Seven years after the province of British Columbia declared the drug epidemic a public health emergency, and just one month after the decriminalization of all drugs, overdoses continue to skyrocket.
According to the Canadian Press, B.C. tragically set three new overdose records this March, just the second month after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s federal government allowed the province to decriminalize all drugs starting February 1, 2023, in an effort to combat the crisis.
In March, B.C. saw the most overdose calls ever recorded in one day (205), the highest 30-day overdose call average (119.9), and the most days in a row where paramedics were called to 100 or more such calls (19).
Declaring the uptick in overdoses a public health emergency on April 14, 2016, recent statistics show that annual deaths have nearly quintupled since the government began ramping up its intervention.
The 2016 emergency was invoked after statistics showed that 474 British Columbians had died from drug overdoses in 2015. In 2022, that number had increased nearly 5-fold, resting at just under 2,300 lives lost.
While the current approach by B.C. and many other liberal governments is to increase the so-called “safe supply” of drugs, to erect “supervised consumption sites” where those addicted can legally use drugs in the presence of medical personnel, or to outright decriminalize the possession of drugs, statistics indicate that this strategy has led to the problem getting worse, not better.
For example, the American state of Oregon — separated from B.C. by Washington state — decriminalized all drugs in late 2020.
In 2021, the first full year the policy was in effect, Oregon saw a whopping 52 percent increase in opioid-related deaths, jumping from 472 before decriminalization to 745 after decriminalization.
Similar trends have been observed in other jurisdictions that have opted for a soft-on-crime approach to drugs by law enforcement, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle.
Beyond just statistics, experts and former addicts have also weighed in on the issue, often expressing their displeasure with the current trend being set by government.
Speaking about the danger of drug decriminalization, attorney Heather MacDonald of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research previously told the Epoch Times that “virtually no one is in prison for a possession of a user’s amount of drugs,” but because drugs are illegal, being able to detain and question those in possession of small amounts allows law enforcement access to high-level drug dealers. The criminalization of drugs, she explained, is actually a very “valuable tool … to protect the public from clear harm.”
In San Francisco, one former drug addict and dealer, Ricci Wynne, has taken to documenting the state of the city on social media in an effort to show, in his opinion, why decriminalization, “safe consumption” sites, and the entire “harm reduction” model of treating addiction is only making matters worse.
Speaking about these types of policies, Wynne told Fox News host Jesse Watters that since these practices have gone into effect, “people are coming here to San Francisco in droves, for what I like to call ‘druggie tourism.’”
“They come here because they know the consequences are minuscule, if any, and they can come here and just use openly,” he explained.
Wynne then stated that “when all the drug addicts come here, what follows is all the drug dealers,” which he sees as a reason other forms of crime are also on the rise in San Francisco and other similar cities.
“Me, myself, personally, coming from that lifestyle … seeing [San Francisco] in such a disarray like this is quite shocking because they are just doing this stuff in the open right now,” he lamented.