Decriminalization and Harm Reduction Agenda

Canada must move towards decriminalization and respond to the opioid crisis.

Decriminalization and Harm Reduction Agenda


Incarceration of Canadians with marijuana possession offences makes little sense as the government moves to legalize its use. It also disproportionately impacts racialized groups. That’s why Jagmeet calls for:

  • The immediate decriminalization of possession of personal amounts of marijuana

  • Immediately moving to pardon those with personal cannabis possession charges

  • Offering blanket pardons and the dropping of all outstanding charges to those charged with personal cannabis possession   

  • Including a provision for review of administrative charges where the original offence was personal cannabis possession and developing a reparatory justice program for individuals 30 years and younger who have been negatively impacted by such charges


It is time that Canada confronts the negative consequences of criminalizing the personal use of illicit drugs and substances. There is an urgent need for Canada to provide support to people who self-medicate with illicit drugs in response to trauma, violence, mental illness, and homelessness.

Jagmeet will:

  • Strike an expert task force to determine the best path to decriminalize all personal possession of controlled substances as has been done in Portugal

  • In communities most heavily impacted by the overdose crisis, call on the Trudeau government to issue guidance to local law enforcement to suspend enforcement of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and cease to arrest for possession


In the face of the national opioid overdose crisis, which is devastating families and communities across the country, immediate action is needed. Jagmeet calls on the federal government to immediately: 

  • Meet with FCM’s Big City Mayors caucus and commit to a plan to address the recommendations from their Task Force on the Opioid crisis

  • Appoint a dedicated team to focus on the overdose crisis across all federal agencies complete with a clear mandate for action and necessary financial resources

  • Expedite the approval for requests for supervised consumption services

  • Announce opioid agonist therapy (OAT) as an essential service and mandate provinces to provide free methadone and buprenorphine

  • Support efforts by cities, municipalities, provinces and First Nations to offer Naloxone for free

  • Announce emergency provincial funding dedicated to heroin and hydromorphone assisted treatment

  • Scale up training on harm reduction and trauma informed practice for health care providers across the country

  • Mandate that people being released from prison who are known to use drugs have a comprehensive discharge plan including housing, social assistance, medical and addiction follow-up