calls for medical help after drug poisonings.
TIHR has agreed tentatively to be part of the evaluation of the decriminalization plan to share these insights and interrogate the process.
Here’s an important excerpt from the recent civil society platform, path to drug decrim:
“Recognizing the many lives that have been lost and ruined to the state-sanctioned “war on drugs,” we must act to end the harm. We must stop stigmatizing drug use and pointlessly punishing people who use drugs. We must expand harm reduction programs; ensure access to non-coercive, evidence-informed treatment and supports; scale up safe supply measures; and ensure that policies, programs, and services protect and promote health and socio-economic wellbeing. At the heart of these reforms must be efforts focused on reducing poverty; ensuring access to housing; and combatting violence, sexism, racism, discrimination, and implementing the Calls to Action in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report and the Calls to Justice in the report of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Inquiry, and other commitments.
Decriminalizing personal drug possession and necessity trafficking are fundamental, necessary steps towards a more rational and just drug policy, and away from our current anti-drug policies. It is a change that is long overdue.”
For pick up at our toronto location use code: “pickup” in check out and stay tuned for our store pick up hours starting next week.