About

The Regulation Project

The current unregulated, illegal market for drugs is controlled by criminal organizations and cares little for our safety, security, and health. It has led to a contaminated drug supply that puts hundreds of thousands at risk every day. Creating a system for legal regulation of drugs—as we currently do for food, alcohol, cars, prescription medicine, and other things that carry risks—takes control of our health and safety out of the hands of criminal organizations and into the hands of governments and communities. It ensures that we have a safe, monitored, and pragmatic system focused on public health, human rights and justice, and one that protects youth. This is the goal of the Regulation Project.

What is the Regulation Project?

The Canadian Drug Policy Coalition, along with partner organizations and supporters are designing a collection of evidence-based models for regulating four classes of currently illegal drugs—opioids, stimulants, sedatives, and psychedelics—along with online and interactive tools. These tools will help members of the public understand some of the regulatory choices we can make about drugs, such as who, where, and what needs to be done to access them. In the process, we will hear the thoughts and preferences of different stakeholders—from medical professionals to consumers—on how these questions should be answered. Most importantly, we will share what we learn with governments to encourage them to consider evidence-based models for regulation based on what the public demands and drug policies grounded in evidence and public health principles.

This innovative project aims to educate the public about the legal regulation of drugs, gather public input about the systems we’d like to see in place, and dispel myths and fears about what legal regulation means. We’re focused on moving the discussion in Canada from “should we legalize drugs” to “how might we legalize drugs.”

Scott Bernstein, director of policy with the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition at the Peter Wall International Research Roundtable | 2019

Too often, alternative policies such as legal regulation are mired in misinformation, fear, and lack of political will to do the right thing. By moving the conversation in Canada towards pragmatic, evidence-based solutions, we can overcome these barriers to policy changes and move one step closer to saving lives and improving the health and well-being of communities. The Regulation Project is one path towards the better drug policies we desperately need. It is a new way forward and a new vision for drug policy in Canada

It’s Time for Change

“Drugs are not illegal because they are dangerous; they are dangerous because they are illegal.”

Donald MacPherson; Canadian Drug Policy Coalition

“Drug prohibition is a multi-billion dollar experiment that has utterly failed.”

Susan Boyd; Author, Busted

“Legalization and regulation of all psychoactive substances would reduce people’s dependence on the toxic illegal supply.”

Dr. Patricia Daly; Chief Medical Health Officer, Vancouver Coastal Health
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