Our Place Victoria Podcast March 20/23
BC Government Drug Policy Advisors and former Politicians Invested in Drug Companies
Some of the senior leaders and advisors to the BC government on Drug Policy are invested in drug supply companies, asserts Dr. Julian Somers on a recent podcast. He also questioned why BC isn’t following the Portugal example that avoids drug consumption sites and offers therapeutic communities where people have a wellness plan that involves transition back to the workforce and societal reconnection.
A professional research leader in addictions, mental health and homelessness, Dr. Somers explains we came from the Oxycontin “fiasco” where governments were sorry and pharmaceutical companies went under due to misrepresenting the potential harms of opioids. Out of that, we now have a radical expansion of drug supply in BC, as though that never happened. There’s no place else on Earth doing this, he points out. People (in government) making these decisions don’t actually know the active ingredients in Portugal or in general that contribute to people successfully overcoming addictions and experiencing wellness.
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Daphne, Bramham, Vancouver Sun, also noted this drug policy conflict of interest here.
“But there has been no national discussion about what those interventions should be, including the latest panacea called “safe” or “safer supply” that’s been heavily advocated by many influential British Columbians including the provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, chief coroner Lisa Lapointe, senior Health Ministry bureaucrats and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart.
Other active proponents are:
• Dr. Perry Kendall, former provincial health officer, former co-director of the government-funded B.C. Centre on Substance Use and co-owner of FP Pharma Inc., a company formed to produce diacetylmorphine or injectable heroin.
• Dr. Martin Schechter, FP Pharma’s CEO and registered lobbyist.
• Dr. Mark Tyndall, who provides hydromorphone to 70 people through MySafe vending machines in Vancouver and Victoria.
• A former B.C. Centre on Substance Use director, Dr. Evan Wood, who is now chief medical officer at Numinus Wellness, a publicly traded psychedelics company.
In June 2021, B.C. became the first jurisdiction in the world to offer free pharmaceutical grade heroin, benzodiazepines, methamphetamines and alcohol to addicts by prescription but without the requirement that they be taken under medical supervision.”
Former Premier Mike Harcourt and former BC Solicitor-General Kash Heed are invested in “medical marijuana” companies and are prominent advocates for legalization – The Huffington Post. Business in Vancouver wrote “What the hell is wrong with us?”, noting the “sheer lunacy of a world that criminalizes jaywalkers but has propelled an illegal drug into an acceptable social movement.”