At the end of January, British Columbia began a pilot program that decriminalized small amounts of drugs, including heroin, cocaine and opioids. It's the first province-wide program of its kind in Canada and it comes amidst a spiralling overdose crisis. Already, opinions on the program are polarizing and some municipalities in BC are trying to find ways around it.
But will the program work? It's been tried elsewhere in the world and results have been positive, but there's simply not enough data yet in the province to tell. Meanwhile, other critics say the program doesn't go far enough to make a real impact, and risks further stigmatizing those who need the most help.
GUEST: Dr. Lindsey Richardson, Associate Professor in Sociology at the University of British Columbia; Canada Research Chair in Social Inclusion and Health Equity