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.

Reporting Done Right

Stimulus Connect 20

September 27, 2022

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 Connect 19

August 24, 2022

Is the prison system rehabilitation or community safety? The majority of society doesn’t lock their pets in cages for months or years at a time to ‘correct or rehabilitate”. Therefore, why do Canadians feel that locking humans in cages would change the situation? Join us as we connect on prisons!


  1. Panelist Organization: PASAN
    1. ​Phone Line  ​1-866-224-9978
    2. Resource: Cell Count
    3. Resource: Playing Cards
  2. Panelist Organization: Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Society
    1. Challenging Dry-Celling and a recent Twitter thread
  3. Panelist Organization: Alberta Alliance Who Educate and Advocate Responsibly (AAWEAR)
  4. Federal Administrative Segregation Class Actions. Deadline for making a claim is September 7, 2022
  5.  Reports:
    1. Prison Health is Public Health: 2022 Report, March 31, 2022
    2. No Fixed Address: The Intersections of Justice Involvement and Homelessness, 2022
    3. The Harms of Incarceration: The evidence base and human rights framework for decarceration and harm reduction in prisons. June 2021
    4. Closed Quarters: Challenges and Opportunities in Stabilizing Housing and Mental Health Across the Justice Sector, February 14, 2019
    5. Care not Corrections: Relieving the Opioid Crisis in Canada, April 17, 2018
  6. From @CAEFS – Twitter, August 18, 2022


    1. Native Women’s Association of Canada: Prison Issues, May 6, 2022
    2. Prison Pandemic Papers (By province or territory and federal), March 8, 2022
  7. Course: Transcending the Punishment Paradigm: The Promise of Restorative & Transformative Practices (USA)
  8. Book: Lessons in Liberation: Ab Abolitionish Toolkit for Educators
  9. Podcast: Perilous Canada
  10. Video:
    1. Decarcerating Care (USA)
    2. Spotlight on Solitary
  11. Websites:
    1. A Chronicle of Prisoner Unrest Across the US and Canada
    2. Caring for People Who are Detained and see their Zine, July 2021
    3. Choosing Real Safety: A historic declaration to divest from policing and prisons and build safer communities for all
    4. Criminalization and Punishment Education Project 
      1. Phone Line 613-567-JAIL (5245)
    5. Fresh Start Coalition: Working to change the law so people can move beyond their old records
    6. The John Howard Society of Canada
      1. Broken Record: The Continued Criminalization of Mental Health Issues and it’s related Report
    7. Justice Exchange: A centre for collaborative and community justices
    8. Unlocking the Gates Services Society
  12. Journal Articles:
    1. Use of community healthcare and overdose in the 30 days following release from provincial correctional facilities in British Columbia, December 1, 2021
    2. Policing with a public health lens – Moving towards an understanding of crime as a public health issue, June 11, 2021
    3. Hepatitis C elimination among people incarcerated in prisons: challenges and recommendations for action within a health systems framework, May 2021
    4. Sexual and Reproductive Health Outcomes among Incarcerated Women in Canada: A Scoping Review, January 18, 2021
    5. Perceptions and concerns of hepatitis C reinfection following prison-wide treatment scale-up: Counterpublic health amid hepatitis C treatment as prevention efforts in the prison setting. March 2020
  13. Media:
    1. Formerly incarcerated women in Nova Scotia share their stories, August 11, 2022
    2. Expansion of prison needle exchange programs going ahead despite pandemic delays, August 2, 2022
    3. How Prison and Parole Can Pull You Into a Debt Trap, July 20, 2022 (USA)
    4. Gaps in mental health care behind bars persist, 4 years after N.B. auditor general report, July 18, 2022
    5. Prison Didn’t Rehabilitate Me, But Using Meth in Prison Did, June 7, 2022
    6. Supervised drug consumption sites for federal prison inmates to expand after success in Alberta’s Drumheller Institution, May 29, 2022
    7. Scary and stressful’: Edmonton Remand Centre health workers say losing on-site paramedics puts inmates in danger, May 9, 2022
    8. Government of Saskatchewan announcement: Substance Abuse Treatment Unit Launched At Saskatoon Correctional Centre, May 9, 2022
    9. “No Evidence” Higher Incarceration Rates Reduce Fears of Crime, May 3, 2022
    10. POD: FOIPs show the school to prison pipeline in action, April 14, 2022
    11. NO WAY OUT: Once behind bars, racialized people are far less likely to get paroled when they are eligible, February 22, 2022
    12. People Leaving Prison Need More Supports to Protect Against Overdose: A new study shows the critical value of access to the health-care system. December 7, 2021
    13. Build communities, not cages: Jails are death traps, no matter how new, October 24, 2020
    14. How the Prison Abolition Issue came to be, September 2, 2021
    15. Audio: Tank Standing Buffalo explores incarceration, isolation in TIFF animated short, September 18, 2020
    16. Pregnant inmates are getting prenatal care far below health standards, study shows, August 23, 2020
    17. Black Lives Matter in prison, too, June 14, 2020

Connecting with Connect

Stimulus Connect 18

April 21, 2022

We are turning the tables on Stimulus: Drugs, Policy and Practice in Canada. The Canadian Association of People who Use Drugs (CAPUD) and the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition (CDPC) want your opinions on Stimulus’ future. This Stimulus Connect includes this year’s Connect topics; our partnerships; our ongoing searches for panelists; the work that CAPUD, CDPC and collaborators do behind the scenes that you may not notice to bring kick ass Stimulus Connects to you in an online format; and the upcoming Stimulus conference October 4 – 6, 2023 in Ottawa. Additionally, we answer your questions about Stimulus!

Previous Stimulus Connects

Debris after a forest fire in B.C.

Stimulus Connect 17: Emergency

March 3, 2022 Harm Reduction groups have never had to deal…
Speakers for Stimulus Connect 16

Stimulus Connect 16: Thresholds and Necessity Trafficking

January 20, 2022 Decriminalization Done Right: A Rights-Based…

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.