BC decriminalizes opioids, cocaine, MDMA, methamphetamine

BC decriminalizes opioids, cocaine, MDMA, methamphetamine

BC decriminalizes opioids. The federal government announced that as of Jan. 31, 2023, Canadians 18 and older will be allowed to possess up to 2.5 grams of select hard drugs including opioids, cocaine, MDMA and methamphetamine within the province of British Columbia.

Adults who are in possession of this amount will not have their drugs seized and won’t be subject to arrest or charges.

BC decriminalizes opioids

Federal Mental Health and Addictions Minister Carolyn Bennett made the announcement at a press conference on May. 31 and said this is not legalization.

“We have not taken this decision lightly,” Bennett said. “We have been working with the province the past months to ensure that their final application was able to meet the criteria necessary for Canada to be able to grant a province-wide section 56 exemption to the Canadian Drug and Substances Act.

The exemption is the first of its kind in Canada and will be used as a template for other provinces.

“Substance use is a public health issue, not a criminal one,” said Sheila Malcolmson, BC’s Mental Health and Addictions Minister. “We’re addressing this crisis from every angle including leading the country on prescribed safe supply and building new treatment and recovery services.”

Last year the BC government first requested the exemption of 4.5 grams before having an amount of 2.5 grams accepted.

“The stigma and shame that goes with using drugs means that people don’t reach out and have those conversations with their family and friends about their drug use. It also means they don’t reach out to health professionals for support,” said BC Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. “Today is an important day for people who use drugs.”

The decriminalization will not be permanent and will be in effect until Jan. 31, 2026.

No Comments

Post a Comment