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British Columbia Decriminalizes drugs

British Columbia New Decriminalization Of Drugs-All You Need To Know

Last Updated On 31 January 2023, 7:30 PM EST (Toronto Time)

British Columbia Decriminalization Of Drugs: Effective today, adults 18+ in British Columbia won’t face criminal charges for having small amounts of some illicit narcotics in their possession.

The new exemption will stay in effect from January 31, 2023 to January 31, 2026. Furthermore, this exemption is “NOT” legalization of these illegal drugs.

Small amount is defined as possession of a cumulative total of up to 2.5 grams of certain illegal drugs only for personal use.

So, adults (18 and older) will not be detained or punished for having up to 2.5 grams of any combination of these illicit narcotics in their own possession.

However, this exception does not apply to children under the age of 18. The Youth Criminal Justice Act still applies to minors between the ages of 12 and 17.

This exemption is only applicable in British Columbia, but all other Canadian provinces and territories are still enforcing their existing laws for possession of illegal drugs.

Another important thing is that this exemption is not applicable at certain locations as listed below:

  • elementary and secondary school (Kindergarten to Grade 12)
  • licensed child care facilities
  • airports
  • on Canadian Coast Guard vessels and helicopters

Full list of illegal drugs or substances that an individual in British Columbia can possess up to 2.5 grams

British Columbia Decriminalization of drugs
Illegal SubstanceControlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) listing
Opioid1. Opium Poppy (Papaver somniferum), its derivatives, salts, preparations, and alkaloids
2. Phenylpiperidines, their intermediates, salts, derivatives and analogues and salts of intermediates, derivatives and analogues
3. Phenazepines, their salts, derivatives and salts of derivatives
4. Amidones, their intermediates, salts, derivatives and salts of intermediates and derivatives
5. Methadols, their derivatives, salts, and salts of derivatives
6. Phenalkoxams, their salts, derivatives and salts of derivatives
7. Thiambutenes, their salts, derivatives and salts of derivatives
8. Moramides, their intermediates, salts, derivatives and salts of intermediates and derivatives
9. Morphinans, their salts, derivatives and salts of derivatives
10. Benzazocines, their salts, derivatives and salts of derivatives
11. Ampromides, their salts, derivatives and salts of derivatives
12. Benzimidazoles, their salts, derivatives and salts of derivatives
13. Fentanyls, their salts, derivatives, and analogues and salts of derivatives and analogues
14. Tilidine, its salts, derivatives and salts of derivatives
15. Tapentadol, its salts, derivatives and isomers and salts of derivatives and isomers
16. AH-7921, its salts, isomers and salts of isomers
17. MT-45, its salts, derivatives, isomers and analogues and salts of derivatives, isomers and analogues
18. U-47700, its salts, derivatives, isomers and analogues, and salts of derivatives, isomers and analogues
19. Tramadol, its salts, isomers and salts of isomers and its derivatives O-desmethyltramadol and N,O-didesmethyltramadol 
20. Lefetamine, its salts, derivatives and isomers and salts of derivatives and isomers
21. Zipeprol and any salt thereof
CocaineCocaine (benzoylmethylecgonine)
MethamphetamineMethamphetamine (N,α-dimethylbenzeneethanamine), but not including its salts, derivatives, isomers and analogues and salts of derivatives, isomers and analogues
MDMAN-methyl-3,4-methylenedioxy-amphetamine (N,α-dimethyl-1,3-benzodioxole-5-ethanamine)

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