Canada permits British Columbia to decriminalize low-level drug possession in three-year experiment

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Canada’s authorities accepted British Columbia’s plan to decriminalize small quantities of onerous medication for private use this week in what can be a three-year experiment. 

Beneath the brand new plan, which can run from January 2023 by 2026, Canadians aged 18 and older can be allowed to own as much as 2.5 grams of opioids, cocaine, methamphetamine, and MDMA. 

There are some exceptions to the brand new regulation, together with that Canadians can’t possess medication on Ok-12 college premises or in youngster care services. Substances can even not be “readily accessible” to anybody driving a automobile. 

A cyclist rides past hundreds of flags symbolizing the more than 10,000 people who have died of toxic drug overdoses in British Columbia, Canada during a demonstration by the drug user advocacy group Moms Stop The Harm in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada April 14, 2022. 

A bike owner rides previous tons of of flags symbolizing the greater than 10,000 individuals who have died of poisonous drug overdoses in British Columbia, Canada throughout an indication by the drug consumer advocacy group Mothers Cease The Hurt in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada April 14, 2022. 
(REUTERS/Jesse Winter/File Picture)

Canada’s westernmost province set a report for drug overdoses deaths final yr, as 2,224 folks died in 2021. 

Fentanyl, a robust opioid that’s 50-100 occasions extra highly effective than morphine, is driving the rise in overdose deaths. A report earlier this yr by the British Columbia Coroners Service discovered that fentanyl was detected in 79% of drug overdose deaths final yr, up from simply 5% in 2012. 


Drug sellers on the black market usually combine fentanyl with different medication like heroin and cocaine, and even press it into counterfeit tablets to resemble Xanax and different opiates, so as to stretch out their provide and enhance the results of their product. 

Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart welcomed the drug decriminalization experiment, saying that it’s going to “take away police from the lives of drug customers and as an alternative join them to a rising array of efficient healthcare providers.” 

“We have to detoxify our drug provide with [legalized], uncontaminated provide of illicit substances, construct extra purpose-built housing with embedded well being care helps, and approve extra secure and supervised consumption websites,” Stewart stated Tuesday. 

Community members from the Drug User Liberation Front hand out clean, tested doses of drugs at a demonstration demanding the legalization and regulation of safe alternatives to the toxic street drug supply in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada April 14, 2022. 

Group members from the Drug Consumer Liberation Entrance hand out clear, examined doses of medication at an indication demanding the legalization and regulation of secure options to the poisonous avenue drug provide in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada April 14, 2022. 
(REUTERS/Jesse Winter/File Picture)

South of British Columbia, Oregon turned the primary state within the U.S. to decriminalize small quantities of medication in 2020 when voters accepted the “Drug Dependancy Therapy and Restoration Act.” 

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A number of cities all through the U.S. have additionally decriminalized psychedelic medication, equivalent to LSD and psilocybin mushrooms. 

Portugal was the primary nation to decriminalize onerous medication when it allowed the personal use of all substances greater than 20 years in the past. 

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