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  1. On Jan. 31, B.C. will decriminalise personal-use quantities of heroin, fentanyl, methamphetamine, cocaine and MDMA. Starting at the end of the month, possessing less than 2.5 grams of those drugs will no longer be illegal. The criminal status of drugs is a federal responsibility, of course, but B.C. successfully obtained a two-year “time-limited exemption” to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. According to the province, the emergency measure is intended to “reduce the barriers and stigma” related to drug addiction in a bid to curb the province’s sky-high rates of overdose fatalities. From articles I read in The Globe and Mail, National Post, CBC. Do you agree with such approach? This type of model is in Portugal with some results. Portugal decriminalised the public and private use, acquisition, and possession of all drugs in 2000; adopting an approach focused on public health rather than public-order priorities. ---> Aside from the stigma part, it most likely also costs more money to do the paperwork and host people for minor infractions, constantly the same customers probably. In the same time, is it possible this approach provides a gateway towards more criminality? Time will tell, I guess.
  2. In a startlingly frank admission of the failure of their capitalist business model, a collection of some of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies said they need incentives to develop antibiotics to fight 'superbugs'. Apparently the giveaways that are being promoted in the TPP like longer patent lifetimes and the ability to sue governments that do anything to interfere with their profits is no longer enough for multinational corporations. They need direct cash infusion now. One line in this story is particularly interesting. Not only does it indicate where the drug companies focus their efforts. It also indicates why there is no incentive (and in fact powerful financial disincentives) to cure any chronic condition or disease, ever. This case illustrates a problem that plagues not only the drug industry but the whole medical industry, the crime industry, the military industry, the insurance industry and every other industry ever created to address problems. These huge industries become dependent on the problems they were created to address. If those problems ever disappear or even are significantly diminished, it will threaten the salaries of powerful people. And so the last thing these industries want is for those problems to go away.
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