Civil Society and advocates have developed a blue print for what needs to happen for Canada to have #DecrimDoneRight – but what we’re seeing to date doesn’t match up. Join us as we take real-world examples from Canada and learn how to avoid pitfalls and harmful narratives in the media

This session is specifically designed for advocates who speak to media, and for journalists who are interested in decriminalization reporting done right.


  1. Platform: Decriminalization Done Right: A Rights-Based Path for Drug Policy: Canada’s first civil society platform for the decriminalization of drugs developed by 21 national organizations and people at the centre of the drug poisoning/overdose crisis, December 2021
  2. Sign on: National Civil Society Decriminalization Platform Sign-On
  3. Previous Stimulus events:
    1. Stimulus Connect 16: Thresholds and Necessity Trafficking, January 20, 2022
    2. Stimulus Connect 14: Drug Decrim Canada, September 23, 2021
    3. Stimulus Webinar: Decriminalization: Beyond the Buzzword, December 8, 2020
  4. Maps: Drug Decriminalisation Across the World 29 countries. 49 models of drug decriminalisation. One handy web-tool.
  5. Tool: Comparing models of drug decriminalisation
  6. Podcast: Crackdown
    1. Episode 4: Blame
    2. Episode 5: The Portugal Paradox 
    3. Episode 7: Stand Down
  7. CAPUD‘s decriminalization litigation CAPUD Decrim website 
    1. Go Fund Me: Support CAPUD in its Drug Decrim Action
  8. Resource: Guidelines to prosecutors in determining the appropriate approach to the prosecution of the possession of a controlled substance contrary to s. 4(1) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (the “CDSA”).
  9. Resource: The Impact of Stigma and Avoiding Stigmatizing Language – Canadian Drug Policy Coalition June 29, 2022
  10. Journal Article: Too Many Hats? The Role of Police Officers in Drug Enforcement and the Community, January 2022
  11. Resource: Alternative Model to Drug Criminalization in Toronto, January 2022
  12. Manuscript: How to decriminalize drugs: the design features of a non-criminal response to the personal possession of drugs, August 2021
  13. Expert Task Force on Substance Use: Reports
  14. Journal Article: Proposals for Decriminalization of Illicit Drug Use: Considering a Combination of déjà-vu, Diversion and Devil-with-many-details for Health-oriented Policy Reform, May 2021
  15. Report: Drug Decriminalisation: Progress or Political Red Herring? Assessing the Impact of Current Models of Decriminalisation on People Who Use Drugs, April 2021
  16. Journal Article: Policy Brief: CSAM in Support of the Decriminalization of Drug Use and Possession for Personal Use, March 2021
  17. Read: Busted: An Illustrated History of Drug Prohibition in Canada by Susan C. Boyd, January 2021
  18. Tool: Decriminalizing People Who Use Drugs: A primer for municipal and Provincial Governments, November 2020
  19. News: How a Canadian Decriminalization Model Can Improve on Portugal, October 6, 2020
  20. Resource: How to Regulate Stimulants, October 20, 2020
  21. News: How Police Drug Seizures Are Making Life Worse on the Downtown Eastside VPD claims not to target users. September 18. 2020
  22. Letter: Canadian Government: Decriminalize Simple Drug Possession Immediately and  Drug Decriminalization Follow Up Open Letter to Government, September 16, 2020
  23. Resource: Act Now! Decriminalizing Drugs in Vancouver, 2020
  24. News: Canada Is So Close to Decriminalizing Drugs: Let’s Make It Happen, September 2, 2020
  25. News: Decriminalization of drugs ‘not a silver bullet’ for overdose crisis, prime minister says, September 2, 2020
  26. News: Canada’s top doctor open to opioid decriminalization as deaths spike, August 24, 2020
  27. News: ‘Societal discussion’ on drugs decriminalisation needed amid surge in opioid deaths, Canada’s health chief says, August 24, 2020
  28. News: Canadian police chiefs call for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession, July 9, 2020
  29. News: Portugal’s Decriminalization of Drug Use, Explained, February 28. 2020
  30. Report: Rethinking the Drug Dealer, December 17, 2019
  31. Journal Article: Depenalization, diversion and decriminalization: A realist review and programme theory of alternatives to criminalization for simple drug possession, November 28, 2019
  32. Journal Article: Drug Decriminalization: A Matter of Justice and Equity, Not Just Health, November 15, 2019
  33. Guidelines: International Guidelines on Human Rights and Drug Policy, May 2019
  34. Watch: Drug Seller Stories, March 19, 2019
  35. Resource: Safe Supply Concept Document and Fact Sheet by the Canadian Association of People Who Use Drugs (CAPUD)
  36. Journal Article: Uses and Abuses of Drug Decriminalization in Portugal, Summer 2015
  37. Resource: Drug decriminalisation in Portugal: setting the record straight, June 2014


Stimulus: Drugs, Policy and Practice in Canada is a program of the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition. Sign up to their newsletter for updates on this program as well as their other work