A province in the country now allows adults to carry up to 2.5 grams of drugs; initiative aims to contain opioid crisis

British Columbia, a province of 5 million inhabitants in the extreme west of Canada, started on Tuesday (31.jan.2023) an experiment that includes the temporary decriminalization of small amounts of drugs, such as heroin and cocaine. Here is the regulation in its entirety (189 KB, in English).

The text makes legal the possession and use of:

  • opioids (such as heroin, morphine, and fentanyl);
  • crack and cocaine powder;
  • methamphetamine and;
  • MDMA (ecstasy).

At first, the rule will be valid for the next 3 years, until January 31, 2026.

During this period, adults in possession of up to 2.5 grams (in total) of narcotics released for their own consumption will not be arrested or fined by the government. Substance will also not be learned.

According to the norm, users should be guided by authorities to enter programs for the treatment of chemical dependents. Traffickers, however, will continue to be subject to criminal prosecution.


Canada is experiencing a health crisis due to the increase in the consumption of opioids, drugs with an analgesic effect derived from the opium poppy. From January 2016 to June 2022, 32,632 drug-related deaths and 33,493 overdose hospitalizations were recorded, according to Canadian government data.

The vast majority of deaths (90%) were recorded in the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario, also according to the report.

Days before the new rules took effect, Canada’s Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Carolyn Bennett, told reporters that “the situation has never been more urgent”.

The effects of this public health crisis have devastated communities in British Columbia and across Canada.”, he completed. Before, she had suggested that other locations adopt the measure.

According to the government, the decriminalization of drug use aims to reduce the stigma associated with the practice, which prevents addiction from being seen as a public health problem and discourages users from seeking help.

Source: https://www.poder360.com.br/internacional/canada-testa-descriminalizacao-de-heroina-e-outras-drogas/

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