From Pivot Legal Society
I am writing to see if any of your organizations would be interested in signing onto our open letter to Minister Mike Farnworth, B.C.’s minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, concerning his dismissal of the Provincial Health Officer’s urgent call to effectively decriminalize illicit drug possession in B.C. last month. As allies in harm reduction efforts, I wanted to ensure you received this invitation to participate.
In rejecting the recommendations to support a harm reduction-based provincial policing priority and legislative amendments to divert police resources away from drug possession enforcement, Minister Farnworth cited jurisdictional constraints. Our letter explains that Federal drug prohibition does not preclude the Province from taking immediate action to adopt the Provincial Health Officer’s recommendations and urgently address the opioid crisis through provincial action, both by establishing a harm reduction-based provincial policing priority and by enacting legislative amendments to divert police resources away from low-level drug law enforcement. These actions are well within the jurisdiction of the Province and Minister Farnworth’s ministry and this letter explains that, as the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, it is his responsibility to take bold and immediate action to address the harms of the ineffective, stigmatizing and deadly effects of the war on drugs.
Please find our letter attached. If your organization is interested in signing onto this letter, please let us know no later than end of day Friday June 7th. We plan to send the letter directly to Minister Farnworth on Monday June 9th, as well as publicize the letter to Pivot’s website and social media platforms. We hope to garner some media attention to put maximum pressure on Minister Farnworth. As key voices in the fight for justice for people who use drugs, we would be honoured to have sign on to our letter.
Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or feedback: meenakshi [at] pivotlegal [dot]org.
Many thanks for your consideration and the work that you and your organizations do,