Campbell River City Council got a lot of flack for their attempt to undermine the new drug decriminalization policy in BC.
The Council passed a bylaw with new fines for drug use, but the volume of people speaking out against the move made them change their minds.
While not many would argue with their goal of trying to cut down public drug use – their method was quickly brought into question.
A whole host of doctors, non-profit groups, and concerned members of the public strongly opposed the move, calling it a “concerning decision.”
Medical health officer Dr. Charmaine Enns, was one of those opposed. She wrote to the Council saying the prohibition would have “direct and deleterious public health impacts.”
Facing the public outcry and a lawsuit from Vancouver-based legal advocacy group Pivot Legal Society, the Council repealed the ban.
Now they’re looking into other options to help reduce drug impacts on the city.
Local doctors have brought up options for more effective methods to combat the toxic drug crisis present in the city.
The primary suggestions have been specialized medical support to help people quit drugs, long-term social programs and housing to help them stay off.
Not exactly rocket science, but the biggest question is always: Where will the money come from?
But as Dr. Erika Kellerhals told the Campbell River Mirror, ts of programs would likely save dollars in the long run.
“It would be great cost saving to the system to… just have multiple places to detox people.”
Now that the Council has backed off the ban, we’ll see if they change direction towards more sustainable options.