The legalization of cannabis and rapid scale up of supervised-injection sites — as well as community-led initiatives, such as the site set up by Overdose Prevention Ottawa in Lowertown this month — have thrust Canada back into the limelight of global drug policy. Against the backdrop of a national overdose crisis and a fracturing of global consensus on drug prohibition, these are welcome changes. Yet they only begin to chip away at the drug policy challenges facing Canada.
Canada’s policy community remains divided about how best to tackle the overdose crisis. As the death toll mounts, should we invest more in law and order approaches, treatment, harm reduction or some combination?