Stephen: BC to begin trial of decriminalizing small amounts of illicit drugs
Written by Stephen Lethbridge on June 1, 2022
The federal government said yesterday (May 31st) that it will allow British Columbia to decriminalize possession of small amounts of drugs in a three-year experiment to see if it can reduce overdose deaths, by getting rid of the fear of arrest for users who need help. Under the plan that will go into effect next January, possession of up to 2.5 grams of illegal drugs for personal use won’t lead to arrest or charges being brought, although the drugs do remain illegal. Drugs that it will cover include opioids, cocaine, methamphetamine and ecstasy.
Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, tweeted, “Stigma and fear of criminalization cause some people to hide their drug use, use alone, or use in other ways that increase the risk of harm. This is why the Government of Canada treats substance use as a health issue, not a criminal one.”