Donald MacPherson

Can Drug Policy Coalition

Executive Director *Ex officio

Donald MacPherson is the Executive Director of the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition and  one of Canada’s leading figures in drug policy. He advocates policies based on principles of public health, human rights, social inclusion, and scientific evidence and moving away from a criminal justice paradigm where people with health problems are criminalized.

MacPherson worked for the City of Vancouver for 22 years, first as Director of the Carnegie Community Centre in the Downtown Eastside and the last 12 as Drug Policy Coordinator for the City. In 2000 he published Vancouver’s groundbreaking Four Pillars Drug Strategy that precipitated a broad public discussion on issues related to addiction.

In 2007 he received the Kaiser Foundation National Award of Excellence in Public Policy in Canada. In 2009 the City of Vancouver was awarded the Canadian Urban Institutes Secure City Award for the Four Pillars Drug Strategy. In 2009 MacPherson was awarded the Richard Dennis Drug Peace Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Drug Policy Reform by the Drug Policy Alliance in the United States. MacPherson is involved at local, national and international levels and is a founding member of the Drug Policy Coalition.

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The Canadian Drug Policy Coalition on Cannabis Regulation August 17, 2016

Canada is at a turning point in terms of cannabis policy. The Task Force on Marijuana Legalization and Regulation has released its discussion paper for input. The Task Force proposes five elements…

Survey sheds light on safety issues around drug... June 21, 2016

Originally posted on on June 9th, 2016 at 1:43 PM Stacey Forrester is a Vancouver-based harm-reduction advocate and nurse involved in projects on health and safety at live-music events and is focusing her…

Canada charts a new path on drug policy May 19, 2016

Scott Bernstein is the global drug policy program officer at the New York-based Open Society Foundations. He’s also the former health and drug policy campaigner for Pivot Legal Society, where he initiated…