The City of Toronto has recently announced its plan to decriminalize all drugs, including hard drugs such as heroin and crack cocaine for all ages, even for young children. This controversial move is part of the city’s radical policy to eliminate the stigma of drug addiction and reduce the harm caused by the criminalization of drugs.
Toronto’s proposal is even more lenient than the exemption granted to the province of British Columbia earlier this year by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The city is seeking a Health Canada exemption that extends to children, as opposed to the exemption for adults granted to British Columbia.
Toronto’s request for decriminalization is based on the premise that criminalization does not effectively deter youth substance use. According to Toronto’s City report to the Canadian Federal Government, youth in Toronto between the ages of 12 and 17 use unregulated drugs and are vulnerable to the same harms associated with criminalization as adults.
The plan, which will make Toronto the first city in Canada to trial the ultra-liberal policy of decriminalizing all drugs to all ages, including young children, has received a mixed response from the public. Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre, who is a vocal opponent of the decriminalization of drugs, warns that decriminalizing and subsidizing drugs will lead to a massive overdose crisis across the country.
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Despite the controversy surrounding the proposal, Toronto’s plan does not limit the number of drugs that can be possessed for personal use. The city claims that it will investigate drug trafficking and other violations, while decriminalization is offered for all people in Toronto, including youth.
The anticipated benefits of decriminalization will only be available to all Torontonians if the model applies to all drugs in possession if they are for personal use. This means that even hard drugs such as fentanyl and crack cocaine will be decriminalized for personal use, including for children. However, the city will investigate drug trafficking and other violations.
In conclusion, the move by the City of Toronto to decriminalize all drugs, including hard drugs for children, is a radical policy aimed at destigmatizing drug addiction and reducing the harm caused by the criminalization of drugs. While there are mixed opinions on the proposal, it remains to be seen how effective it will be in achieving its intended goals.