Come Join the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition

by Donald MacPherson on April 9, 2014

CDPC-square_full-logo_210x210px_RGBTime flies! Fast forward from 2012 when I last posted here to April 2014 –  just back from the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna where the international community is preparing for a landmark meeting at the United Nations in New York in 2016. The times they are a changing as countries around the world begin to advocate new approaches to substance use and related problems. Canada unfortunately continues to head backwards in the drug policy arena with the introduction of mandatory minimums for low level drug offences, introduction of Bill C-2  – the so called Respect for Communities Act – which will make it more difficult for cities to implement supervised injection sites, opposing using the term harm reduction within the international drug policy discussions, refusing to engage in the global discussion about alternatives to the war on drugs or consideration of decriminalization and regulation as possible policy options. I could go on. Suffice it to say that Canada has lost its leadership position on the international stage and is upholding the status quo at a time when the imperative for change is manifest in so many places around the world.

There is a growing call for change at the international level and it is a very exciting time to be involved in drug policy reform. So I’ll be hanging out with others from across the country at the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition for the time being, writing, organizing, showing up in all sorts of places to support the collective work that is gaining momentum to bring about an end to the drug war and the beginning of a more humane approach to drugs based on public health and human rights. Join us at and help to us  create a better drug policy for Canada and the world. Thanks. Donald


The Emergence of the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition

by Donald MacPherson on January 8, 2012

Welcome to 2012 which I hope will be a great year full of positive change and forward movement towards creating a better world and better drug policies for Canada. Here we go! It has been a while since I have been able to get to my own personal blog as I have been crazy busy working with a number of other folks across the country to launch the new Canadian Drug Policy Coalition. The Coalition is a national civil society organization working towards improving Canada’s drug policies and will be coming to a neighbourhood near you in the coming months.

In May of 2009 representatives of 30 NGOs in Canada came together to discuss the need for a strong civil society movement to advocate for improvements to Canada’s drug policies. After two days of hard work the following vision was agreed upon and a core group of us set out to raise funds to develop the organization:

“The Canadian Drug Policy Coalition envisions a safe, healthy and just Canada in which drug policy and legislation as well as related institutional practice are based on evidence, human rights, social inclusion and public health”

In March of 2011 a number of organizations convened in Ottawa to officially launch the organization and develop priorities for action. Thanks to funding from the MAC AIDS FUND and the Global Drug Policy Fund at Open Society we have been able to develop a website and begin a series of public discussions on drug policy across the country.

Check out our new website at to see what we are up to and please join us in this work. You can participate in a number of ways including being on our mailing list, volunteering to help on various projects, sending some funds our way, and if you really want to get involved organize some public dialogue events in your community. We would love to help with that. We also would love to hear your ideas on how to generate a new drug policy for Canada that reflects the vision outlined above. So give us a shout and keep in touch as we move forward into 2012 and beyond.


A Curious Priority for the Government of Canada

June 5, 2011

The Harper government says fighting crime is a priority for Canadians and an omnibus crime bill will be introduced in the first 100 days this parliament. This bill will cost taxpayers billions of dollars in increased prison, courts and policing costs with no evidence that these expenditures will lead to safer communities. This poll suggests […]

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Open Letter from the Scientific Community to all Parliamentarians on Bill S-10

February 13, 2011

I am working with a number of Canadians to birth a new drug policy organization, actually more of a collaboration among those interested in advancing new approaches to respond to drug addiction and the illegal drug trade. There are a great many people out there who want some real change in the way we approach […]

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