Court Rules Police Can’t Prevent Addicts From Using On Playgrounds

A Canadian Judge has ruled that police cannot prevent addicts from doing drugs on playgrounds or in other areas frequented by children — arguing that it would cause the junkies “irreparable” harm because “public consumption and consuming drugs in the company of others is oftentimes the safest.”

As part of a pilot program set to run until 2026, the socialist government of British Columbia decriminalized hard drugs in partnership with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. According to The Blaze, “The program provides junkies in the province — 2,300 of whom overdosed in 2021 — with an exemption from federal law to possess up to 2.5 grams of various illicit substances including fentanyl, heroin, cocaine, meth, and ecstasy.”

However, problems soon arose from this program, leading to the government adding exceptions to the exemption for “areas of concern,” such as places frequented by children — as there was a rise in the use of drugs in schoolyards.

Thus, British Columbia pushed the federal government for an amendment to the decriminalization policy that would ensure addicts could not use drugs within 49 feet of playgrounds, pools and skate parks. In September, the province announced that it had received approval to allow police to enforce federal drug laws in “child-focused spaces.”

The legislation, Bill 34, would give police the ability to tell addicts to stop consuming drugs or relocate to another area — with noncompliance being punished by a fine of up to $2,000 and/or a prison term of up to six months.

However, that bill was challenged by the so-called “Harm Reduction Nurses Association” in November — who claimed that it violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, specifically the “rights of People Who Use Drugs (‘PWUD’), the … rights of the plaintiff and its members, and the … rights of Indigenous people.”

The group released a statement about the lawsuit, which declared that “Bill 34 will drive drug use further into the shadows and put the lives of our clients and community at risk,” claiming that keeping addicts off of children’s playgrounds would “disproportionately target and harm Indigenous peoples in BC.”

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson of the British Columbia Supreme Court agreed with the argument.

In his December 29 ruling, the judge did admit that “the social harms associated with public illegal drug use range from the loss of public space due to open drug use, to discarded needles and other drug paraphernalia, to drug-related criminal activity and decreases in real and perceived public safety.” He also acknowledged that the HRNA’s “evidence [was] composed almost entirely of affidavits prepared by administrators of public interest groups that are replete with anecdotal evidence, unsubstantiated conclusory statements, layers of unattributed hearsay… and policy recommendations.”

Despite all of this, Hinkson claimed that Bill 34 preventing addicts from doing drugs on children’s playgrounds “will cause irreparable harm” and that the suspension of the legislation “can be properly characterized as a substantial public benefit.”

The National Post also indicated that the judge suggested any restrictions placed on where addicts are allowed to consume drugs was essentially a violation of “the right to life, liberty and security of the person” — though the ruling did not explicitly state this.