Stimulus Connect

What is Stimulus Connect

Stimulus Connect is not just another webinar, it is an opportunity for Canadian stakeholders in harm reduction and drug policy to come together, learn, and network on specific topics. We strive to provide an online space where authentic connections are made on issues that affect us all. In addition to pulling together key contacts to discuss the topic we also gather related journal articles, resources, media and tools and provide these resources along with the #StimulusConnect recording on our website.

#StimulusConnect topics are curated in consultation with the Stimulus National Implementation and Planning (SNIP) Committee and their Executive Committee. A group of key stakeholders are then brought together to collaboratively plan the content, speakers and methods of each event. As with other Stimulus program activities we work from a framework of Nothing About Us Without Us. Stimulus Connects include English/French simultaneous interpretation.

Thresholds and Necessity Trafficking

Stimulus Connect 16

January 20, 2022

10am – noon Pacific/Yukon | 11am – 1pm Mountain | noon – 2pm Central | 1 – 3pm Eastern | 2 – 4 pm Atlantic | 2:30 – 4:30pm Newfoundland & Labrador

Decriminalization Done Right: A Rights-Based Path for Drug Policy was collaboratively developed by 21 civil society groups composed of people who use drugs and their respective organizations as well as non-governmental organizations throughout Canada. The platform was released to the public in December 2021; and since its release, many individuals who share its vision for drug policy reform in Canada have endorsed its call to action.

One of its key recommendations relates to necessity trafficking and drug thresholds, and it has become increasingly clear that there is a lack of understanding in both areas. Why are they misunderstood by so many Canadians yet imperative to people who use drugs? Stimulus Connect 16 aims to clear this confusion.

Our expert panel will explain how thresholds and necessity trafficking preserve life rather than feeding the war on drugs and will answer attendee questions.

Please join as we connect.


  1. Journal Article: Too Many Hats? The Role of Police Officers in Drug Enforcement and the Community, January 2022
  2. Resource: Alternative Model to Drug Criminalization in Toronto, January 2022
  3. 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
  4. Organizational Sign On: National Civil Society Decriminalization Platform Sign-On 
  5. Media: Toronto Board of Health votes to decriminalize possession of small amounts of illegal drugs, December, 2021
  6. Blog: R v Ellis: A New Frontier for Sentencing Drug Trafficking Offences. November 2021
  7. Podcast: Crackdown
  8. Previous Stimulus Connect: Stimulus Connect 14: Drug Decrim Canada, September 2021
  9. Resource: Read Between the Lines. September 2021
  10. Report: ACT NOW! Decriminalizing Drugs in Vancouver, September 2021
  11. CAPUD‘s decriminalization litigation
    1. CAPUD Decrim website
    2. #DrugDecrimCanada
    3. Notice of Civil Claim. August 2021
    4. Go Fund Me: Support CAPUD in its Drug Decrim Action
  12. Manuscript: How to decriminalize drugs: the design features of a non-criminal response to the personal possession of drugs, August 2021

    For Sale by Native Arts Society.

  13. Media: Thresholds for 15 drugs outlined in decriminalization plan sent by Vancouver to Health Canada, June 1, 2021
  14. Tool: Comparing models of drug decriminalisation
  15. Interactive Map: Drug Decriminalisation Across the World, June 2021
  16. Expert Task Force on Substance Use: Reports
    1. Report 1: Recommendations on alternatives to criminal penalties for simple possession of controlled substances, May 2021
    2. Report 2: Recommendations on the federal government’s drug policy as articulated in a draft Canadian Drugs and Substances Strategy (CDSS), June 2021
  17. 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
  18. Report: Drug Decriminalisation: Progress or Political Red Herring? Assessing the Impact of Cirrent Models of Decriminalisation on People Who Use Drugs, April 2021
  19. Letter: Threshold amounts in Vancouver’s application to decriminalize drug possession (A joint open letter of Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users and Pivot Legal Society), March 15, 2021
  20. Journal Article: Policy Brief: CSAM in Support of the Decriminalization of Drug Use and Possession for Personal Use, March 2021
  21. Statement: Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users & Pivot Legal Society Joint Statement: We Support a Vancouver Motion to Request a Federal Exemption to Fully Decriminalize Drug Possession, November 2020
  22. Tool: Decriminalizing People Who Use Drugs: A primer for municipal and Provincial Governments, November 2020
  23. Report: The impact of arrest and seizure on drug crime and harms: A systematic review, September 2020
  24. Journal Article: Drug Decriminalization: A Matter of Justice and Equity, Not Just Health, January 2020
  25. Guidelines: International Guidelines on Human Rights and Drug Policy, May 2019
  26. Report: Is Decriminalisation Enough? Drug User Community Voices from Portugal, September 2018
  27. Journal Article: Visual and narrative representations of mental health and addiction by law enforcement, July 2015
  28. Resource: A New Approach to Managing Illegal Psychoactive Substances in Canada: Canadian Public Health Discussion Paper, May 2014

Previous Stimulus Connects

Stimulus Connect 15: Spotting

Join us for the launch of an educational animation about spotting—an overdose prevention method done by phone or video call.
Three people standing outside BC Supreme Court holding a piece of paper

Stimulus Connect 14: Drug Decrim Canada

It’s time to decriminalize drugs across Canada. The Canadian Association of People Who Use Drugs (CAPUD) is suing Canada to remove criminal penalties on drug use!
A crowd of people with signs raising their fists at a rally

Stimulus Connect 13: Recognizing Expertise

People who use drugs are the experts in their own experience and the drug policies that fuel harm.
a bottle of pills on an orange background

Stimulus Connect 12: Benefits of Stimulants

“80 to 90 percent of people are not negatively affected by drugs, but in the scientific literature nearly 100 percent of the reports are negative.” Dr. Carl Hart
Sign that reads "our pandemic is being ignored"

Stimulus Connect 10 & 11: Impact of the Pandemic on People Who Use Drugs

Canada was experiencing a massive wave of overdoses, but with 2020 came the COVID-19 pandemic which made unprecedented impact on people's lives.

Stimulus Connect 9: Harm Reduction & Drug Selling

Their work is varied, and some sellers contribute to harm reduction efforts through their role within the illegal drug market.
Naloxone kits arranged on a table

Stimulus Connect 8: Harm Reduction Tools for Parents and Caregivers

There are a range of factors, and layers of overlapping oppression that can challenge parents and caregivers who use substances.

Stimulus Connect 7: Walking the Walk

Facilitating meaningful inclusion of people who use drugs by offering attendance alone is a fail. Rather, people who use drugs must be stakeholders with equal standing in all aspects of implementing conferences and events
A sign reading "defund the police"

Stimulus Connect 6: Defunding the Police

Defund the Police has been a strong rally cry in the US and Canada. #StimulusConnect will discuss why defunding the police is an essential part of harm reduction based practice.