Canadian Physicians Call For Drug Policy Reform

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Canadian Doctors Call For Evidence-Based Drug Policy Making

In an article published Wednesday in Open Medicine, three leading Canadian physicians called for comprehensive drug policy reform. The chief medical health officers from British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Nova Scotia say that the war on drugs is 'ineffective' and that mandatory sentences for some drug offenses are a 'complete departure from evidence-based drug policy making.'

"Let's use an evidence-based approach, not an ideological approach," said co-author Dr. Robert Strang, the chief public health officer for Nova Scotia, in an interview. "Clearly, what we're doing is not effective." Strang wrote the article with Dr. Perry Kendall, B.C.'s provincial health officer; Dr. Moira McKinnon, Saskatchewan's chief medical health officer; and Dr. Evan Wood, co-director of the Urban Health Research Initiative at the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS.

"Instead, in recent decades, the prices of the more commonly used illegal drugs (e.g., cannabis and cocaine) have actually gone down, while potency has risen dramatically," the article said.

"A published review of the effects of decriminalization noted that this change was followed by 'reductions in problematic use, drug-related harms and criminal justice overcrowding,' with rates of drug use remaining among the lowest in the European Union," they write. Below is a link to the entire article that was published in Open Medicine:

Here's the link to the read the complete report:

http://www.openmedicine.ca/article/view/501/453

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