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B.C. to decriminalize small amounts of ‘hard’ drugs – a North American first


nuckin_futz

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13 minutes ago, King Heffy said:

Exactly, although I'm trying to figure out how in holy hell we'll ethically source cocaine.

I don't think its difficult or expensive to produce opioids, I'm sure there's a way of getting a gov't approved source. 

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12 minutes ago, JM_ said:

I don't think its difficult or expensive to produce opioids, I'm sure there's a way of getting a gov't approved source. 

Opioids aren't the problem.  Anything to do with the coca plant is going to be going through South American cartels though.

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4 hours ago, nuckin_futz said:

B.C. to decriminalize small amounts of ‘hard’ drugs – a North American first

British Columbia will become the first jurisdiction in North America to decriminalize possession of “hard” drugs such as illicit fentanyl, heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine.

 

Effective Jan. 31, 2023, British Columbians 18 and older will be able to carry up to a cumulative total of 2.5 grams of these illicit substances without the risk of arrest or criminal charges.

Police are not to confiscate the drugs, and there is no requirement that people found to be in possession seek treatment. The production, trafficking and exportation of these drugs will remain illegal.

 

Federal Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Carolyn Bennett, made the announcement alongside her B.C. counterpart, Sheila Malcolmson, in Vancouver on Tuesday.

 

The change comes six years after B.C. declared a public health emergency in response to skyrocketing overdose deaths from an increasingly volatile drug supply. Close to 10,000 people have died since 2016 in B.C. alone, and advocates have put pressure on governments to re-examine drug laws that they say were intended to minimize harms but have had the opposite effect.

 

Fear of arrest can keep people who use drugs from seeking help, incarceration is associated with increased overdose risk, and Indigenous and racialized communities are disproportionately impacted. Criminal sanctions for personal drug use also run counter to government messaging that substance use is a health issue.

 

The illicit drugs covered by the new rules are opioids including heroin and fentanyl, cocaine, methamphetamine and MDMA – the substances most commonly associated with toxic drug deaths, and most commonly seized by police. Police will maintain discretion to arrest and recommend charges for possessing other substances.

 

The new rules will not apply at elementary and secondary school premises, at licensed child care facilities, in airports, or on Canadian Coast Guard vessels and helicopter. As well, possession is still prohibited in personal vehicles or watercraft operated by a minor, regardless of whether the vehicle or watercraft is in motion. Members of the Canadian Armed Forces are subject to the Code of Service Discipline.

 

Decriminalization in B.C. is made possible through an exemption from federal drug laws. Under Section 56(1) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the minister of health can exempt from provisions of the act “any person or class of persons … if, in the opinion of the minister, the exemption is necessary for a medical or scientific purpose or is otherwise in the public interest.”

 

This exemption has been used to allow for the operation of supervised drug-use sites and to conduct research or clinical trials that involve controlled substances. More recently, it permitted pharmacists to prescribe, sell and transfer prescriptions for controlled substances so people with substance-use disorders could continue to get medications during the pandemic.

 

B.C.’s exemption expires on Jan. 31, 2026, or the date when it is revoked or replaced by another exemption – whichever comes first.

 

B.C. formally submitted its application to Health Canada seeking an exemption in November. It had sought a cumulative threshold of 4.5 grams, saying that amount would likely accommodate a multi-day supply and some sharing for many people who use drugs.

 

Ms. Malcolmson told reporters in April that Ottawa was considering the application with a lower threshold. Critics said a lower threshold failed to account for illicit fentanyl driving up opioid tolerances, and the fact that some drug users purchase and hold small amounts of drugs for others.

 

Health Canada’s position is that the lower threshold balances public health and public safety, despite there being limited research on threshold limits.

 

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-decriminalize-drugs-british-columbia-canada/

 

 

 

Decriminalization of small amounts to encourage people to seek treatment without fear of arrest is fine, but it better stop there. Legalizing all drugs is painfully idiotic. (its worth noting that portugal decriminalized, and ramped up their treatment options, but has NOT legalized). 

The worst drug crises we've ever had have come from substances being legal, not illegal. 

Look at increases in heroin and fentanyl abuse - where did it start? the opioid crisis. People getting addicted to prescription opioids, opioid prescriptions getting pulled back from them, and turning to synthetic opioids like fentanyl. Legal substances that led to addictions and overdoses, and created gateways to other substances. 

Making fentanyl and heroin easier for people to get isn't going to make them any safer. 

This idea that making something legal makes people use it more responsibly is a whole lot of horse****. If that was the case, we wouldn't have nearly 100k alcohol related deaths every year. Smoking kills nearly 500k people a year too, and cigarettes are legal. 

What to do:
1. Make sure people have what they need to use as safely as possible (clean needles, etc.)
2. Make it clear that addiction is a health issue, not an evil or a crime. 
3. Require anyone found with even possession levels of illicit substances to undergo treatment (unpopular, but i dont care)
4. Increase penalties on people found with trafficking quantities
5. End this stupid social acceptance of "experimentation" with substances - anyone who has died of causes drug-related started with experimentation. Yet magically, people who don't experiment don't seem to die of drug related causes. Got something to say about how lovely LSD, Psilocybin, MDMA, etc. are, and how "mind opening" your trip was? STFU. Use your substances in private, and stop trying to get other people to join you. You might end up fine because you stop there, but others wont because they wont stop with psilocybin. We should be afraid of hard drugs - we aren't nearly afraid enough, and we're getting less afraid everyday. We're not nearly afraid enough of alcohol, which is why so many people die every year. 

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8 minutes ago, eeeeergh said:

Making fentanyl and heroin easier for people to get isn't going to make them any safer

There is no chance of stopping fentanyl, it will always be easy to obtain. 

The simple reason is how powerful a very tiny amount is. 

 

Not legalising drugs means we support organised crime. Means some addicts get put into jail on our collective dime. 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, bishopshodan said:

There is no chance of stopping fentanyl, it will always be easy to obtain. 

The simple reason is how powerful a very tiny amount is. 

 

Not legalising drugs means we support organised crime. Means some addicts get put into jail on our collective dime. 

 

 

Legalization has led to increased use in substances that have been legalized. Great news if the goal is to get more people addicted. 

The idea too that legalization will somehow eliminate organized crime is laughable. That was one of the primary arguments for cannabis legalization. Reality is, organized crime will always find something illegal to sell - maybe its cheaper/lower quality versions of legalized drugs (just like they sell methamphetamine or fentanyl). So unless your plan is to legalize every single drug and also give it away for free, you're not getting rid of organized crime. You're just going to get them undercutting with worse substances. 

For legalization to be "effective" you also have to remove limits on how much people can buy and use. The reason why the opioid crisis moved from prescription drugs to street drugs is people were no longer able to get enough of their prescription opioid for their addiction, or it became too expensive. 

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2 minutes ago, bishopshodan said:

You'd reduce organised crime greatly. You could use the massive taxes to for education and healthcare.

 

The Cannabis roll out is so far very flawed. The product is far too expensive for how much it costs to produce. This is why people are still buying from illegal sources.

It took a while for Alc to get accepted after prohibition, I think I read something like 10-15 years. Once society full accepts weed like they do alc, it will be normalised in all aspects including prices due to more interest. And thank god it's legal, it is so much a better drug to use than our essential service that is alc. 

I was a member of BCPLA ( private liq org)  when I ran a group of liq stores in Van. I was involved in trying to get Cannabis in the stores. I met with growers, reps and BCLDB people. I know of the many flaws with the legalisation of the product but I think, as I said, in time it will be better all round. 

1. Cannabis was a primary source of revenue for organized crime, and there's been no reported change in organized crime activity in places that have legalized cannabis. Any regulated substance is always going to be more expensive because you need inspectors, facilities, etc. from which to manage and sell it. Imagine the effort that would need to go into regulating the creation and sale of "safe" MDMA - there's no world in which thats cheaper than a street version of MDMA. 

2. Even if you succeeded in reducing organized crime funding from illicit substances (you wont), organizations dont just die when one funding source dies out. The organization pivots to something else. If they cant sell MDMA anymore, they'll make something thats more potent, and more addictive, and cheaper, and sell that instead (just like they did with Meth and fentanyl). If its not substances, it'll be weapons, or something else. You see this with terror groups too - like when the FARC was no longer able to raise enough money taxing the population for "protection", they pivoted to violent kidnappings and cocaine. 

Alcohol and nicotine being legal is an absolute tragedy in every way. Worldwide, 3 million deaths per year from alcohol. 8 million from tobacco every year. If these substances were governments, theyd be perpetuating one of the worst genocides in human history, every year. 3 million deaths per year.. from substance that isnt even addictive to MOST people. I'm absolutely not okay with our society adding addictive hard drugs into the mix as "acceptable", and normalizing the use of MDMA, cocaine, etc. 

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1 minute ago, eeeeergh said:

1. Cannabis was a primary source of revenue for organized crime, and there's been no reported change in organized crime activity in places that have legalized cannabis. Any regulated substance is always going to be more expensive because you need inspectors, facilities, etc. from which to manage and sell it. Imagine the effort that would need to go into regulating the creation and sale of "safe" MDMA - there's no world in which thats cheaper than a street version of MDMA. 

2. Even if you succeeded in reducing organized crime funding from illicit substances (you wont), organizations dont just die when one funding source dies out. The organization pivots to something else. If they cant sell MDMA anymore, they'll make something thats more potent, and more addictive, and cheaper, and sell that instead (just like they did with Meth and fentanyl). If its not substances, it'll be weapons, or something else. You see this with terror groups too - like when the FARC was no longer able to raise enough money taxing the population for "protection", they pivoted to violent kidnappings and cocaine. 

Alcohol and nicotine being legal is an absolute tragedy in every way. Worldwide, 3 million deaths per year from alcohol. 8 million from tobacco every year. If these substances were governments, theyd be perpetuating one of the worst genocides in human history, every year. 3 million deaths per year.. from substance that isnt even addictive to MOST people. I'm absolutely not okay with our society adding addictive hard drugs into the mix as "acceptable", and normalizing the use of MDMA, cocaine, etc. 

Thanks for you detailed response.

I respect your pov. 

I would like to point out that Cannabis has added 44 billion to our economy since it became legal and as we have established the roll out is pathetic. I believe the revenue could be way, way higher (pun intended).

People will not stop using drugs. Crime profits greatly off that. 

 

I'll pause our convo for now and may chime in again tmr. I'm watching the Avs vs Edm game, very entertaining

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5 minutes ago, bishopshodan said:

Thanks for you detailed response.

I respect your pov. 

I would like to point out that Cannabis has added 44 billion to our economy since it became legal and as we have established the roll out is pathetic. I believe the revenue could be way, way higher (pun intended).

People will not stop using drugs. Crime profits greatly off that. 

 

I'll pause our convo for now and may chime in again tmr. I'm watching the Avs vs Edm game, very entertaining

The Col-Edm game is incredibly entertaining :)

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2 hours ago, Chris12345 said:

I woke up today to find my hunting rifle could potentially be illegal (if it is I will play by the rules) and cocaine is legal.

 

Unique that's for sure.

Or you can use a bow for hunting deer.  As to when the Feds will make cocaine legal, look at all the trouble Trudeau Junior had in trying just to get something inconsequential as pot legal.

Edited by NewbieCanuckFan
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3 hours ago, eeeeergh said:

Decriminalization of small amounts to encourage people to seek treatment without fear of arrest is fine, but it better stop there. Legalizing all drugs is painfully idiotic. (its worth noting that portugal decriminalized, and ramped up their treatment options, but has NOT legalized). 

The worst drug crises we've ever had have come from substances being legal, not illegal. 

Look at increases in heroin and fentanyl abuse - where did it start? the opioid crisis. People getting addicted to prescription opioids, opioid prescriptions getting pulled back from them, and turning to synthetic opioids like fentanyl. Legal substances that led to addictions and overdoses, and created gateways to other substances. 

Making fentanyl and heroin easier for people to get isn't going to make them any safer. 

This idea that making something legal makes people use it more responsibly is a whole lot of horse****. If that was the case, we wouldn't have nearly 100k alcohol related deaths every year. Smoking kills nearly 500k people a year too, and cigarettes are legal. 

What to do:
1. Make sure people have what they need to use as safely as possible (clean needles, etc.)
2. Make it clear that addiction is a health issue, not an evil or a crime. 
3. Require anyone found with even possession levels of illicit substances to undergo treatment (unpopular, but i dont care). 

Legalization would make the drugs safer because the supply would be of a known strength.  Overdoses are cause due to unexpectedly strong batches, as suggested by the name.  Legalization also isn't going to make it any easier for me to get a supply.  If I wanted to, I could walk downtown and find some pretty damn quickly, often with the seller advertising to me in the street.  Getting the supply under control also helps make it harder for kids to access it; have you ever met a drug dealer who asks for ID?  As for people being forced into treatment, not only does it not work, it takes away a spot from someone who actually wants help.  That practice screws the person forced into treatment, the person denied the spot, and the people delivering the program.

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29 minutes ago, NewbieCanuckFan said:

Or you can use a bow for hunting deer.  As to when the Feds will make cocaine legal, look at all the trouble Trudeau Junior had in trying just to get something inconsequential as pot legal.

Yea use that too.

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16 minutes ago, King Heffy said:

Legalization would make the drugs safer because the supply would be of a known strength.  Overdoses are cause due to unexpectedly strong batches, as suggested by the name.  Legalization also isn't going to make it any easier for me to get a supply.  If I wanted to, I could walk downtown and find some pretty damn quickly, often with the seller advertising to me in the street.  Getting the supply under control also helps make it harder for kids to access it; have you ever met a drug dealer who asks for ID?  As for people being forced into treatment, not only does it not work, it takes away a spot from someone who actually wants help.  That practice screws the person forced into treatment, the person denied the spot, and the people delivering the program.

Overdoses are not necessarily caused by an "unexpectedly strong batch". If that were true, we wouldn't see prescription opioid deaths, and yet, the entire first wave of the opioid crisis was driven by overdoses on prescription substances which were regulated and controlled. 
The other cause of an overdose is taking something like MDMA, and ending up poisoned by a lethal dose of Fentanyl that shouldn't have been in there.
The argument for "legalization making it safer" could potentially apply to the second set of cases, but not the first. 

Legalization absolutely makes it easier to buy - I've never bought something like MDMA in my life, I would have no idea who to talk to or where to start. If there was a clinic that I could walk into and get it for free, that would certainly make it easier. The "legalize all drugs" people have to argue for making it all free because if they don't, all the arguments about organized crime, quality, etc. fall apart, b/c someone will still offer street versions that are cheaper and lower quality. 

"Getting the supply under control makes it harder for kids to access it" - how do you figure? Its dead easy to access prescription drugs like Adderall, and age restricted substances like alcohol - you just go to someone you know who's older than you and legally allowed to buy it (alcohol) or somebody you know who gets an adderall prescription and buy some off them. Your average 14 year old does not know where to go get illegal MDMA, but sure has a lot of choices on where to get legal substances like alcohol or prescription drugs.

Also a massive assumption that mandatory treatment "doesn't work". It doesn't work for everyone, but it sure does help some people, including someone that I know. People in the throes of addiction are not in a state to make decisions for their long term welfare - thats why having rock solid support is required for most people to make it through rehab and to stay clean. A lot of people are helped by mandatory treatment - if they get help overcoming their addiction, they at least have a fighting chance to remain clean. 

The reality is - a lot of the tragic cases we're hearing about are from people who don't realize they're getting a lethal dose of Fentanyl. They think they're getting MDMA, something that shouldn't kill them, just let them have a good time. Its mindblowing to me that some people think the solution to this is normalize the use of MDMA, Cocaine, etc. and give it freely to everyone to access. The fact that people are dying because of a series of events that started with prescription painkillers should tell you that we need to be doing everything we can to stop people from getting this garbage to begin with. Once they're addicted, helping someone becomes nearly impossible, and the chance of them dying of an overdose goes way up. 

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34 minutes ago, Alflives said:

Make it all legal. Sell it in government “candy” stores.  

You're one of my favorite people here but I hope this is a joke :(

The last thing I want is my kids trying cocaine b/c the government considers it safe enough to sell it to them. 

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