Virtually every country on the planet has laws banning the sale and use of illegal drugs, and while they may be designed to do more good than harm, you could argue they’ve had the opposite effect on a higher level.
Prohibition and America’s decades-long “War on Drugs” are just two of the many examples that highlight the relative futility of trying to prevent people from getting their hands on their mind-altering substances of choice, and over the past couple of decades, the tides have begun to turn in certain places as some governments have slowly started to accept that reality.
In 2001, Portugal became the first country to decriminalize the possession of all drugs in conjunction with a push to address addiction, and other liberal-minded locales have since followed in its footsteps.
That includes British Columbia, as the Canadian province officially instituted a similar measure at the start of 2023. That move was undoubtedly linked to widespread contamination issues linked to the rise in fentanyl overdoses, which is what led to activists in Vancouver deciding to hand out unlaced cocaine, meth, and heroin to people in the city a couple of years ago.
Earlier this month, one man in the capital city opted to take things one step further when he opened “The Drug Store,” a physical location where anyone over the age of 18 could purchase up to 2.5 grams of the aforementioned trio of substances (as well as MDMA).
However, that venture turned out to be incredibly short-lived, as the CBC reports the de facto dealer had the storefront shut down a day after it officially opened for business and was arrested on charges of drug trafficking.
The owner admitted he was prepared for what seemed like a fairly inevitable outcome and that he hopes to use the case to mount a challenge to the Canadian constitution in the hopes of providing people in the country with a safer alternative to purveyors on the street.