Politicians can’t agree on heroin, so why is it criminalized?

Politicians can’t agree on heroin, so why is it criminalized?

On behalf of Neuberger & Partners LLP posted in drug charges on Wednesday October 09, 2013.

Canada prides itself on being a country that truly cares for its citizens and is compassionate to its citizens’ unique situations. Take, for example, individuals with mobility issues. Toronto and cities across Canada have made buildings accessible, services available and other accommodations for people. Similarly, people with serious illnesses and medical conditions are not just told to “get over it” and participate in normal society. Since most people can agree that heroin addiction is a serious medical condition, why then do we criminally charge people for heroin possession?

Being convicted of heroin possession is incredibly serious and it could have a serious, negative impact on an individual’s life. Instead of dealing with the ramifications of a criminal conviction, perhaps the criminal justice system would be better off providing treatment for addiction.

Though it is hardly a surprise, politicians in Canada can’t agree about heroin either. With credible medical research saying that providing heroin addicts with injectable prescription heroin is a more effective way of treating heroin addiction than the age-old use of oral methadone, it is not that shocking that Canadian doctors have asked to use heroin when treating addicts. Health Minister Rona Ambrose has unambiguously said that providing heroin to patients through the Special Access Program is unacceptable. Not only is injectable heroin more effective, it is also more cost-effective and more addicts are able to stay in treatment and less likely to take street drugs when given injectable heroin.

Despite this, the federal government continues to harshly punish people who have very little control over their addiction to heroin. Trying to argue that addiction has driven people to use the drug will only get individuals so far with the Crown.

Source: Maclean’s, “The politics of the heroin addict,” Aaron Wherry, 3 Oct. 2013


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On behalf of Neuberger & Partners LLP posted in COVID-19 on Tuesday March 17, 2020.

At Neuberger and Partners, we are monitoring the COVID-19 situation and have implemented safety measures to ensure the safety of our clients and staff. Our priority is and always will be the health, well-being and safety of our staff, clients and colleagues.

We have put in place various measures to prevent and minimize the impact of COVID-19:

  • In addition to standard hand-washing habits, our staff are washing hands before and after every client interaction;
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  • We will monitor and stay informed from the Government of Canada and World Health Organization for facts as they become available. We will ensure all staff and team members are educated on symptoms and are well informed on prevention and best practices.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Will the firm still run if there are closures?

  • We are committed to assisting our clients. We remain open to assist our clients at this time (following aforementioned standards for health and safety). For clients who wish to communicate with our firm virtually, we have the technology for virtual meetings and are able to respond to the needs of our clients in a manner best to protect our staff and clients’ health.

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What is the court situation? How will we deal with court closures?

  • At this time, the Superior Court of Justice is closed from March 17, 2020 to June 1, 2020 – unless a judge orders otherwise.
    If you have a March matter, your matter will be postponed to June 2, 2020.
    April matters will be postponed to June 3, 2020 and May matters will be pushed to June 4, 2020.
  • Similarly, the Ontario Court of Justice will be closed for 10 weeks for all out of custody matters in criminal practice court. In custody matters will still be addressed. It is unclear if out of custody matters such as trials or preliminary hearings will continue since the courts have left this decision to the discretion of the judges. However, Bail courts will remain open for the time being.
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Joseph Neuberger