B.C.'s drug decriminalization threshold based on police input: Bennett

·1 min read

OTTAWA — Carolyn Bennett, minister of mental health and addictions, says the federal government's decision on British Columbia's drug decriminalization threshold was based on police input.

Drug users in B.C. who possess up to a cumulative 2.5 grams of illicit drugs for personal use will not be arrested or charged starting next year.

The threshold falls short of the 4.5 grams requested by the province and has been criticized as too low by some advocates who say entrenched drug users typically carry more.

Bennett says in an interview the government received input from law enforcement across the country, including B.C. police agencies and the RCMP.

She says law enforcement showed that about 85 per cent of drug confiscations are of quantities less than two grams.

The minister says the government will be watching closely to see whether people will continue to be charged or have their drugs confiscated if they are carrying more than 2.5 grams.

The British Columbia Association of Chiefs of Police was not immediately available for comment.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 2, 2022.

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

The Canadian Press

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