Drug Arrest report

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 | | 0 comments

Here is a link to the drug arrest report Susan Boyd put together.




Canada's Drug Prohibition Story; It's Wild. Hear it Tomorrow at VPL.

Monday, March 5, 2018 | | 0 comments


Canadian Drug Policy Coalition

We are working to transform our
country's approach to drug policy.

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Good Morning!

If you were not able to make it to Dr. Susan Boyd's book launch in January, or perhaps you loved it so much you want all your friends to know about it - here is your chance! CDPC's Steering Committee member Dr. Susan Boyd is offering a free talk tomorrow night at the Vancouver Public Library on Canada's History of Drug Prohibition. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2018
7:00 PM PM
Vancouver Public Library: Central Library
350 W. Georgia St.
Alice MacKay Room, Lower Level

Free, everyone welcome!

Human and social development professor Susan Boyd shares from her latest book – an illustrated history of drug prohibition in Canada from the 1800s to present day. Boyd discusses the 'reefer madness' of the 1920s, the psychedelic movement of the 1960s, the harm reduction movement of the 1990s, the legalization of medical cannabis, and how drug laws influence the overdose crisis.


Susan Boyd shows how Canada's drug prohibition policies evolved and were shaped by race, class and gender discrimination.

In order to chart the future, it is worthwhile for us as Canadians to know our history of prohibition. You can find the book here. 

Have a wonderful week,

Your small but mighty CDPC team


Canadian Drug Policy Coalition
Centre for Applied Research in Mental Health and Addiction
2400 515 West Hastings St, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC V6B 5K3, Canada

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Book launch flyer

Monday, January 8, 2018 | | 0 comments

Book Launch:


By Susan Boyd

See attached


Pot legislation does not fail Canadas youth - a criminal record does

Sunday, June 11, 2017 | | 0 comments



Pot legislation does not fail Canada’s youth. A criminal record does

Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Saturday, Jun. 10, 2017 8:00AM EDT

Jenna Valleriani is a strategic adviser for Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy and a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto. Rebecca Haines-Saah is an assistant professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the University of Calgary.

On May 29, the Canadian Medical Association Journal released an editorial criticizing the government’s approach to the protection of youth in the proposed Cannabis Act. The legislation, which was introduced in April, will create a legal regulated market for adult access to non-medical cannabis in Canada. The editorial took issue with the Act’s mandated minimum age of at least 18. It argued that the minimum age should be raised to 21 and use restricted until age 25, concluding with: “If Parliament truly cares about the public health and safety of Canadians, especially our youth, this bill will not pass.”

This is part of an ongoing narrative which misrepresents what it means to take a “public health approach” to drug regulation. While not neglecting individual and population-level health protection measures, fundamental to a public health approach is an emphasis on the costs of having a criminal record for cannabis possession for young Canadians, especially when criminal charges are unequally distributed amongst black and Indigenous youth, and youth who have socioeconomic disadvantages.

As outlined by the Federal Task Force, the rationale for legalization is not solely about individual-level health outcomes as potential “harms,” but also the social and legal harms associated with criminalization and prohibition. Rather than point the hypothetical finger to the “tragedies” of “lives derailed” and continuing to anchor the idea of risk solely within the individual, the author neglects the social complexities – and multiple risk factors – of how problematic use of any substance develops for youth. As we currently find ourselves in the middle of an overdose epidemic in Canada where young people are dying in unprecedented numbers, we need to critically assess our approach, face uncomfortable truths, and ask who we are actually protecting with the prohibition of drugs.

We shouldn’t ignore that Canadian young people currently have the highest prevalence of use compared to other countries under our current model of drug control which, in theory, is meant to completely restrict youth access. In reality, it creates a robust and unregulated market with easy access for all ages. While it’s easy to declare that young people simply shouldn’t use cannabis, it is well documented that this isn’t a realistic or successful approach to drug prevention. The logic is flawed when our answers point only to restrictions and abstinence, and leaves out evidence-based drug education that includes equipping adolescents with strategies to avoid harmful use, beyond a focus on abstinence-only.

A critical misrepresentation in such medicalized arguments to prevent potential “harms to the developing brain” is that the evidence has yet to conclusively establish cannabis as the sole cause of structural changes to the brain associated with diminished cognitive outcomes for youth. In most studies, the effects of cannabis use are almost always comorbid with alcohol and other drug use, and often related to differences in socioeconomic status – which have potential impacts on brain development in and of themselves. Firm conclusions that cannabis by itself is explicitly damaging to the developing brain are difficult to assess. A similar lack of evidence exists to suggest cannabis is a primary cause in the development of schizophrenia. Rather, cannabis may be one of several risk factors, or these outcomes could be a reflection of pre-existing differences which lead some young people to more substance use and risk-taking behaviours. What is continually overlooked is that the majority of young people who use cannabis do not experience these severe, negative effects.

It is frustrating to observe that in discussions about youth and cannabis use, the professional bodies that speak for the medical community in Canada have continually neglected an issue that is at the very crux of the need for drug policy reform: setting regulations which give equal weight to the “real life” harms and lifelong societal costs of criminalization. It should not be forgotten that the actual targets of this discussion are young adults (i.e. not children), who fall between the ages of 18-25 – adults by every marker of society. Setting high age limits on access and telling young people to “just say no” will not accomplish either goal of deterring youth use or reducing harms as this is simply doing more of the same that created our current situation. By now it should be abundantly clear that we do not share the pessimism – or the fears – expressed by the CMAJ editorial. Rather, we believe that legal regulation of cannabis provides a context for having new and different conversations with the young people we care about, using approaches that respect the agency of young adults to make informed decisions.


teens don't smoke more cannabis when it is legal

Friday, March 24, 2017 | | 1 comments


New York Times - Drug Raids leave a trail of blood.

Thursday, March 23, 2017 | | 1 comments



Saturday, March 18, 2017 | | 0 comments


HAT event March 27th weblink

Monday, March 13, 2017 | | 0 comments


A panel on heroin assisted treatment (HAT), March 27th, at SFU Woodward’s.



FW: Cited wants to know what you think!

Thursday, March 9, 2017 | | 0 comments




My name is Jennifer Luu and I contribute to a radio show and podcast about higher ed and research called Cited. The show is funded by Canada's Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council to tell stories about academic ideas.


This week, Cited is airing a documentary about addiction treatment -- specifically, prescription heroin treatment for heroin users in Vancouver. It features interviews with doctors and patients.


We thought you might be interested in hearing it. We were also hoping that you might help us spread the word if you think your network might also be interested.


Here's a link to our tweet, our facebook post, and our blog post.


Thank you for your consideration!






drugs don't cause addiction short video

Thursday, February 23, 2017 | | 1 comments