Drug policy and racism in Canada

When it comes to the war on drugs, abolition is the only option: End the war on Black communities.

The following article was first published on DrugPolicy.ca by Robyn Maynard, recipient of the SSHRC Talent Award; Vanier scholar; and author, Policing Black Lives: State violence in Canada from slavery to the present

Drug policy and racism in canada

As the summer of 2020 goes down in history, marked by the historic protests in defence of Black lives, the hashtags #BlackLivesMatter, #DefundThePolice, and #DefundToAbolish have become more than slogans; they have become visions for a radically transformed society.

For those of us involved in research, scholarship, or advocacy around the criminalization of drugs in Canada, the racial reckoning and expanding support for building abolitionist futures have made it clear: to end the racial harms endemic to policing in this society, we must abolish the war on drugs.

The fact that policing and incarceration, with historic roots in slavery and Indigenous genocide, are themselves forms of harm experienced by Black and Indigenous communities is increasingly recognized throughout Canadian society. [Keep reading]

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Advocating for public health- and human rights-based drug policies grounded in evidence, social justice, and compassion. www.drugpolicy.ca