Drugs shop which will sell heroin and crack is opening in Canada
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Featured Image Credit: CTV Vancouver
A shop that will sell heroin and crack is set to open in Vancouver, Canada, to tie in with the decriminalisation of hard drugs at the end of the month.
Local businessman Jerry Martin has announced plans to open The Drugs Store, which will allow customers to buy up to 2.5g or heroin, crack and a number of other hard drugs such as methamphetamine.
Staff will wear protective bulletproof vests for safety, as well as masks to conceal their identity.
His business plan, which was shared with Vice, reads: "The Drugs Store will provide customers with reliable access to safe tested drugs, harm reduction supplies such as unused sterile needles, pipes, etc., and educational information.”
Despite the decriminalisation of such drugs, the sale of hard substances like heroin will remain illegal, meaning Martin’s shop will see him breaking the law.
However, police in Vancouver have previously allowed shops to sell cannabis when doing so was also illegal – saying at the time that officers had ‘other priorities’.
Martin, who once stood trial for allegedly running an illegal cannabis dispensary, said he would launch a legal case if he was arrested, arguing for the sale of hard drugs under Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Speaking to CTV, he said: “A lot of these people take a risk every day to go get their drugs, if it isn’t clean or safe, or they put themselves in dangerous situations.
“A lot of predators out there get girls to do things for their drugs, whether they’ve got the money or not.
“I don’t think it’s very comfortable for anyone, so they can come here and not have to worry about any of that.”
Martin, a 51-year-old reformed drug addict, added: “To the people out there that think it’s a bad idea, you have to look at it from the user’s angle and the family of that user.”
His lawyer, Paul Lewis, also described Vancouver as a ‘very progressive’ part of the country.
While Martin sees the decriminalisation as a way of reducing the risks of drug taking, the radical move has been condemned by some – including Pierre Poilievre, the new leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, who said it was a ‘deliberate policy by woke, liberal and NDP governments to provide taxpayer-funded drugs, to flood our streets with easy access to these poisons’.
He also said such policies would lead to ‘major increases in overdoses and a massive increase in crime’.
British Columbia's Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions warned that the decriminalisation of people who use drugs is not the same as legalisation.
"Mr. Martin's project is not within the scope of decriminalization," the ministry said in a statement to CBC.
"The selling (or trafficking) of controlled substances remains illegal."
The ministry added that police will maintain the ability to drug trafficking enforce laws after 31 Jan.