Police in Vancouver, BC have raided shops alleged to be involved in providing a safe supply of drugs, resulting in the arrests of three drug policy activists.
The Mainlander reported on October 30, 2023 ("DULF Saves Lives: Solidarity Links"):
"On October 25th, 2023, the Vancouver Police Department raided the homes and arrested two people allegedly behind the Drug User Liberation Front (DULF). DULF is one of the few initiatives working to fix the social crisis driven by the unpredictability of the drug supply in British Columbia. The toxic supply has killed 13,000 people since 2016. DULF has been public in their work to provide a community-based regulated supply in the absence of any level of government or health authority taking appropriate action to save lives. Collective branches of the state and public-private social sector organizations have predominantly stood against any work being done to end the crisis."
A number of individuals and organizations involved in public health, harm reduction, and drug policy reform have expressed their outrage over the arrests and their support of DULF and its safe supply mission. See for example:
"Nationwide Support Rallies as Vancouver Police Target Safe Drug Supply Program," Canadian Drug Policy Coalition, October 27, 2023:
"Advocates, community organizations and concerned members of the public across the country are adding their names to an open letter condemning the October 25 arrests of members of the Drug User Liberation Front (DULF)."
"Nurses Condemn the Arrests of Safe Supply Providers," The Tyee, October 31, 2023:
"DULF’s efforts ought to be acknowledged as life-saving given that the alternative for many people who use drugs is turning to an unregulated, poisoned and therefore unpredictable drug supply. Compassion club models offer a far safer avenue, and there have been no overdose deaths reported in relation to substances procured through DULF.
"As with other safe supply programs, DULF members have reported an improved quality of life alongside fewer experiences of overdose, hospitalization and drug-related violence, including negative interactions with police. This program offers a low-barrier, person-centred and impactful intervention that is mitigating overdose risk while contributing to broader improvements in health and social well-being.
"These gains should be not criminalized but celebrated, supported and evaluated through continued research."
On November 1, 2023, longtime drug policy reform activist Dana Larsen was arrested by Vancouver police in raids on three shops that he operated in the city. The Vancouver Sun reported ("Vancouver police bust three storefronts selling psilocybin and psychedelics"):
"Longtime pot activist Dana Larsen has publicly promoted his foray into the retail of mushrooms and other psychedelics such as DMT, LSD, peyote and kratom. He launched storefronts at the locations that were raided Wednesday starting in 2019.
"Larsen claims his operations are 'under attack by the city,' and is urging supporters to attend a public hearing about the business licences on Dec. 6 at city hall."