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THOMSON: An Alberta solution to the drug poisoning crisis

A regulated drug supply is the best deal on offer to shrink public health costs and enforcement budgets and repossess the drug market from organized crime syndicates, while creating good jobs and preserving the lives of thousands of working-age Albertans.

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Dr. Euan Thomson is an entrepreneur, scientist and director of EACH+EVERY, a coalition of over 100 Alberta businesses calling for policy action to end the overdose crisis.

Drug poisoning is the leading cause of death among working-age Albertans, claiming more than 1,800 Albertan lives since the beginning of 2020. Almost all of these people were between the ages of 15 and 60, and people in the trades are vastly overrepresented.

These tragedies are more accurately called poisonings because people typically cannot be certain what they’re taking when they consume illegal drugs. Surviving through an unregulated drug supply is its own small miracle, particularly as elephant-strength synthetic opioids like carfentanil now slip through our sieve-like borders.

Let’s face it: synthetic opioids have extinguished any hope of “winning” the war on drugs, given the entire 2016 American fentanyl supply could fit into a dozen oil drums.

Albertans are free thinkers, and this crisis calls for a made-in-Alberta solution that centres personal autonomy, free enterprise, fiscal responsibility, and a healthy irreverence toward federal power. A century into drug prohibition with nothing to show but accelerating body counts, it is time to regain control through a regulated market.

The idea that in a regulated market, we would walk into corner stores and find crystal meth between the Mentos and Tic Tacs would be laughable if it wasn’t so widely cited. For experimenting adolescents, alcohol is at least as hard to obtain as illegal drugs precisely because its access is controlled—a distinction that also encourages open conversations and harm reduction measures. We can implement regulatory barriers as needed to keep kids safe, but only once we control the supply. For adults, the question is much simpler: shouldn’t we be allowed to put what we want in our bodies?

Decriminalization is the first step toward a legal market. Since decriminalizing drugs 20 years ago, Portugal has among the lowest youth drug use rates in Europe and effectively left its drug poisoning crisis behind. Our federal parties are short on details around their vision for ending Canada’s crisis, but the Western Standard Editorial Board recently gave the federal NDP’s platform section on drug policy the only A-grade for endorsing decriminalization and other measures emphasizing personal autonomy and freedom from harassment by authorities. (For the record, it was one of the only high-scoring parts of the NDP platform from the Western Standard.)

It turns out, people across the political spectrum agree after a hundred years, criminalization has failed to even slow down drug use, let alone end it.

While personal autonomy and market philosophy are intuitive drug policy cornerstones, the fiscal argument is at least as compelling. The Cato Institute reports ending the War on Drugs would eliminate $27 billion USD a year from American enforcement budgets and siphon $40 billion a year from organized crime. For Canada, this translates to billions cut from our enforcement, judicial and incarceration balance sheet and billions added to taxable sales. Meanwhile, reducing hospital visits due to drug poisonings could single-handedly solve the chronic ambulance shortages squeezing our emergency response capacity.

A regulated drug supply is the best deal on offer to shrink public health costs and enforcement budgets and repossess the drug market from organized crime syndicates, while creating good jobs and preserving the lives of thousands of working-age Albertans.

How can we propel this plan against the drag of federal inaction?

First, set up a province-wide exemption from Section 56 of the federal Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to abolish police enforcement of drug possession laws.

Next, support Albertan pilot projects to prescribe safe supply options to encourage more widespread access and choke off the demand for a street supply. Non-profit compassion clubs would cover those who cannot afford their prescriptions, as we saw during cannabis prohibition.

Finally, establish the first provincial Section 55 exemption to allow for drug manufacturing and distribution here at home, a move that would instantly benefit a Lethbridge-based operation and their partners in the nearby Blood Tribe. Alberta Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis already looks after compliance for legal drugs; we can apply similar stringency around labelling on the new products so people know what they’re taking.

Then watch as other provinces struggling with the same crisis adopt this updated, evidence-based Alberta Model; one that aligns compassion for people who use drugs with core values shared by so many in this province: personal autonomy, free enterprise, and fiscal responsibility.

While we’re at it, we can thumb our collective nose at a century of bad federal policy—all together, on brand for Alberta.

Tell your local federal and municipal candidates, as well as your provincial MLA, you want to see your values reflected in our drug policies.

Dr. Euan Thomson is an entrepreneur, scientist and director of EACH+EVERY, a coalition of over 100 Alberta businesses calling for policy action to end the overdose crisis.


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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Kelly Carter

    September 18, 2021 at 9:43 pm

    I don’t agree with decriminalization. I have listened to the arguments, and all I see is an increase in access leading to an increase in adicts. What people conveniently forget about Portugal is they mandated time in recovery centre’s instead of jail time for all drug offences. Treatment and not jail time I can get behind. Making more drugs available, not a chance. Instead we need to address the biggest reasons why people end up using, which most often is self medicating for mental issues because people can’t get proper help, or can’t pay for it or are to ashamed to ask for it. Econiomic issues are often also root causes,.

  2. gardenho

    September 18, 2021 at 6:47 pm

    It sounds too good to be true, but otherwise brilliant! Enough so that I will take the time to write my elected officials

  3. James Taylor

    September 18, 2021 at 10:40 am

    This is grotesque. No my tax dollars should not be used to enable self-degeneracy through arcane regulatory frameworks or. Vancouver has been doing this crap and East Hastings has gotten 4 times bigger and much worse.
    This is a crisis of meaning and spirituality in peoples’ lives that lead to this, and throwing money at it has NEVER worked and always made it worse.

  4. berta baby

    September 18, 2021 at 10:12 am

    Iiiiii don’t know man, smelling pot all around me is one thing but the joys of an after noon walk smelling the sweet sweet smells o burning garbage as your next door neighbour explores the joys of meth sitting their looking all liberal with eyes the size of plates scratching his for arms…… I don’t know if I’m there yet

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Four Alberta doctors file lawsuit againt AHS and Yiu over forced vaccination

“The Plaintiffs oppose being forced against their will to be vaccinated without their informed consent as mandated by AHS,” the statement of claim reads.

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A statement of claim was filed Friday against Alberta Health Services (AHS) and President and CEO of AHS, Dr. Verna Yiu by four Alberta doctors opposed to vaccination mandates.

“The Plaintiffs oppose being forced against their will to be vaccinated without their informed consent as mandated by AHS,” the statement of claim reads.

“Further, the Plaintiffs are opposed to disclosing their private health information or have disclosed their private health information with respect to their vaccination status against their will under threat of termination or unpaid long-term leave.”

The statement of claim says the plaintiffs are also concerned the COVID-19 vaccines are “experimental and have not undergone sufficient long-term safety observation,” and claim the ingredients for the vaccines have yet to be fully disclosed.

Plaintiff Dr. Joanna Moser is an anesthesiologist in Calgary and Red Deer and has had severe allergies to past vaccines. Moser is concerned about the risks she faces not knowing what the full list of ingredients are and fears having an adverse reaction to the shot but has been denied an exemption.

The legal filing also highlights the doctors’ concerns that “the COVID-19 vaccines do not provide full immunity,” and may only “lessen the severity of symptoms or potentially reduce the risk of hospitalization.”

In addition to citing numerous Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms violations and medical references disputing the safety and efficacy of the vaccines, the statement of claim also says the doctors are facing “discrimination” and have suffered “vilification and extreme ill-will” as a result of “false public statements” that the “unvaccinated are to blame for the pandemic.”

 Local lawyer, Jeffrey Rath of Rath & Company filed the statement of claim on behalf of his clients Friday afternoon and intends to file an injunction application on Monday.

“We’re filing the injunction to provide temporary relief for our clients and others while waiting for this to get to trial,” said Rath in an interview with the Western Standard.

“The injunction will bring broad-based relief to all those unvaccinated within AHS on the basis that it’s creating a toxic work environment and is willfully creating contempt and hatred towards unvaccinated staff members.”

An injunction, if successful, would force the vaccine mandates to be put on hold until the claim is finally determined.

Melanie Risdon is a reporter with the Western Standard
mrisdon@westernstandardonline.com

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Banned BC doctor claims COVID ‘the greatest propaganda campaign in human history’

“This is a pandemic caused by the vaccinations and were talking about high school level biology,” said Dr. Nagase.

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The current COVID-19 crisis is because of a “pandemic caused by vaccination,” said banned Dr. Daniel Nagase, in an exclusive interview with the Western Standard.

Nagase, a B.C. doctor who came under fire for giving patients an unapproved treatment for COVID-19 while working in Alberta hospitals, has been relieved of his duties in September and is no longer permitted to work in Alberta Health Services facilities.

Early October, a video of Nagase speaking at an event commemorating the anniversary of the Nuremburg Trials went viral with his account of working in an Alberta hospital treating COVID-19 patients with Ivermectin, which is also used in agriculture settings.

Western Standard exclusive interview with Dr. Daniel Nagase

The Western Standard shared the video and subsequent tweets from AHS about the incident.

“All physicians — including temporary locums — are governed by AHS’ medical bylaws when working in an AHS facility. Under these bylaws, there are expectations for all physicians to follow regarding unapproved use of medical therapy,” said AHS.

Nagase said he is not against vaccines, but said “there’s never been anything like this given to humans,” referencing the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines.

“Medically speaking, scientifically speaking, this is a lot closer to gene therapy than it is other vaccines that have been put out in history,” Nagase said adding he has not had a COVID-19 shot yet.

Nagase said his life has been turned upside down since he began to speak out about his experience being relieved of duty for treating COVID-19 patients with Ivermectin, but added, “I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Since his message has gone viral on social media, Nagase said he’s been able to reach more people with his message that “Ivermectin is a safe medication for coronavirus 19.”

Nagase has researched trials in other countries and said, “in every single one of those studies, Ivermectin worked. In moderate COVID and mild COVID mortality is reduced to zero.”

Also concerning to Nagase is that doctors are being prevented from treating patients as they would have been able to in the past.

“What they did is something that has never been done in 200 years of medical history. They banned doctors from trying a medication and banned patients from receiving it,” said Nagase of how Ivermectin was prohibited from being prescribed and used to treat COVID-19 in Canada.

Nagase has been banned from hospital practice in all AHS facilities, but is still able to practice if he opened his own office. However, Nagase said as of Monday, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta has asked him to voluntarily withdraw his licence.

“And usually when they demand you voluntarily withdraw your licence, it’s because they are leading up to involuntary revocation of your license,” he said.

Nagase also slammed the Alberta government for its handling of the health crisis.

“It has been completely anti-science,” Nagase said who went on to explain “when healthy people wear masks, you are actually driving the evolution for any virus to overcome that mask.”

“This is a pandemic caused by the vaccinations and were talking about high school level biology.

“I’m worried that we are living through the greatest propaganda campaign in human history,” Nagase said when asked why he believes there is such conflicting information around the pandemic.

When asked how he would have handled dealing with the pandemic, Nagase said, “two weeks to flatten the curve and that’s it. Isolate only the people that are at high risk of dying — that’s all.”

Nagase is in Calgary speaking at the Freedom Talk conference running Friday and Saturday. Details on the conference are here.

For those not on Facebook, the video will also be available here on Rumble.

Melanie Risdon is a reporter with the Western Standard
mrisdon@westernstandardonline.com

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BC Liberals refuse to accept Gunn as leadership candidate

“LEOC concluded that to approve Mr. Gunn’s candidacy would be inconsistent with the BC Liberal Party’s commitment to reconciliation, diversity and acceptance of all British Columbians,” said the party in a statement.

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BC Liberals have told Aaron Gunn he will not be allowed to stand as a candidate for the leadership of the party.

“After a thorough review of Mr. Gunn’s statements on social media, both public and private, and after having provided Mr. Gunn with the opportunity to respond to concerns raised by certain of those statements, LEOC concluded that to approve Mr. Gunn’s candidacy would be inconsistent with the BC Liberal Party’s commitment to reconciliation, diversity and acceptance of all British Columbians,” said the party in a statement.

Gunn was less than pleased with the decision.

“Today, it became clear that conservatives, and all British Columbians who believe in common sense and freedom of speech, are no longer welcome in today’s BC Liberal party. I will be releasing a full statement later today, but rest assured, if you think this fight is over, you couldn’t be more wrong,” he tweeted.

Gunn tweet

“mm 7 unelected, non-Indigenous insiders decided my candidacy would be inconsistent with “reconciliation”… Meanwhile, it was ACTUALLY supported by the only Indigenous person in the race,” he tweeted.

“Imagine being so entitled and arrogant that you believe a small group of unelected insiders should decide the future direction of a political party and not its democratic membership.”

Gunn announced on October 9 he would try and run for the leadership.

“I’m tired of sitting on the sidelines … the policies being enacted are the antithesis to common sense,” Gunn told an enthusiastic crowd assembled at the Greek Community Centre in Saanich — a municipality of the Greater Victoria area — moments ago.

“For too long, politicians have promised us one thing, but failed to deliver once in power … under the NDP things have gotten worse,” he said, referring to John Horgan’s government.

“I think it’s time for a change, I think it’s time for renewal and I think it’s time for common sense,” he said moments before officially announcing his candidacy.

Gunn, 31, who planned on running under the banner: Bring Back Common Sense, tried to join six others — Gavin Dew, Kevin Falcon, Michael Lee, Val Litwin, Ellis Ross, and Renee Merrifield — who’ve already tossed their hats into the leadership race ring.

His said priorities would have included scrapping the carbon tax, “serious” health care reform, and opposing vaccine passports.

“I’ll be the only one in the race opposing those, as I believe I have a substantially different approach than the other candidates. I’ve got very clear positions on on the development of resources, on supporting our forest industry, on supporting our energy industry, and a whole bunch of other things.”

Gunn said changes need to come from the top.

“I think it all starts with political leadership,” he said.

“When (police) feel they don’t have the political support, or no one’s got their back, I think that trickles down into what you see in everyday policing issues. I know many police — I’ve talked to people in the Vic PD, for example — they know sometimes they arrest one of these people, and they do all the paperwork only to see them back on the streets in just a matter of days, or even less.

“So I think there’s lots of problems and, provincially, there’s only so much you can do, but you can direct prosecutors to pursue maximum sentences, and to pursue people who are repeatedly and flagrantly breaking the law.”

Gunn served Canada during a three-year stint in the Army Reserves straight out of university, before he went to work for the Canadian Taxpayer’s Federation where he founded and became executive director of the “Generation Screwed” initiative which battled government debt, among other issues.

He’s been on the fringes of the political scene for the past three years or so, and his YouTube videos have garnered more than 50 million views and tens of thousands of followers, making him one of British Columbia’s most listened to political voices. (As an example, his Facebook followers number 20,000 more than Premier John Horgan).

Gunn said he not only wants to rebrand the BC Liberal Party — which is not affiliated with its similarly named federal party, but to rename it, as well, to reflect his and other party member’s conservatism.

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