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More work to be done as Canada ranks sixth in global drug policy index: experts

Canada ranks sixth in the world’s first drug policy index, but experts say its passing grade is nothing to be proud of as status quo policies are doing little to curb thousands of deaths yearly.

The Global Drug Policy Index ranks countries on their drug policies against recommendations set by the United Nations on human rights, criminal justice and treatments.

The majority of the 30 countries included in the study received failing grades, with a median score of 48 out of 100.

Canada hit 56 out of 100, with a lot of points deducted for how its drug policies disproportionately target racialized people.

Donald MacPherson, director of the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition, says while Canada is implementing some innovative approaches, such as harm reduction programs, it doesn’t go far enough to address the toxic drug market and related harms.

More than 22,000 Canadians have died from accidental opioid poisonings since 2016.