1. Important Links
CLICK HERE, for the CBC article.
CLICK HERE, for CBC Propaganda Master List.
CLICK HERE, for a related CBC “safe injection” article review.
CLICK HERE, for the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act of Canada.
CLICK HERE, for an article from the Dalhousie Journal of Legal Studies.
CLICK HERE, for the 1991 Regulated Health Professionals Act.
CLICK HERE, for an interesting malpractice case.
2. Drug Injections To Reduce Harm
Let’s clear something up. Needle exchange is “already” operational, and at least 5 prisons have them. Apparently being complicit in drug use in prison is harm reduction.
And these “overdose prevention sites” are essentially free narcotics except with doctor supervision.
The needle exchange program isn’t staffed properly, so let’s scrap it and start outright providing drugs directly to prisoners. This is harm reduction? And should prison staff be in the business of providing illicit drugs to inmates?
Wouldn’t this actually have the opposite effect of rehabilitation? Won’t people find it more advantageous to get arrested more in order to obtain free drugs?
I can sympathise with the guards wanting safer work atmosphere, but this might be a case of the cure being worse than the disease. And are taxpayers expected to foot the bill?
Oh, the cognitive dissonance here. Prison staff say that this is aimed at preventing the spread of diseases, yet admits that human error can very easily cause more people to be put in danger.
And again, why are the prisons aiding and abetting in drug use? Isn’t that … “ILLEGAL”? And as for these supervised injection sites, does illicit drug use become legal as long as a doctor writes a prescription?
This is absurd. If inmates and cells are routinely searched for safety and contraband measures, “why” would requiring selected inmates to have it in their cells be a good idea? They are criminals. Moreover, couldn’t anyone who knows about their status rob them at almost any time.
Drug use is common in prison? That is true, but “why” should the public be allowing and financing it?
The staff is aware of the problem, and provides bleach, which can be extremely dangerous in the hands of drug addicted inmates. No concern for prison staff, just for the inmates shooting up.
Yes, drug use is often a problem among inmates. However, getting them treatment, and re-establishing something of a normal life would be much more beneficial to everyone in the long term.
As for the needle exchange, and the proposed “safe-injection” sites, shouldn’t the public have some say in the matter?
3. Canada’s Drug Act
Possession of substance
4 (1) Except as authorized under the regulations, no person shall possess a substance included in Schedule I, II or III.
(2) No person shall seek or obtain
(a) a substance included in Schedule I, II, III or IV, or
(b) an authorization to obtain a substance included in Schedule I, II, III or IV
from a practitioner, unless the person discloses to the practitioner particulars relating to the acquisition by the person of every substance in those Schedules, and of every authorization to obtain such substances, from any other practitioner within the preceding thirty days.
Definition of medical emergency
4.1 (1) For the purposes of this section, medical emergency means a physiological event induced by the introduction of a psychoactive substance into the body of a person that results in a life-threatening situation and in respect of which there are reasonable grounds to believe that the person requires emergency medical or law enforcement assistance.
Exemption — medical emergency
(2) No person who seeks emergency medical or law enforcement assistance because that person, or another person, is suffering from a medical emergency is to be charged or convicted of an offence under subsection 4(1) if the evidence in support of that offence was obtained or discovered as a result of that person having sought assistance or having remained at the scene.
Exemption — persons at the scene
(3) The exemption under subsection (2) also applies to any person, including the person suffering from the medical emergency, who is at the scene on the arrival of the emergency medical or law enforcement assistance.
Exemption — evidence
(4) No person who seeks emergency medical or law enforcement assistance because that person, or another person, is suffering from a medical emergency, or who is at the scene on the arrival of the assistance, is to be charged with an offence concerning a violation of any condition of a pre-trial release or probation order relating to an offence under subsection 4(1) if the evidence in support of that offence was obtained or discovered as a result of that person having sought assistance or having remained at the scene.
(5) Any condition of a person’s pre-trial release, probation order, conditional sentence or parole relating to an offence under subsection 4(1) that may be violated as a result of the person seeking emergency medical or law enforcement assistance for their, or another person’s, medical emergency, or as a result of having been at the scene on the arrival of the assistance, is deemed not to be violated.
2017, c. 4, s. 2; 2018, c. 16, s. 195.1.
Possession, sale, etc., for use in production of or trafficking in substance
7.1 (1) No person shall possess, produce, sell, import or transport anything intending that it will be used
(a) to produce a controlled substance, unless the production of the controlled substance is lawfully authorized; or
(b) to traffic in a controlled substance.
Drug treatment court program
10(4) A court sentencing a person who is convicted of an offence under this Part may delay sentencing to enable the offender
(a) to participate in a drug treatment court program approved by the Attorney General; or
(b) to attend a treatment program under subsection 720(2) of the Criminal Code.
- So what can we take away here?
- Drug use not illegal if you obtain authorization
- You won’t be charged with drug use for calling for medical aid
- You won’t be charged if you call in for “another’s” drug use
- You won’t be breaching:
- Pre-trial conditions
- A conditional sentence
- From calling in for emergency medical attention
- Trafficking okay if legally authorised
- Provisions exist to allow criminals to get treatment
Although the review might seem like a cold indifference to people with drug problems this is not the case. I want them to be treated and move on with their lives.
However, supplying drugs and drug paraphernalia is (in my view) a very bad way to handle the problem.