Opinion: Why MSTH and many grieving parents don’t support harsher punishments.

If murder charges were the outcome of overdose - every overdose would become a crime scene. Every person in the room a potential suspect. How often would the person in the throws of overdose be left to die alone? Most all of the time. Who will call 911 if a murder charge could be the outcome?

If we think murder charges will deter overdose death, in this moms opinion - we are sadly mistaken. It will increase them.

We want someone to be punished for the death of our children. All of us have felt that way. We feel powerful when that drug dealer gets locked up - at least one more is off the street and someone has paid the price.

What if your child didn’t have to die? Ninety nine percent of our kids willingly took the drugs they were presented with. Many of them purchased it, shared it and repeated this often over the years. Without consequence. Until today’s poisonous supply caught up with them.

Did the guy who sold it to them know it was poisonous when they sold it? Did your child know it was poisonous when they shared it? Who is the drug dealer?

I’m not suggesting we throw caution to the wind and everyone gets a jail pass. What I am suggesting though is we have to carefully consider outcomes of desired policies or laws that have broad brush approaches.

Since US President Nixon started this war on drugs we have seen nothing more then an increase in every outcome it was designed to deter. Careful what we wish for. It might put your child in a coffin when their friends bolt from the overdose scene... or your PHD student son in jail for the rest of his life after sharing a few lines of cocaine with buddies - people in suits do drugs. Drs do drugs. Students. Fathers. Mother’s and humanitarians - do drugs. Are they all murderers? Maybe they are .... but the outcome of that will be devastating.

Jail and death are not a deterrent.... this same game has been played out for over 40 years ... it’s not working. This is why we do what we do. To minimize the risk of death and disease. Improve services for those seeking help, and help families deal with the devastating outcomes....let’s not make it worse.

Marie Agioritis
Moms Stop The Harm - Saskatchewan Leader

Marie Agioritis - Moms Stop The Harm Regional Leader for Saskatchewan (Photo Credit Lorna Thomas)

Marie Agioritis - Moms Stop The Harm Regional Leader for Saskatchewan (Photo Credit Lorna Thomas)