Trudeau government rejects Liberal MPs’ call for decriminalization of all drugs

Legal drug model in Portugal wouldn’t work in Canada, federal health minister says

The Trudeau government is rejecting a call from its own backbenchers to decriminalize all illicit drug use in Canada — just days before Liberals are set to debate the idea at a national convention in Halifax.

A so-called priority resolution put forward by the national Liberal caucus for debate at the convention calls on the government to treat illegal drug use as a public health issue, not a criminal issue.

It urges the government to adopt the model instituted in 2001 in Portugal, where treatment and harm reduction services were expanded and criminal penalties eliminated for simple possession and consumption of illicit drugs.

READ MORE: B.C. health officer makes last call for decriminalization of illicit drugs

READ MORE: Federal funding to combat guns, gangs and opioid crisis

Anyone found in possession of an illegal drug in Portugal is ordered to appear before something called a dissuasion commission, which can refer the person for treatment or impose administrative sanctions, such as fines.

But Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor says what works for a small country like Portugal wouldn’t work in large country like Canada, where 10 different provinces have sole responsibility for delivering health care.

Moreover, she notes that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has repeatedly drawn the line at legalizing recreational marijuana and doesn’t intend to go further down that road with other, harder drugs.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Martin Mars waterbombers’ firefighting days are past: Coulson

The famed Martin Mars air tankers continue to draw interest from potential… Continue reading

Port Alberni man dies in single-vehicle collision

Pickup truck with three occupants went off the road on first day of May long weekend

Alberni hosts Island track and field championship

Secondary schools compete at Bob Dailey Stadium

Is Steve Nash Vancouver Island’s best athlete of all-time?

As Captain Canada gets ready to enter basketball’s Hall of Fame it’s time to debate his legacy

Who is Vancouver Island’s greatest athlete ever?

We want to know, you get to choose in a 64-athlete tournament bracket

VIDEO: Canadian Forces help flood-ravaged Grand Forks residents heal

Sgt. Bradley Lowes says the military is used to dealing with traumatic times

Las Vegas Golden Knights move on to Stanley Cup final

Improbable run continues for NHL’s newest expansion team

Oregon’s flooded recreational pot market a cautionary tale to B.C.

‘In a broader sense, we are adding legal production to an already robust illegal production’

Friends and family playing huge role in search for Vancouver Island man

Volunteers from the public join forces with SAR crews

Chilliwack Chiefs make history with first RBC Cup win

In front of a huge and noisy crowd, the Chiefs claimed their first-ever national junior A title.

Mid Island’s Lego community creating, co-operating

Mid Island Lego Users Group is always looking for creative new members

UPDATED: Majority of flood evacuees in Kootenay-Boundary allowed to return home

Officials hope to have all 3,000 people back in their homes by Monday night

B.C. Lions bring back 6-time all-star offensive lineman Jovan Olafioye

He was acquired by the Montreal Alouettes last year.

Whitecaps rally for 2-2 draw with FC Dallas

Vancouver climbed out of a two-nil hole to tie FC Dallas 2-2

Most Read