Jail not the answer for people caught dealing fentanyl to support their own drug addictions, Vancouver, B.C. judge says
Sarah Runyon, the defence lawyer who won the case, said the ruling has the potential to be groundbreaking. “It’s really just forcing the court to step back and say, ‘Wait a minute, are we really just playing whack-a-mole here?’ Taking one marginalized street person, throw them into custody [then] somebody else pops up, and what problem are we really solving?” Runyon told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).
B.C. Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe said, “Criminalizing those who use substances has done nothing to address this complex health issue and has resulted in greater suffering and marginalization. How many more deaths are we willing to accept to maintain drug policies and laws that have no basis in evidence?” Ellis testified candidly about her life and her addiction. She grew up watching her father assault her mother. She was introduced to crack cocaine by an older man in Grade 8, and she started using heroin in her 20s. She told the judge what it was like to be addicted, saying her arms are scarred so badly she has to wear long sleeves. “My veins are collapsed,” she said… “I try and try for hours, sometimes bleeding everywhere … in the hot bath to try and bring my veins out, [I] drink water, whatever I can do. But still it’s … absolutely disgusting.”
Original Article (CBC):
Jail not the answer for people caught dealing fentanyl to support their own drug addictions, B.C. judge says
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