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“Saving a life is worth it”

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Kennedy Stewart, the former mayor of Vancouver, is the architect of the decriminalization of hard drugs throughout drug-ravaged British Columbia: the British province has recorded more than 11,000 overdose deaths in the past six years, mostly due to fentanyl, a very strong opioid painkiller. Effective since January 31, the new legalization is being watched closely around the world. Only Portugal and Oregon in the US have implemented similar measures. It may have cost Kennedy Stewart his re-election as mayor of Vancouver, but he has no regrets. interview.

How did you get permission from Justin Trudeau’s government to experiment with decriminalizing hard drugs?

When I became mayor in 2018, I knew Trudeau, having just spent seven years in the Ottawa parliament as an MP. When I met him a month after I was elected, I started talking about drug overdoses. But he immediately stopped me: I will never decriminalize. » At first I thought it was because he said in the 2015 election that he was going to legalize cannabis, which kind of took all the oxygen from the drug controversy. And he probably said to himself “in terms of drugs, I will not do anything else, I will legalize cannabis and that’s it.” He did and I thought it was closed.

Vancouver Legal Drug Lab

In 2019, Bonnie Henry,

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