Adult drug users in B.C. are no longer going to face criminal charges for personal possession of some types of illegal drugs.
The exemption was granted by Health Canada via the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act starting January 31, 2023, and ending January 31, 2026. (British Columbia)
Under the exemption, adults 18 and older will not be arrested for the possession of small amounts of opioids, including heroin, morphine, and fentanyl, crack and cocaine, methamphetamine, and MDMA. The amount of drugs must be 2.5 grams or less in order for someone to be considered for this exemption.
An individual possessing such drugs will be offered health and social support resources instead.
If people are caught with more than 2.5 grams, or other illegal drugs not listed, they may be arrested and charged. Additionally, adults could still be charged if they are caught with drugs on school or childcare premises, airports, or Canadian Coast Guard vessels and helicopters.