Perspectives on Decriminalization

Webinar | 2022-02-24

Our presenters discuss decriminalization:

  • How criminalization of people who use drugs affects the individual and their families
  • Why the feds and the provinces fail to get it right
  • How we can move together to ensure decriminalization legislation is enacted

Also Available

About Our Speakers

Dr. Christy SutherlandDr. Christy Sutherland is a family doctor and diplomat of the American Board of Addiction Medicine who works in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side providing care to Canada’s most vulnerable population.

Dr. Sutherland is the Medical Director of the Portland Hotel Society where she leads a team of physicians and nurses who are embedded in low barrier, harm reduction projects. She received her MD at Dalhousie University and completed her Family Medicine Residency at UBC in 2010.

Dr. Sutherland was recognized as the 2018 British Columbia Family Physician of the Year, as well as the recipient of a City of Vancouver Award for Excellence in 2019.


Wendy StevensWendy Stevens is the Peer Operations Coordinator with Vancouver Coastal Health’s Overdose Emergency Response Team. She moved to Vancouver from Victoria in 1999 and is of Indigenous/ settler ancestry. Wendy is also a person with lived experience with substance use, sex trade work and HIV. She has been off of street substances for 10 years and is currently on an OAT (Opioid Antagonist Therapy).

Much of her work involves educating health care providers on Trauma Informed Care, Harm Reduction, Stigma, Substance Use, How to Work with People who are Using Substances, HIV POC training etc. using lived experience, professional experience and formal education.

Wendy is passionate about bringing safe supply to people who use substances and seeing an end to the horrific and unnecessary overdose crisis.


Leslie McBainLeslie McBain, Co-Founder Moms Stop the Harm, Family Engagement Lead BCCSU, bereaved mother

Leslie is the co-founder and director of Moms Stop the Harm, a national organization dedicated to ending the failed war on drugs. MSTH advocates for the decriminalization of people who possess illicit substances and for the legal regulation of pharmaceutical drugs.