Drug Futures Forum and Prison Impacts: Advocacy Releases from the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network

The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network has released several new pieces that may be of interest to PAN members. If you aren’t aware of the publications or work of the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, I highly recommend a visit to their site. The people at the Network do great human rights-based work that reaches across advocacy, research, education and litigation.

These latest resources look at current policies and their impact on health and social outcomes of people who use drugs.

Amidst an opioid and overdose epidemic that isn’t waning, a group of academics, policymakers, community advocates and people with lived experience met earlier this year to identify priorities for Canadian drug policy in the coming decade. Canada’s Drug Futures Forum was attended by people from across the country to meet, debate and develop recommendations following discussion in these key areas:

  • International control and management
  • Integrating policing and public health
  • Decriminalization and regulation
  • Strategies for health and social equity in drug policies


Last week the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network shared the report on the event, including the Summary of Proceedings and Recommendations, which centred on five areas:

1. National Drug Policy Reform
2. Criminal Justice Reform
3. Prevention, Harm Reduction, and Treatment
4. Research and Knowledge Exchange
5. International Leadership


Read the complete Canada’s Drug Futures Forum Report

Read the Summary of Proceedings and Recommendations


In addition to posting the Drug Futures Forum Report material, the Legal Network also shared information on their submission to the Department of Justice on sentencing for drug-related offences:

“There is no evidence that mandatory prison time for people convicted of drug offences reduces the problems associated with drug use, or drug use itself. At the same time, there is a growing body of evidence that mandatory minimum sentences wreak terrible damage on individuals (particularly those who are dependent on drugs), families and communities, and exacerbate the harms to public health associated with problematic drug use.”


Read the complete submission to the Department of Justice


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Questions? Feedback?
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Janet Madsen, Capacity Building and Knowledge Translation Coordinator,
[email protected]