Canada's police chiefs call for decriminalization of personal illicit drugs possession

Canada's police chiefs are calling for decriminalization of personal possession of illicit drugs.

They say it's the best way to battle substance abuse and addiction.

The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police is proposing increased access to health care, treatment and social services instead.

This would apply to people possessing a small amount of illicit drugs for personal consumption.

The Trudeau government has already legalized recreational use of marijuana with the goal of keeping pot out of the hands of young people and denying profits to organized criminals.

Vancouver Chief Constable Adam Palmer says they recommend that enforcement for possession give way to an integrated health-focused approach.

He says it should require partnerships between police, health care and all levels of government.

The chiefs say diversion would improve the health and safety outcomes for drug users while reducing property crime, repeat offences and the demand for drugs in communities.

They urge creation of a national task force to research drug policy reform.

The office of Health Minister Patty Hajdu did not respond to a request for comment.