The recent seizure of drugs and weapons by Nanaimo RCMP does nothing to “disrupt supply” and won’t prevent more illicit drugs from entering the city.
The largest drug seizure in Canadian history took place in the year 2000 when 100 kilos of heroin were confiscated in Vancouver’s port.
Subsequent research published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal in 2003 showed that, contrary to law-enforcement predictions, the price of heroin actually dropped in Vancouver. A seizure of this magnitude had no impact on supply. Furthermore, the BC Coroner reported that the number of deaths attributable to heroin overdoses increased three months after the bust.
As a former correctional officer in a maximum-security prison, I witnessed drug use and near-fatal drug overdoses in the most restrictive environment which the law allowed. It’s hardly surprising that drug trafficking flourishes in open society where misguided laws created and now sustain a black market.
The utter failure of Canada’s drug prohibitionist polices to support health and safety is painfully repeated by the federal government’s willful blindness to decades of impartial research. It is prohibition and not the drugs themselves which place the police and public at risk.
If we want to stop people from using deadly drugs, we should heed the successful regulatory and educational efforts by Health Canada to convince young people not to smoke tobacco.
A much smaller proportion of youth are smoking today than 30 years ago – all without putting a single person in jail.