Crack and hash can be found in almost every corner of our lives, yet it’s often harder to know what to do about them than with alcohol.
But now a group of researchers is asking the RCMP to crack it down on both, and to use the new tools it has developed to crack that.
The RCMP has created a special task force to develop new tools and guidelines to combat crack, but the group has so far produced little concrete information about how to tackle both.
“They haven’t been talking about anything,” said lead researcher David R. Dickey.
“We’ve tried to build the case for that and that’s what we’re trying to get the public involved in.”
The RCMP and Health Canada have also recently started publishing reports on how crack is being dealt with and how the drugs are being regulated.
However, these reports are often vague and not as comprehensive as the RCMP’s own reports.
The new research project was launched by researchers at the University of Ottawa and the University at Buffalo and their students, as part of their work on the impact of crack on health and society.
They are hoping to produce a report in 2019 that will include recommendations to the RCMP, Health Canada and the provinces on how to deal with both crack and other drugs.
“There’s a huge gap in the knowledge of both the RCMP and the health sector about both the impact and how to regulate,” said R.T. Tisdale, one of the researchers.
“It’s really important for the public to understand the issue and to make informed decisions about the use of drugs.”
The researchers are currently looking at how to better educate the public on the difference between crack and powder.
“The RCMP is a very public organisation,” said Dickey, “so it’s really critical to get them to understand that they need to be aware of these drugs and their effects.”
The group is looking at different ways to get people interested in cracking, including through a new website that offers a wealth of information on both the science and history of crack.
“You can get a lot of information from this website and I think it’s important for people to be able to get that information, and we have a lot more to say,” said co-author Robyn G. McLeod.
“If we can get people to understand and understand the difference, then the rest will follow.”
The task force will also be looking at the possible use of new technologies, including the use the Internet of Things, which could allow the RCMP the ability to identify suspicious items.
The research has been funded by the Federal Government and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.