Scrap thresholds in requests to decriminalize simple drug possession: Canadian coalition

published on March 10, 2022 by Erika Ibrahim in Vancouver Sun

More than 20 advocacy organizations are urging the federal minister of mental health and addictions to not require quantity limits from jurisdictions requesting to decriminalize simple drug possession.

Legal and health organizations have asked Carolyn Bennett to waive the need for jurisdictions to set threshold amounts in requests for exemption from criminal penalties for those who carry small amounts of illicit drugs for personal use.

The coalition, which includes the HIV Legal Network and B.C. Centre on Substance Use, said if thresholds are set too low, drug users who purchase above the limit will continue to be criminalized, especially those who are racialized and low-income.

Sandra Ka Hon Chu, executive director of the HIV Legal Network, said she is concerned that the federal government will come up with a low threshold that does not reflect how people use drugs, and “all the benefits of decriminalization will be lost.”…

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