Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is slamming a decision that will see the decriminalization of small amounts of controlled drugs in BC, saying it will “likely result in a dramatic increase in drug use.”
The new exemption will allow anyone in BC age 18 or older to possess up to 2.5 grams of MDMA, methamphetamine, cocaine, or opioids for personal use. Individuals will not face arrest for possession, and the substances will not be seized.
It will last for a three-year trial period from January 31, 2023, until January 31, 2026.
Kenney issued a statement late Thursday afternoon condemning the decision, saying that “Many cities across Canada have existed in a defacto state of drug decriminalization for years now. The de-policing of areas in major cities like Vancouver has led to significant increases in disorder, crime, drug use and death. These Liberal-NDP policies are clearly not working,” he added.
“Alberta’s government will never allow our communities to become sanctuaries for cartels and drug traffickers. This action will likely result in a dramatic increase in drug use, violence, trafficking and addiction – something that health systems are already overburdened with”, said Kenney.
There are certain places where the exemption does not apply, meaning possession of MDMA, methamphetamine, cocaine, and opioids remains illegal. Those places are:
- Elementary and high schools
- Licensed childcare facilities
- Coast Guard vessels (including aircraft)
- In personal vehicles operated by a minor
In addition, Canadian Armed Forces members are not part of the exemption. People driving cars and watercraft must also store substances so that they’re not readily accessible by the driver.