September 30, 2022
BREAKING: BC approved to decriminalize possession of small amounts of street drugs as deaths soar

Dean Anderson holds up a sign before a march on the first National Day of Action to draw attention to the opioid overdose epidemic, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on February 21, 2017. Beginning Jan. 31 2023, adults in B.C. will be allowed to carry up to 2.5 grams of drugs for personal use, Health Canada announced May 31, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Beginning on Jan. 31, 2023, British Columbians 18 and older will be allowed to carry up to 2.5 grams of street drugs on them, which can include opioids, cocaine, methamphetamine or MDMA. Health Canada says the drugs must be for personal use only, and the program will be reviewed in three years.

The agency says adults found in possession of 2.5 grams or less won’t be arrested or charged and won’t have their drugs seized. Anyone producing or importing or exporting drugs and anyone carrying them for the purposes of trafficking will continue to face legal repercussions, though.

People carrying drugs cannot have them on the premises of an elementary or secondary school, licensed child care facility, airport or Canadian Coast Guard plane or helicopter. Drugs also cannot be readily accessible to the driver or operator of a vehicle or boat, and cannot be carried across borders.

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