The federal government says Canadians 18 years of age and older will be able to possess up to a cumulative 2.5 grams of opioids, cocaine, methamphetamine and MDMA within British Columbia. The announcement is in response to a request from the province for an exemption from the law criminalizing drug possession.
This first-of-its-kind exemption will go into effect January 31, 2023 and last until January 31, 2026, unless it is revoked or replaced before then. The exemption means there will be no arrests, charges or seizures for personal possession at or below the 2.5 gram threshold.
Federal Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Carolyn Bennett and her provincial counterpart Sheila Malcolmson announced the policy shift together in Vancouver today.
The city has been the site of a surge in drug overdose deaths which accelerated throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. B.C. saw 2,224 suspected toxic illicit drug overdose deaths in 2021 and over 9,400 since 2016.
Read the full CBC article: www.cbc.ca/news/politics/opioid-crisis-bc-canada-1.6471878