Please join NDP members and riding associations from across the country in supporting our drug policy reform resolution at this year's federal NDP convention in Vancouver. Visit the official NDP convention website www.vancon2011.ca
for more on convention dates and times.
We worked closely with NDP Health Critic Libby Davies in crafting this resolution, and feel that it represents the best step forward in terms of clarifying and extending NDP drug policy for the future. Please see our resolution below, and contact Dana Larsen (firstname.lastname@example.org
) or Nicole Seguin (email@example.com
) for more information.
Thanks, see you at the convention!
Whereas the federal NDP at its convention in 2001 accepted and agreed to promote the Harm Reduction Model for drug addiction and abuse but taking the responsibility for this problem away from the Attorney General/Solicitor General's offices and directing the presently allocated resources and personnel, to the Ministry of Health;
Whereas federal government policy toward marijuana and other drugs has focused on illegality as a primary means of controlling drugs;
Whereas criminal prohibition increases the harms associated with drugs in that:
• Profits made on the illegal market caused by prohibition provide a lucrative source of income for organized crime;
• The criminalization of drug users produces enormous social and economic costs and treats drug users as deserving of punishment;
• Enormous resources are wasted on a police enforcement approach that has failed to reduce the supply of drugs as interdiction efforts stop only an estimated 10% of drugs destined for Canada;
Whereas the Vienna Declaration concludes that the 'criminalization of drug users contributes to the HIV epidemic and has had overwhelmingly negative health and social consequences. A full drug policy reorientation is needed.'
Whereas a position of decriminalization of marijuana would still leave simple possession as an offence, punishable by fines, and would leave other harms associated with prohibition intact, and ignores the root causes of harmful drug use:
Therefore be it resolved that:
The federal NDP use all possible means to advocate for the elimination of fines and criminal penalties for the personal cultivation and possession of cannabis, and the establishment of a regulatory framework for production and distribution of cannabis to adults with amnesty for previous cannabis convictions;
And be it further resolved that:
The federal NDP support a broad federal review of the impacts and harms caused by current drug prohibition policies, to select the best model for the government to implement a non-criminal, regulatory approach to substance use, based on reducing risk and harm, emphasizing prevention, public education, health promotion, and safety.