Two neighbouring provinces. Two very different drug policies. B.C. and Alberta set to offer Canada a study in contrasts

published on June 1, 2022 by Alex Boyd and Omar Mosleh in Toronto Star

When Lori Hatfield’s son fled to British Columbia in 2018, hoping to escape the shadow of drug-related crimes in his native Alberta, she felt an odd pang of relief.

The mother from Lethbridge, Alta., had watched her son’s struggle with addiction, and while he was moving to what she saw as the “Mecca” of drugs in Canada, he’d also be closer to the supports she hoped would keep him alive.

“He knew he wasn’t gonna go anywhere in Alberta except to jail … (In B.C.,) there’s more services, there’s different types of services. It’s not all ‘Everybody has to fit into one box.’ ”

Canada’s two westernmost provinces have long been on seemingly different paths when it comes to drug policy, but the divide grew deeper this week with news that B.C. will decriminalize small amounts of some hard drugs

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