Decriminalization of drug possession for personal use

Decriminalization of the possession of illegal drugs for personal use

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) advocate for municipal, provincial and federal governments to take all actions within their power to decriminalize the possession of drugs for personal use, in order to reduce the harms of the opioid crisis.


  • RNAO is preparing a special edition of RNJ focusing exclusively on social determinants of health with a special feature on opioid overdoses and substance use.
  • RNAO’s 2021 federal platform, our federal and provincial pre-budget submissions and our 2022 provincial platform all identify the opioid overdose crisis as a public health crisis. Collectively, we put forward a broad range of harm reduction interventions to address the growing number of opioid-related deaths, hospitalizations and emergency room visits, including expanded safer supply and decriminalization. We also issued a related action alert.
  • In collaboration with the association’s policy department, the movers are currently reviewing the Engaging Clients Who Use Substances best practice guideline to develop an online webinar dealing with substance use.
Louise Lemieux White
Conflict of interest:

No known conflict of interest

Year carried:
Last updated:
June 9, 2023