Decriminalizing drugs may not help rural B.C. users: study

published on December 27, 2022 by Nathan Griffiths in Vancouver Sun

Decriminalizing personal possession of small amounts of certain illegal drugs in B.C. likely won’t help people who live in rural and remote communities, according to a new study conducted for the B.C. Centre for Substance Use.

Starting Jan. 31, adults in B.C. will no longer be subject to criminal charges for certain drugs as Health Canada has granted an exemption from the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to B.C. until Jan. 31, 2026.

The policy limits possession to 2.5 grams but does not take into consideration the challenges that drug users in rural communities have when it comes to travelling to access unregulated drugs, said Geoff Bardwell, lead author of the study and an assistant professor in the School of Public Health Sciences at the University of Waterloo…

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