NHRC condemns arrests of Drug User Liberation Front (DULF) members
National Harm Reduction Coalition joins hundreds of organizations across the globe in support of the Drug User Liberation Front (DULF) in Canada, condemning the arrests of two DULF members and the criminalization of community-regulated safe supply. DULF’s work has been essential in saving lives and reducing harm.
DULF’s Compassion Club provides life-saving services to people who use drugs, including access to safety-tested substances, harm reduction supplies, and general support. Through DULF’s DOPE On Arrival (DOA) Program, the organization distributes free tested drugs to drug user groups in Vancouver each time the coroner announces updated numbers of overdose fatalities. DULF’s work is respected by many researchers, physicians, and community groups, and most importantly, by those most impacted — people who use drugs.
DULF has always been transparent about its actions and made efforts to use a federal exemption from Canada’s punitive drug laws through an application to Health Canada, but the organization was denied. On October 25, more than a year after DULF began saving lives with its compassion club, the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) raided the DULF office and associated homes, arresting two of its members. The members were later released and criminally charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking among other charges.
NHRC stands in solidarity with DULF and denounces the arrest of and/or charges for any individual or organization working intently to reduce overdoses and save lives. Through decades of evidence-backed research and folks’ lived experiences, we firmly believe harm reduction — not criminalization — is the key to fostering the long-term well-being of people who use drugs— and all people.
Read more about DULF’s work here: https://www.dulf.ca/home.