Alissa M. Greer

Assistant Professor


Alissa Greer is an assistant professor in the School of Criminology at Simon Fraser University. Her current program of research focuses on drug policy reform, policing, and qualitative research methods. She takes a critical approach to much of her work. Greer is currently evaluating the implementation of drug decriminalization in British Columbia through interviews with various groups of people who use drugs and police officers. Dr. Greer is an associate editor of the International Journal of Drug Policy and a research affiliate with the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research. She currently organizes and hosts the qualitative journal club and community of practice for practicing qualitative researchers at the School of Criminology.


Drug policy; policymaking; policing; critical perspectives; community-based research; qualitative research methods.


  • BA (UVic)
  • MPH (UToronto)
  • PhD (UBC)

Note for potential graduate students: Dr. Greer is only accepting new MA, PhD, and Postdoctoral students and serving on committees under special and rare circumstances starting in Fall or Spring 2024. Incoming students with an interest in public policy and/or drugs are encouraged to inquire by emailing Dr. Greer at


  • Ali, F., Russell, C., Greer, A., Bonn, M., Werb, D., Rehm, J. (2023). “2.5 g, I could do that before noon”: a qualitative study on people who use drugs’ perspectives on the impacts of British Columbia’s decriminalization of illegal drugs threshold limit. Substance Abuse Treatment Prevention and Policy 18, 32
  • McAdam, E., Small, W., Mullins, G., Graham, B., Greer, A., Winder, N., & DeBeck, K. (2023). Decriminalization thresholds for drug possession: A multi-criteria policy analysis framework. International Journal of Drug Policy119, 104126.
  • Scher, B. D., Neufeld, S. D., Butler, A., Bonn, M., Zakimi, N., Farrell, J., & Greer, A. (2023). “Criminalization Causes the Stigma”: Perspectives From People Who Use Drugs. Contemporary Drug Problems, 00914509231179226.
  • Zakimi, N., Greer, A., Bouchard, M., Dhillon, A., & Ritter, A. (2023). Sociometric network analysis in illicit drugs research: A scoping review. PLoS one18(2), e0282340.
  • Mamdani, Z., Loyal, J., Xavier, J., Barbic, S., Pauly, B., Buxton, J., & Greer, A. (2022). “We are the first responders”: Overdose response experiences and perspectives among people who use substances in British Columbia. Drugs: Education Prevention and Policy.
  • Greer, A., Bonn, M., Shane, C., Stevens, A., Tousenard, N. & Ritter, A., (2022). The details of decriminalization: designing a non-criminal response to the possession of drugs for personal use. International Journal of Drug Policy, 102, 103605.
  • Butler, A., Zakimi, N & Greer, A. (2022). “Total systems failure”: police officers’ perspectives on the impacts of the justice, health, and social service systems on people who use drugs. Harm Reduction Journal.
  • Greer, A., Butler, A., Zakimi, Z., & Ferencz, S. (2022). Simple possession as a ‘tool’: police discretion and drug enforcement practices among police officers in British Columbia, Canada. International Journal of Drug Policy, 99, 103471.
  • Xavier, J., Greer, A., Crabtree, A., & Buxton, J. (2022). Police officers’ perceptions of their role at overdose events: a qualitative study. Drugs: Education, Prevention, and Policy, 1-12.
  • Greer, A., Selfridge, M., Watson, TM, Macdonald, S. & Pauly, B. (2022). Young people who use drugs perceptions of police authority. Contemporary Drug Problems.
  • Xavier, J., Greer, A., Ackerman, E., Loyal, J. Mamdani, Z., Pauly, B., Barbic, S. & Buxton, J. (2022). “There are solutions, and I think we’re still working in the problem”: The limitations of decriminalization under the GSDOA and lessons from an evaluation in British Columbia, Canada. International Journal of Drug Policy.
  • Zakimi, N., & Butler, A. & Greer, A. (2022). Too many hats? The role of police officers in drug enforcement and the community. Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice.
  • Xavier, J., Greer, A., Crabtree, A., Ferencz, S., & Buxton, J. (2021). Police officers’ knowledge, understanding and implementation of the Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act in BC, Canada. International Journal of Drug Policy, 97, 103410.


  • 2023-2026 Drug decriminalization in British Columbia: An equity-oriented qualitative research project. Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR) Project Grant. [Principal investigator]
  • 2023-2026. Policing in the context of decriminalization in British Columbia: A qualitative study. Center for Mental Health and Addiction. [Co-Principal Investigator with Dr. Amanda Butler]
  • 2022-2027 Scholar Award: Alternative approaches to the criminalization of drugs: A drug policy research program for BC. Michael Smith Health Research BC. [Principal Applicant]
  • 2022-2026 Provincial qualitative evaluation of the impact of decriminalization among people who use drugs in British Columbia. BC Center for Disease Control & BC Ministry of Mental Health and Addiction. [Principal Investigator]
  • 2021-2023 Learning from the past to inform the future: A retrospective case study of the Four Pillars Drug Strategy and drug policy implementation in Vancouver, British Columbia. Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Insight Grant:  [Principal Investigator]


  • Reviewer in training program with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Fall 2022
  • Emerging Thought Leaders Program. Simon Fraser University & Informed Opinions. May 2021
  • Blended learning design, Simon Fraser University Fall 2022
  • Reimaging course design, Simon Fraser University Summer 2021
  • Instructional Skills Workshop, Simon Fraser University Spring 2020


  • CRIM 862: Advanced Qualitative Research Methods
  • CRIM 312: Criminological perspectives on social problems [offered online and in person]
  • CRIM 417: Special Topics: Drug Policy [offered blended learning and in person]

***Professor Greer is currently not teaching courses until January 2025


This instructor is currently not teaching any courses.