More than 7,000 lives lost to toxic drugs in 5 years — and this B.C. health crisis is only getting worse

published on April 14, 2021 by Isabelle Raghem in CBC News

As B.C. marks five years since declaring a public health emergency due to opioid deaths, the provincial government has announced it will be making its request official in Ottawa to become the first province in the country to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of illicit drugs.

B.C. Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Sheila Malcolmson said Wednesday that the province will formally seek a provincewide exemption from the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to eliminate criminal penalties for people who possess a small amount of drugs for personal use.

“People who use drugs are in a health crisis and they should not face criminal penalties,” said Malcolmson. “Drug laws and enforcing them has had a punishing effect on people, driving them to use alone and putting their lives in serious jeopardy.”…

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