NDP Convention Denounces Drug War
New Democrats voted at their convention to support Vancouver's supervised injection site, and called for a drug policy based on "a non-criminal, regulatory approach to substance use."
In one of the most dramatic moments of the convention, delegates voted to suspend the rules Sunday morning, and then overruled the chair so as to allow debate on the InSite and drug policy resolution which had not made it to the floor for debate on Saturday.
Deputy Leader and Health Critic Libby Davies received a standing ovation when she stood to speak in favor of this resolution, as did Quebec MP Djaouida Sellah.
The drug policy resolution was being promoted by a group of New Democrats called "End Prohibition," led by former BC NDP Leadership candidate Dana Larsen.
The new policy acknowledges "the harms caused by current drug prohibition policies" and commits the NDP to a "non-criminal, regulatory approach to substance use, based on reducing risk and harm, emphasizing prevention, public education, health promotion and safety."
Past NDP policy conventions have affirmed the party's support for the decriminalization of marijuana and treating drug use as primarily a health issue instead of a criminal one.
"Only a few resolutions ever manage to get passed at this kind of convention," said Larsen. "Passing this policy shows that we want our NDP leadership to make drug policy reform a high priority as we move forward."