|British Columbia's Minister of Mental Health and Addictions|
outlined how the province will put a three year exemption related
to criminal penalties for some illicit substances for personal use to
work towards their health care programs
The British Columbia government has received a three year exemption to remove criminal penalties for people who possess a small amount of illicit substances for personal use, the shift in the provincial approach towards substance use coming with an announcement today in Vancouver.
In the information release that accompanies today's announcement, it's noted that this exemption will be in effect from Jan. 31, 2023, to Jan. 31, 2026, throughout British Columbia.
The Province will work with a broad range of partners to implement this policy change, including the federal government, health authorities, law enforcement, people with lived and living experience, Indigenous partners and community organizations to establish the public health and public safety indicators in order to monitor and evaluate the outcomes of this exemption in real time.This exemption is not legalization. These substances remain illegal, but adults who have 2.5 grams or less of the certain illicit substances for personal use will no longer be arrested, charged or have their drugs seized. Instead, police will offer information on available health and social supports and will help with referrals when requested.