Stefan Klietsch, Libertarian Party of Canada candidate for Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke, is proposing a policy solution for the opioid crisis.
“For years Renfrew County and Canadian citizens have read non-stop news stories about deaths from opioid drugs, most especially fatalities from fentanyl,” Mr. Klietsch stated. The Government of Canada reports that more than 11,500 apparent opioid-related deaths occurred between January 2016 and December 2018. Seventy-three percent of the deaths in 2018 were associated with fentanyl or fentanyl analogues.
“It is clear that existing drug laws are not working. If drug criminalization made drugs go away, then we would not have so many Canadians dying,” Mr. Klietsch concluded. “The only way to solve this crisis is for government to oversee the drug supply rather than allow the black market to monopolize it.”
The Global Commission on Drug Policy recommends decriminalization or regulation of recreational drugs. The New Democratic Party and the Green Party have policies to decriminalize recreational drugs based upon the successful example of Portugal in reducing drug harm following drug decriminalization. “This is only a partial solution,” Mr. Klietsch alleges, “because it reduces stigmatization of drug users but still leaves drug supply to the black market.”
“There is the widespread perception that ‘hard’ drugs ought to be banished and that ‘soft’ drugs like marijuana ought to be legal. But the actual reality is that the more dangerous that a drug is, the more imperative it is for government to regulate and tax that drug. Regulations can reduce the tainting of drugs and warn would-be users of the risks. Legal alcohol and tobacco kill thousands to this day, but as long ago as the 1920s we learned that blanket Prohibition does not work.”
“Regulation and taxation of recreational drugs is part of the solution to ending the opioid crisis.”
Klietsch,S. (2019,Sept.23) Libertarian candidate proposes solution to opioid crisis [media release]