Seattle researcher suggests drug legalization at Winnipeg meth workshop

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A Seattle-based researcher says legalization and decriminalization of drugs could be the answer to help tackle meth and other drug crises.

Edward Durgan, an Educator, Psychotherapist and Researcher based out of Seattle said legalization and decriminalization of drugs may be a solution to Winnipeg’s meth epidemic and other drug crises, at a public workshop Saturday.

“One thing legalization could do, or may do, is squash the power of those organizations,” said Durgan, in reference to the black market.

“It’ll allow for government entities to come in and regulate the use of the substances.”

Durgan suggested that access to olanzapine, a psychosis-reduction drug that could help meth addictions, could be another avenue to consider.

Durgan said he believes the city’s meth crisis is also a mental health crisis.

“I think what we’re facing is the worst mental health crisis in western civilization.”

13 Moons Harm Reduction, Project Safe Audience and others were involved in a panel with Durgan Saturday, discussing topics like funding, relationships between users and frontline workers, and safe spaces.

”We can’t heal as a community if we don’t have meeting places, if we’re not seeing people face to face you can’t overcome things,” said Sharon Johnson, a community organizer and attendee.

“We should always provide recreational-based programming to the community, giving them something to do, that’s an alternative,” said Craig Krochak who attended the workshop.

The final event is slated for 7:00 p.m. on Monday, July 29 at the Millenium Library.

The event is free to attend.