Vancouver proposes decriminalizing possession of small amounts of drugs

Calls for decriminalization have grown louder as overdose deaths have shattered records across the country
The Globe and Mail (Canada)
Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Vancouver is proposing to become the first Canadian city to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of illicit drugs. Mayor Kennedy Stewart, who is forwarding the motion, says it would allow the city to fully embrace a health-focused approach to substance use. “We all know that the overdose crisis is getting worse, it’s been impacted by COVID, and the level of deaths is intolerable,” Mr. Stewart said. “This can help to reduce stigma and connect folks with health care.” The mayor will introduce the motion Tuesday. If approved by council, the city and Vancouver Coastal Health will submit a formal request to the federal ministers of Health and Public Safety and to Justice Minister and Attorney-General David Lametti. (See also: Vancouver mayor proposes decriminalization of simple drug possession)