The Canadian drug policy coalition is comprised of over 70 organizations and 3000 individuals working to support the development of a drug policy for Canada that is based in science, guided by public health principles, is respectful of the human rights of all, and seeks to include people who use drugs and those harmed by the war on drugs in moving towards a healthier Canadian society.
Since 2010 CDPC has been active throughout Canada and internationally. At the national level CDPC has produced several policy documents including Changing the Frame: A New Approach to Drug Policy in Canada that outlines the problems with Canada’s approach to drugs and proposes that the criminalization of people who use drugs has been harmful to society and a new approach is needed.
In 2013 CDPC produced its first comprehensive analysis of drug policy in Canada – Getting to Tomorrow: A Report on Drug Policy in Canada. This report lays out a number of key issues that must be addressed in Canadian drug policy if Canada is to walk the talk of taking a health and social approach to drugs.
CDPC convenes two national working groups: the Overdose Response and Prevention Working Group and the Supervised Consumption Services Working Group. These groups are comprised of members that are actively working on the front lines of health care and/or at the policy level within NGOs and governments.
In response to the growing epidemic of overdose in several jurisdictions across Canada CDPC released a report titled Opioid Overdose and Response in Canada in June of 2013. It can be found here.
Currently CDPC is collaborating with the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network to produce short policy briefs across several issues that require urgent action by government. These briefs can be found here.
CDPC works at the International level with the global movement for drug policy reform that has come together to develop the campaign Stop the Harm. This campaign is a central piece of civil society advocacy in the lead up to the upcoming United Nations Special Session on Drugs in April of 2016.
Together CDPC and our international partners engage at the UN level as well as participate in country level processes that are focusing on drug policy issues. For example CDPC was a key player in the Organization of American States Scenarios for the Future of Drug Policy in the Americas project in 2013 [link] that provided a much needed opening of the discussion on possible alternatives to criminalization and prohibition as the only policy options available to governments.
CDPC has also worked with organizations in Mexico and the United States to support the work of the Movement for Peace with Dignity and Justice, led by Mexican poet Javier Sicilia, and their efforts to bring an end to the war on drugs that is ravaging Mexico and other parts of Latin America.
For a complete overview of CDPC’s work to date check out our publications.