More Harm Than Good

Drug Policy in Canada

by Susan C. Boyd, Connie I. Carter and Donald MacPherson  

This book takes a critical look at the current state of Canadian drug policy and raise key questions about the effects of Canada’s increasing involvement in and commitment to the “war on drugs.”

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  • April 2016
  • ISBN: 9781552668504
  • 166 pages
  • $30.00
  • For sale worldwide
  • EPUB January 2017
  • ISBN: 9781552668627
  • $29.99
  • For sale worldwide
  • PDF January 2017
  • ISBN: 9781773635880
  • $29.99
  • For sale worldwide
  • Kindle January 2017
  • ISBN: 9781552668634
  • $28.00
  • For sale worldwide

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About the book

In More Harm Than Good, Carter, Boyd and MacPherson take a critical look at the current state of Canadian drug policy and raise key questions about the effects of Canada’s increasing involvement in and commitment to the “war on drugs.” A primer on Canadian drug policy, the analysis in More Harm Than Good is shaped by critical sociology and feminist perspectives on drugs and incorporates insights not only from individuals who are on the front lines of drug policy in Canada — treatment and service workers — but also from those who live with the consequences of that policy on a daily basis — people who use criminalized drugs. Finally, the authors propose realistic alternatives to today’s failed policy approach.

“Your book really expanded thinking and understanding and had a big influence on students critical and reflective thought. Readings sparked rich conversations about their own hopes and wishes for the field, broader social and political responses and the impact on youth and families affected by substances.” - Stephanie McCune, University of Victoria

Please note: an error occurred with the printing of this book, and one of the sidebars was not printed. It is available to download here. We sincerely apologize for this oversight.

Crime & Law


Susan C. Boyd

Susan C. Boyd is a scholar/activist and distinguished professor at the University of Victoria. She has authored several articles and books on drug issues, including Busted: An Illustrated History of Drug Prohibition in Canada. She was a member of the federal Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation. She is a long-time activist who collaborates with groups that advocate for the end of drug prohibition and for the establishment of diverse services.

Connie I. Carter

Connie Carter, Ph.D. is former senior policy analyst at the Canadian Drug Policy, and currently, research officer, at BC Representative for Children and Youth. She is a graduate of the Department of Sociology at the University of Victoria and she has held a number of scholarships including the Joseph Armand Bombardier Ph.D. Fellowship (2006-2009) from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. With Dr. Susan Boyd, she is co-author of Killer Weed: Marijuana grow ops, media discourse, regulation and justice.

Donald MacPherson

Donald MacPherson is currently the Director of the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition a national coalition of organizations and individuals working to improve Canada’s approach to the use of psychoactive substances. The Coalition is a partner project with the Centre for Applied Research in Mental Health and Addictions in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University where Donald has an Adjunct Faculty appointment. Formerly he was North America’s first Drug Policy Coordinator at the City of Vancouver where he worked for 22 years. He is the author of Vancouver’s groundbreaking “Four Pillars Drug Strategy,” which called for new approaches to drug-related problems based on public health and human rights principles. In 2007 he received the Kaiser Foundation National Award of Excellence in Public Policy in Canada.


  • Acknowledgements
  • Preface
  • Drugs and Drug Policy
  • Sociological Approaches to Drugs and Drug Policy
  • A Brief History of Drug Laws and Policy in Canada
  • Drug Use in Canada
  • Federal Drug Policy: A Failed Drug Strategy
  • The “War on Drugs”: Criminalizing Drug Use
  • The International Drug Control System
  • Services and Supports for People who Use Drugs
  • Harm Reduction Services in Canada
  • Drug Policy in the Future
  • List of Acronyms
  • References


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