Canada Experiments With Hard Drug Legalization: Monumental Shift in Our Drug Policy

In the Canadian province of British Columbia, an experiment with the legalization of hard drugs will start on Tuesday. That writes the BBC.


As of Tuesday, British Columbia can possess 2.5 grams of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, fentanyl and morphine. This is Canada’s first such experiment, conducted with national government approval and will run for three years.

This is a tolerance policy, somewhat in line with the Belgian follow-up policy concerning cannabis: possession of such substances will, in principle, remain a punishable offence, but adults will not be arrested or prosecuted, and the drugs will not be seized. Instead, users will receive information about possible guidance.

“This is a monumental shift in our drug policy, favouring trust, support and social services over further criminalization,” said the federal secretary of mental health and addiction, Carolyn Bennett. “Decriminalizing drug use reduces the fear and shame associated with using such substances and makes them more likely to seek help,” said County Secretary Jennifer Whiteside.

Some experts have questions about the limit of 2.5 grams because it would be too low for the drug use of many addicts.

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