Decriminalization of hard drugs in BC
Please see the file below to read the letter of response from the Minister.
Sent: June 3, 2022 11:15 AM To: 'email@example.com' <firstname.lastname@example.org>; 'email@example.com' <firstname.lastname@example.org> Cc: Letnick.MLA, Norm LASS:EX <Norm.Letnick.MLA@leg.bc.ca>; 'email@example.com' <firstname.lastname@example.org>; 'email@example.com' <firstname.lastname@example.org>; 'email@example.com' <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Decriminalization of hard drugs in BC
Ms. Bennett and Ms. Malcolmson,
Two weeks ago, I almost hit a transient man who decided to play Frogger across Highway 97 in Kelowna. He walked across 6 lanes of traffic, completely oblivious to honking, screeching brakes and everyone’s horrified reaction to the fact they almost killed someone at 8 am on a Saturday morning. From the looks of him, the man was strung out on some kind of drug, in his own little universe.
I note that, part of your justification for this move to decriminalize hard drugs is to “reduce the fear and shame that keep people silent about their drug use”; however I completely disagree with how this change in regulation will play out on the streets. For all intents and purposes, hard drugs have been legal in Kelowna for the past few years. I rarely go downtown any more due to the number of homeless, tweaked out individuals who make me feel unsafe, even walking around in broad daylight. The RCMP presence is practically non-existent (although I note that they had the time to arrest a woman for refusing to wear a mask in Value Village two years ago. Priorities!). No one is hiding their crack pipes or needles, and no one seems overly ashamed about turning downtown Kelowna into a shantytown. With this latest step towards legalizing hard drugs without concurrently implementing any social programs to help these individuals deal with their mental illness and drug addiction, all you have done is take away the ability of the RCMP to charge individuals with drug possession so they can at least temporarily remove them from the streets, confiscate unsafe drugs and try to send them forward on a better path.
Of course, Kelowna is not unique to cities in BC that have been overtaken by the addicted and mentally ill; one only needs to visit Vancouver, Victoria, Vernon, etc. to witness what rampant drug use, without dedicated criminal prosecution or mental health resources (and with encouragement by “wet” facilities), does to communities. And of course, no one is fooled by this Federal Government’s blatant attack on its citizens by simultaneously encouraging drug use while attacking the mental health of Canadians by trying to instill in all of us learned helplessness and dependence on this current nanny state.
I note that our local news source recently ran a poll that indicated that the vast majority of Canadians are opposed to decriminalizing hard drugs; I also note that our government does not seem to feel any compulsion to act in accordance with its citizen employers.
Let’s all pretend not to be shocked when drug overdose deaths skyrocket next year, shall we?