October 2, 2022
BC becomes first province to remove criminal penalties for possession of some hard drugs

British Columbia has become the first province to be granted an exemption under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to remove criminal penalties for possession of some hard drugs.

The B.C. government will now work with the federal government, health authorities, law enforcement, people with lived and living experience, Indigenous partners and community organizations to establish indicators to establish outcomes.

The substances remain illegal, but adults who have 2.5 grams or less of opioids, cocaine, methamphetamine and MDMA for personal use will no longer be arrested, charged or have their drugs seized.

“The shocking number of lives lost to the overdose crisis requires bold actions and significant policy change. I have thoroughly reviewed and carefully considered both the public health and public safety impacts of this request,” federal Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Carolyn Bennett said.

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