EDITORIAL – New drug plan is no panacea but it beats doing nothing

Confiscated drugs. (Image: RCMP)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

‘HELPING TO REDUCE STIGMA through decriminalization’ was the headline on a B.C. government news release yesterday.

It’s about the province receiving approval from the federal government for an exemption under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to remove criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of some illegal substances for personal use.

People won’t be arrested or charged, or have their drugs seized under the new guidelines.

Just to be clear, possessing illegal drugs doesn’t qualify for a true stigma as we usually define it. Drug addiction does, however, along with things like mental illness, certain diseases and homelessness.

Maybe it’s a fine line but the point is that freezing enforcement against illicit drug use is no panacea and won’t work unless effective treatments are available for those wanting to rid themselves of their drug addictions.


Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (9648 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

1 Comment on EDITORIAL – New drug plan is no panacea but it beats doing nothing

  1. John Noakes // June 1, 2022 at 12:31 PM // Reply

    Stop using the term “recreational drugs”.
    Teach abstinence; regardless what percentage of people who are addicted started by taking drugs within the party life style.
    Dr. Bonnie: use your skills as an orator and position as the top doctor in BC to follow a pathway that is not well accepted.

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