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BC asks Ottawa for exemption to decriminalize personal possession of illicit drugs | LIVE
Credit: Global News
British Columbia is asking the federal government for an exemption from the criminal penalties for people who possess small amounts of illicit drugs for personal use.
After an announcement last April, the province has officially become the first to ask Ottawa for the exemption from Health Canada under Section 56 (1) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.
The application would decriminalize personal possession of up to 4.5 grams of illicit drugs, including heroin and fentanyl.
“Substance use and addiction is a public health issue, not a criminal one,” Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Sheila Malcolmson said Monday in a news release.
If the federal government grants the request, British Columbians caught with less than 4.5 grams would be provided with information around accessing addiction and health services. Police would not seize drugs from them.
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