Published: May 26, 2022
The Normalizing Conversations team is happy to share the Canadian Public Health Association’s endorsement of Bill C-216, the Health-based Approach to Substance Use Act.
Both in Canada and globally, the criminalization of people who use drugs has exacerbated substance use stigma and increased the health risks associated with substance use.
Bill C-216 advocates for the decriminalization of the personal use and possession of substances, the expungement of criminal records of Canadians related to simple possession IV convictions, and the introduction of the Health-based Approach to Substance Use Act, a national strategy led by the federal Minister of Health to address the harms caused by the criminalization of substance use. This strategy would promote comprehensive public health approaches to substance use and represent an important step forward in reducing the harms and stigma brought on by criminalization
Update: Bill C-216 was defeated at second reading in the House of commons on June 1st, 2022. For more information about decriminalization and how it impacts people who use drugs, visit the legalization and policy approaches topic page.