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 ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at email@example.com.