British Columbia becomes the first province in Canada to decriminalize several hard drugs. Adding that residents with more than 2.5 grams of hard drugs will be charged and arrested
It was reported that starting from Tuesday, residents of British Columbia who are 18+ will be allowed to carry 2.5 grams of drugs such as cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, fentanyl, and morphine.
British Columbia was granted this permission by the government to give the hard drug a trial for three years. While the drugs will still be illegal, residents carrying less than 2.5 grams will not be arrested, charged, or have drugs confiscated.
Instead, health and social information would be offered to residents carrying the drugs.
The British Columbia minister for mental health and addictions said, “Decriminalizing people who use drugs breaks down the fear and shame associated with substance use and ensures they feel safer reaching out for life-saving supports.”
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Canada’s federal minister of mental health and addictions, Carolyn Bennett, said the move is “a monumental shift in drug policy that favors fostering trusting and supportive relationships in health and social services over further criminalization.”
Chuck Doucette, president of the Drug Prevention Network of Canada, said, “making drug use easier for them is kind of like palliative care.”
“It’s just condemning them to a slow death, whereas if you get them off drugs, get them a life back, they can enjoy life.”
Doucette said that the plan is a “cop-out” and that drug users should be provided help addressing the root causes “that led them to use drugs in the first place.”
Others have pointed out that a similar plan enacted in Oregon two years ago has not yielded significant results and that most overdose deaths in British Columbia occur in city centers where drugs have already effectively been decriminalized.