Was honored to moderate and be on the Advisory Committee for Canada’s Drug Futures Forum. This was a special two-day event designed to take the long view and map out an agenda for the next decade of drug policy reform in Canada. See CDFF-FADC.CA
Featuring more than twenty leading and new voices from across Canada, the Americas and Europe, the Forum is organized to address four themes.
Following scene-setting presentations, more than 120 forum participants — researchers, academics, policy-makers and community stakeholders — will work in a series of small, facilitated groups. Together, they will examine potential policy directions in close detail with the goal of reaching consensus on the path ahead.
Forum participants may also apply to host their own session on the morning of the second day — expanding the program and the range of issues the Forum will address.
Following the Forum, the organizing team will release a summary report, which they hope will provide valuable and lasting guidance to governments and their agencies in Canada.
1. International control and management
- How do we intervene in drug markets constructively?
- How do changes to drug policies influence cross-border levels of violence, addiction and overdose?
- How can national policies respond to emerging threats from illicit substances trafficked into Canada?
- Is there a path to harmonizing drug policies across all three North American countries?
1A: Optimizing supply-side drug market interventions
Leo Beletsky, Associate Professor of Law and Health Sciences, School of Law and Bouvé School of Health Sciences; Faculty Scholar, Institute on Urban Health Research, Northeastern University
Dr. Stephen T. Easton, Professor of Economics, Simon Fraser University
Dr. Rosalie Pacula, Director, Bing Center for Health Economics; Co-director, RAND Drug Policy Research Center; Senior Economist; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
1B: Continental border control
Richard Fadden, former National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister of Canada
Dr. Beau Kilmer, Co-director and Senior Policy Researcher, RAND Drug Policy Research Centre
Dr. Kasia Malinowska, Director, Global Drug Policy Program, Open Society Foundations
2. Integrating policing and public health
- How can the skills of police and health professionals be better aligned to address community needs?
- How can move beyond“diversion” and toward substantive services not rooted in the criminal justice system?
- What lessons can drug courts teach us for developing new forms of partnerships?
2A: Inter-institutional collaborations between police and health professionals for first response
Chief Deputy Sheriff Jim Pugel, King County Sheriff’s Office and former Chief of the Seattle Police
Dr. Mark Tyndall, Executive Director, BC Centre for Disease Control
Senator Vernon White, Senate of Canada and former Chief of the Ottawa Police
2B: System-wide shifts in justice policy and practice, to reduce harms and improve treatment and public safety outcomes
Justice Mary Hogan, Ontario Court of Justice
Meredith Porter, Member of the Social Security Tribunal – Appeals Division
4. Strategies for health and social equity
- How can we reform the justice system to reduce persistent racial inequities in Canada?
- How might Canadian programs and policies contribute to better health and social outcomes for women and Indigenous peoples (of all genders) who use drugs, their families, and the broader community?
4A: Undoing racialized harms of drug law enforcement
Caitlyn Kasper, Staff Lawyer, Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto
Robyn Maynard, Community Activist, and Writer
Dr. Akwasi Owusu-Bempah, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Toronto
4B: Equity in harm reduction and treatment
Andy Bond, Senior Director of Housing and Program Operations, PHS Community Services Society (PHS)
Lynn Paltrow, Executive Director, National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW)
3. Decriminalization and regulation
- How do we determine appropriate models of control for different types of drugs in Canada based on global best practice?
- What are the opportunities and challenges associated with drug regulation, and how can the latter be mitigated?
- What concrete steps would need to be taken to explore the feasibility of regulation systems for currently illegal drugs in Canada?
3A: Drug regulation: opportunities and challenges
Dr. Mark Kleiman, Affiliated Faculty, NYU Wagner; Professor of Public Service, NYU Marron Institute of Urban Management
Dr. Mark Ware, Associate Professor, Family Medicine and Anesthesia, McGill University; Vice Chair of the Government of Canada Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation
3B: Models of decriminalization: exploring global best practices
Manuel Cardoso, Deputy General-Director, General Directorate for Intervention on Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies
Ann Fordham, Executive Director, International Drug Policy Consortium
With plenary presentations from:
- Don Davies, NDP Health Critic, Member of Parliament for Vancouver-Kingsway
- Mae Katt, Nurse Practitioner, Temagami First Nation
- Hon. Dr. Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, Government of Canada
- Jordan Westfall, President, Canadian Association of People Who Use Drugs (CAPUD)