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Nelson protest calls for government to regulate safe drug supply 

A crowd of 20 people gathered at city hall in Nelson to protest what they say is the provincial government’s failure to properly legislate safe supply in BC.

Close to 12,000 people have died since 2016 and one protester says more will follow if both the provincial and federal governments don’t step up and take serious action to combat the illegal toxic supply killing people across the province. 

Dylan Griffith, who was among the protesters, says the NDP government didn’t do enough in the past, and they are doing even less now.

“The government needs to do something,” he says. “They are not doing anything, and even less now with the new premier. They barely talk about this crisis existing anymore.

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“They are ignoring it, and have shoved it under the carpet.”

He says if they continue to ignore the problem and don’t address the issues they will have more blood on their hands.

“People are continuing to die at a rate of seven people per day in BC, and it is unacceptable,” he says. “We need action now! We need safe supply, that is what is going to save people.” 

Interior Health issued a cautionary release this week concerning users who are experiencing laced products, but Griffith says this is all too common and a perfect reason why the government needs to act. 

“We are seeing more and more of these alerts,” he says. “We are seeing cocaine laced with fentanyl, as well MDA and ecstasy. It is beginning to infiltrate a lot more than just opioids.  

“It is not just everyday drug users who are at risk, it is now non-users and kids who want to experiment.”

Griffith says people shouldn’t be judged for using drugs, and death shouldn’t be a factor if people use them.

“No one deserves to die because they need drugs for pain, or if they are experimenting,” he says. “Whatever the reason, it isn’t a death sentence.”

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