B.C.’s chief health officer calls for decriminalization of illicit drugs

Drug policy is a federal mandate, but provinces and municipalities can take steps to de facto decriminalize
The Globe and Mail (Canada)
Wednesday, April 24, 2019

British Columbia’s top public health officer is urging the province to decriminalize people who use and possess small amounts of illicit drugs in the province, calling it a “fundamental underpinning and necessary next step” in the response to the overdose crisis. But B.C.’s Public Safety Minister is resisting the proposal, citing federal drug laws and a reluctance to direct the province’s police forces. Bonnie Henry made her case for decriminalization, releasing a report that provided an overview of the history of Canada’s drug laws and strategies, the harms that prohibitionist policies have caused and a look at alternative approaches in other jurisdictions. (See also: B.C. should decriminalize drug possession to reduce fentanyl deaths—province's top doctor outlines a plan)