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Petition demands mandatory drug education in schools

Students in Richmond schools go through the DARE program.
Chak Au
Coun. Chak Au is supporting a petition demanding more drug education for kids.

Yet another petition, this time demanding drug education for students, is making the rounds, supported by one Richmond city councillor.

The petition, signed by the Drug Prevention Concern Group and Coun. Chak Au, is asking Premier David Eby to implement mandatory drug prevention education in schools.

The petition notes the recent discussion by Richmond city council – that resulted in rallies, protests and extensive public input – raised concerns about the failure to implement the “four pillars” strategy to tackle the opioid crisis that is killing seven people a day in B.C.

“With an overwhelming emphasis on harm reduction, the other pillars, namely, prevention, treatment, and law enforcement, have been neglected,” the petition reads. “This oversight is contributing to the worsening of the drug issue in Canada.”

The petitioners say, once they have enough signatures, they will engage the Minister of Education and Child Care, school board chairs and school superintendents “to present our findings and advocate for the implementation of drug prevention education programs.”

In fact, the Richmond RCMP offers the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program to students in Grades 5 and 6.

The Drug Prevention Concern Group was formerly the Canadian Cannabis Concern Group that fought cannabis legalization.

They claim their work resulted in Richmond passing a resolution to ban cannabis shops in the city.

Several petitions were started in light of Richmond city council having a discussion asking Vancouver Coastal Health to explore the possibility of setting up a supervised consumption site at the hospital.

The motion passed last week after two nights of raucous meetings with about 80 speakers addressing city council on the issue.

Only Couns. Au and Alexa Loo voted against the motion.

One of the petitions, from the BC Conservatives, demands an apology and retraction from Richmond city council for its decision.

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