Did Justin Trudeau Really Say He's Not "Philosophically Opposed" To Legalizing Heroin?

Photo: Isopix/REX/Shutterstock.
The United States is not the only place reeling from the opioid epidemic.

Canada is also feeling the devastating effects of this crisis. In British Columbia, more people overdosed in the month of November than in the previous 30 years combined.

Some people believe that one way to deal with this opioid crisis is by legally allowing clinics to prescribe medical-grade heroin as a treatment for patients who haven't responded to other methods. The Providence Crosstown Clinic in Vancouver is already offering that option.

But what about legalizing heroin? Well, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is not entirely opposed to that idea — in theory.

The prime minister met with The Vancouver Sun's editorial board on Tuesday afternoon, where Harold Munro, editor-in-chief of the newspaper, highlighted that right now dealers are the ones with full control of supplying heroin.

He then asked Trudeau if he would consider applying his position on legalizing marijuana to all illicit drugs, enacting similar policies for those substances.

"I'm a big fan, as you've all heard me say many times, of evidence-based policy," the prime minister answered.

He added that's why his administration is working to change previous legislation that would make it easier to have harm reduction measures, such as safe injection sites, across the country.

"I know there have been pilot projects in Vancouver leading the way on prescription heroin. I'm very interested in seeing the results of those," he said. "I'm certainly not philosophically or ideologically opposed to something that's going to work to save lives, but I do know that there's still more work to be done, both on public awareness and on determining how best to help people."

Trudeau added that's there's not "one magic bullet" that would fix the crisis, as it also intersects with issues such as mental health, poverty, housing, and other areas.

“There’s also issues…that are folded into, that we cannot solve for this crisis unless we go at it on multiple different levels.”

Watch the exchange at the 37-minute mark.

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