A Canadian province on Tuesday decriminalized possession of cocaine, heroin, fentanyl and other hard drugs in a sweeping policy change Addressing an opioid overdose crisis who has killed thousands.
British ColumbiaWith five million residents, it is the first Canadian province to implement the measure, which has so far only been implemented in the US state of Oregon and Portugal.
During the three years of this pilot project, adults in British Columbia who are up to 2.5 grams of these drugsInstead of facing jail time or fines, they will receive information on how to access addiction treatment programs.
The police won’t even confiscate your drugsBut hard drug dealers and dealers will continue to face criminal prosecution.
“The situation has never been more urgent,” Mental Health and Addictions Minister Caroline Bennett said on the eve of the event. Entry into force of new ruleswhich he suggested last May could be expanded to other Canadian provinces.
The epicenter of the crisis in British Columbia, Canada, ha More than 10,000 overdose deaths were recorded Since he declared a state of public health emergency in 2016, that’s been about six people a day. Nationwide, the number of deaths exceeded 30,000.
and during first wave of covid pandemicIn May 2020, the number of overdose-related deaths in British Columbia surpassed the number of deaths from the coronavirus.
wants policy change remove the stigma attached With drug use that deters people from seeking help and promotes the belief that addiction is a health problem.
shame around drug use” builds people hide their addictionsaid Bonnie Henry, British Columbia’s public health officer. “This means that many people die alone.”