5 ways to finally address drug crime

We need real solutions that address the underlying causes of drug crime: supply and poverty. Here are 5.

Drug crime is an issue in Lethbridge.

Dealers sell their drugs in the city. People steal from business, homes, and cars as a way to raise money to buy drugs.

But the only solution we’ve tried is enforcement. It’s not working.

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It’s been nearly 50 years since Richard Nixon coined the phrase “war on drugs”. But this so-called war hasn’t really solved anything.

I mean, sure, our prisons are filled with people convicted of drug-related offences. But drug usage is still happening. Drug dealing is still happening. And property and violent crime related to the drug trade is still happening.

We need real solutions that address the underlying causes of drug crime: supply and poverty. Here are 5:

  1. Decriminalize all drugs
  2. National pharmacare programme
  3. Redirect enforcement funding
  4. Universal basic income
  5. National jobs guarantee

By decriminalizing all drugs and creating a pharmacare programme that would see distribution of those drugs through pharmacies at no cost to the consumer, we’d virtually eliminate drug dealers and improve the quality of the drugs (thereby reducing health risks for the users).

By redirecting enforcement funding (since drugs would no longer be illegal), we could improve prevention and treatment programmes to discourage addiction from even becoming an issue and properly addressing it when it does.

By implementing programmes that reduce or even eliminate poverty, people will no longer have an incentive to commit crime as a way to get money.

Unfortunately, most politicians don’t want to do this because it’s political suicide, and the general public opposes it because it sounds like money.

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By Kim Siever

Kim Siever is an independent queer journalist based in Lethbridge, Alberta. He writes daily news articles, focusing on politics and labour.

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