BRITISH COLUMBIA

Connie Carter, Canadian Drug Policy Report Co-Author, Featured On HuffPost Live

06/06/2013 04:23 EDT | Updated 06/06/2013 04:34 EDT

Canadian drug policy has gone downhill, says the co-author of a report that calls on the federal government to decriminalize all drugs.

Connie I. Carter, a researcher with the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition and co-author of "Getting to Tomorrow: A Report on Canadian Drug Policy," pointed out Stephen Harper's government has embraced measures such as mandatory minimum sentences for possession at the same time as some American states are moving away from that approach, in a HuffPost Live segment on Wednesday.

"I see Gil Kerlikowske in the White House office on drugs embracing things like national overdose prevention strategies and talking about the scale of treatment," Carter says.

"We just don't see that kind of thing at the federal level in Canada."

"Getting to Tomorrow" calls on the federal government to step back from its National Anti-Drug Strategy by decriminalizing drugs and setting up a regulatory system for adult marijuana use.

The report argues that the federal government's enforcement approach to drugs has not worked, that incidents of cannabis possession have gone up 16 per cent between 2011 and 2011, while HIV rates due to drug use among marginalized groups remain "unacceptably high."

Carter cited InSite, Vancouver's only safe injection facility, as a great resource for people who use drugs and for promoting entry into treatment.

The segment came as the federal government announced new measures that safe injection advocates must meet in order to open similar facilities across Canada.

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