REACTIONS: Open drug use and lax enforcement in downtown Edmonton

Rebel News headed to downtown Edmonton to hear perspectives from residents on the federal government's lax drug-enforcement policies.

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Do you wonder why you see so many people openly using hard drugs in our cities?

It’s likely because the federal Liberal government has essentially quietly decriminalized the personal possession of a whole variety of drugs — everything from crack cocaine, to methamphetamines, to fentanyl, to heroin.

Back in August of 2020, the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC) told federal prosecutors to avoid laying charges for the possession of drugs.

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Kathleen Roussel, was quoted in one news report saying federal prosecutors must only charge individuals for possession of drugs in “the most serious cases.”

They were instead to look at alternative approaches including restorative justice and measures such as Indigenous approaches to justice.

The directive from the feds said a few people possessing illicit drugs could still be charged such as in rare cases where children could be exposed to them.

Rebel News headed to downtown Edmonton to get reaction to the federal move and found some strong pushback against it, particularly from a chiropractor who has had repeated problems with people openly using drugs near his business, scaring away clients, damaging property, and being violent.

Just days ago, British Columbia announced it would be the first province to fully decriminalize possession of up to 2.5 grams of opioids, cocaine, methamphetamine and MDMA as of Jan. 31, 2023.

Some people immediately said that the 2.5 gram allowance was too low because cash-strapped drug users like to buy in bulk, so the province should allow people to legally have at least 4.5 grams of drugs on them.

Toronto-area Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith has long advocated for the decriminalization and eventual legalization of all drugs including hard drugs like heroin.

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