Ottawa urged to decriminalize simple drug possession as overdose deaths reach record highs | CBC News

Ottawa urged to decriminalize simple drug possession as overdose deaths reach record highs | CBC News
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A growing number of officials and organizations in Canada, including police and prosecutors, are calling on the federal government to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of drugs.

In British Columbia, change has already started. On Wednesday, the city of Vancouver announced that Health Canada agreed to begin formal discussions on the city’s plan to decriminalize simple possession of all illicit drugs.

Benjamin Perrin, a professor of law at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, says if Ottawa refuses to change the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, B.C. should challenge the law in court under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

“I have no doubt, based on the current evidence, that … using the criminal law to prohibit people from possessing drugs who have…



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