Drugs

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)

B.C. MLA says illicit drug decriminalization sends wrong message

Northwest MLA Ellis Ross wants a bigger conversation around the harm caused by illicit drugs

 

Federal Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health Carolyn Bennett, back left, speaks as B.C. Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Sheila Malcolmson listens during a news conference after British Columbia was granted an exemption to decriminalize possession of some illegal drugs for personal use, in Vancouver, on Tuesday, May 31, 2022. As drug users in British Columbia will not be arrested or charged for carrying up to 2.5 grams of illicit drugs starting next year, experts explain why the federal government is being asked to decriminalize drugs in order to stem deaths linked to the drug toxicity crisis in Canada, and what decriminalization means. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Experts explain why Ottawa is being asked to decriminalize small amounts of drugs

‘Criminal penalties for using some substances has spawned a range of unintended negative consequences’

 

Advocates for decriminalization and safe supply of drugs stood outside Nelson’s city hall on April 14th. In the month of April, 161 British Columbians died from the toxic drug supply, according to the BC Coroners Service. (Bill Metcalfe/News Staff)

B.C. sees 161 people die to toxic drug crisis in April, amid calls for safer supply

April death rates highest in Northern Health and Vancouver Coastal Health

Advocates for decriminalization and safe supply of drugs stood outside Nelson’s city hall on April 14th. In the month of April, 161 British Columbians died from the toxic drug supply, according to the BC Coroners Service. (Bill Metcalfe/News Staff)
A 2019 pilot program in Vancouver found take-home fentanyl tests have the potential to increase safer consumption of drugs. (Credit: Amy Romer/BC Centre on Substance Use)

Take-home fentanyl tests could increase safer drug consumption in B.C.: study

2019 Vancouver study found 30% of participants made safer choices after using take-home test

A 2019 pilot program in Vancouver found take-home fentanyl tests have the potential to increase safer consumption of drugs. (Credit: Amy Romer/BC Centre on Substance Use)
From left: SafePoint’s Hyeth Manlosa, Ian Fraser, and Megan White. After five years in operation, SafePoint staff have reversed 2,845 drug poisonings, according to Fraser Health. (Photo submitted)

B.C. safe consumption site marks five years of ‘truly saving lives’

SafePoint in Surrey has seen 300,000 visits from 3,533 people, with 2,845 drug poisonings reversed

From left: SafePoint’s Hyeth Manlosa, Ian Fraser, and Megan White. After five years in operation, SafePoint staff have reversed 2,845 drug poisonings, according to Fraser Health. (Photo submitted)
Holly Trider of ANKORS at an April demonstration in Nelson calling for decriminalization and safe drug supply. Advocates say last week’s decriminalization announcement doesn’t go far enough to be effective. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

‘Do the police need to carry little scales?’: Nelson’s top cop questions decriminalization enforcement

Chief Donovan Fisher says there’s been no direction given to police

Holly Trider of ANKORS at an April demonstration in Nelson calling for decriminalization and safe drug supply. Advocates say last week’s decriminalization announcement doesn’t go far enough to be effective. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns, the NDP’s critic for mental health and harm reduction, is pictured in Ottawa with members of the Mom’s Stop the Harm advocacy group. Photo supplied

B.C. MP vows to keep fighting, despite toxic drug crisis bill rejection

Courtenay-Alberni MP’s Bill C-216 aimed to legislate health-based approach to substance use

Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns, the NDP’s critic for mental health and harm reduction, is pictured in Ottawa with members of the Mom’s Stop the Harm advocacy group. Photo supplied
A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver on August 15, 2020. Advocates say Health Canada’s announcement to decriminalize personal possession of 2.5 grams will do little to save people’s lives. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

For decriminalization to save lives, users need to be allowed to carry more drugs: B.C. advocates

Health Canada nearly halved requested personal possession amount in approval May 31

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver on August 15, 2020. Advocates say Health Canada’s announcement to decriminalize personal possession of 2.5 grams will do little to save people’s lives. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, May 16, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle

Liberals pressed on whether B.C. drug decriminalization could pave way nationally

House of Commons rejects NDP bill to allow drugs for personal use countrywide

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, May 16, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
B.C. Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Sheila Malcolmson holds a copy of exemption documents in Vancouver on Tuesday, May 31, 2022, after British Columbia was granted authority to decriminalize possession of some hard drugs for personal use. 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Decriminalization of hard drugs puts B.C. in small, select group of jurisdictions

Portugal and a handfull of South American countries among the others to take similar steps

B.C. Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Sheila Malcolmson holds a copy of exemption documents in Vancouver on Tuesday, May 31, 2022, after British Columbia was granted authority to decriminalize possession of some hard drugs for personal use. 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Dean Anderson holds up a sign before a march on the first National Day of Action to draw attention to the opioid overdose epidemic, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on February 21, 2017. Beginning Jan. 31 2023, adults in B.C. will be allowed to carry up to 2.5 grams of drugs for personal use, Health Canada announced May 31, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

B.C. approved to decriminalize possession of small amounts of street drugs as deaths soar

Personal possession of up to 2.5 grams to be allowed for three years beginning Jan. 31, 2023

Dean Anderson holds up a sign before a march on the first National Day of Action to draw attention to the opioid overdose epidemic, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on February 21, 2017. Beginning Jan. 31 2023, adults in B.C. will be allowed to carry up to 2.5 grams of drugs for personal use, Health Canada announced May 31, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns addresses the House of Commons during Question Period on Feb. 3, 2022. Credit: Christian Diotte, House of Commons Photo Services

Pressure mounts for Liberals to back bill decriminalizing drug use

Gord Johns gaining support from mayors and advocates in his bid to address overdose crisis

Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns addresses the House of Commons during Question Period on Feb. 3, 2022. Credit: Christian Diotte, House of Commons Photo Services
Dr. Andrew Bui-Nguyen poses in the treatment room of one the two clinical sites in Montreal, Sunday, May 15, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes.

First patient in Quebec gets approval from Health Canada for magic mushroom therapy

Clinic to become first health-care facility in Quebec to legally treat depression with psilocybin

Dr. Andrew Bui-Nguyen poses in the treatment room of one the two clinical sites in Montreal, Sunday, May 15, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes.
In this Aug. 3, 2007, file photo, magic mushrooms are seen in a grow room at the Procare farm in Hazerswoude, central Netherlands. The Supreme Court of Canada has restored the acquittal of a Calgary man who attacked a woman while he was high on magic mushrooms. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Peter Dejong

UPDATED: Law barring use of extreme intoxication as criminal defence ruled unconstitutional

Supreme Court restores man’s acquittal for magic mushroom-fuelled attack

In this Aug. 3, 2007, file photo, magic mushrooms are seen in a grow room at the Procare farm in Hazerswoude, central Netherlands. The Supreme Court of Canada has restored the acquittal of a Calgary man who attacked a woman while he was high on magic mushrooms. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Peter Dejong
Moms Stop the Harm advocates and supporters gather at Centennial Square on the sixth anniversary to mark the public health emergency of the declaration due to the significant increase in opioid-related overdose across the province during the Cut The Red Tape theme in Victoria, Thursday, April 14, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

Pandemic impacted quality of illicit drugs and ‘contaminants’ in B.C., new study shows

A new study surveyed 738 people who use drugs and found 272 people reported worsening drug quality

Moms Stop the Harm advocates and supporters gather at Centennial Square on the sixth anniversary to mark the public health emergency of the declaration due to the significant increase in opioid-related overdose across the province during the Cut The Red Tape theme in Victoria, Thursday, April 14, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Packages of drugs and cash, money counters, body armour and skull-like face masks displayed across the floor (BC RCMP photo)
Packages of drugs and cash, money counters, body armour and skull-like face masks displayed across the floor (BC RCMP photo)
Curtis Traverse, right, comforts his girlfriend Hope as they listen to speeches in memory of those who died from a suspected illicit drug overdose, in Vancouver, on Wednesday, February 9, 2022. The B.C. Coroners Service announced that 2,224 people died from a suspected illicit drug overdose in 2021. The Drug User Liberation Front (DULF), Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU) and B.C. Association of People on Opiate Maintenance distributed a tested supply of illicit drugs to users after the gathering in a call for a safer drug supply. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

B.C advocates push back as Health Canada mulls lower-than-requested legal drug possession

Advocates say 2.5 gram threshold being considered isn’t evidenced based

Curtis Traverse, right, comforts his girlfriend Hope as they listen to speeches in memory of those who died from a suspected illicit drug overdose, in Vancouver, on Wednesday, February 9, 2022. The B.C. Coroners Service announced that 2,224 people died from a suspected illicit drug overdose in 2021. The Drug User Liberation Front (DULF), Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU) and B.C. Association of People on Opiate Maintenance distributed a tested supply of illicit drugs to users after the gathering in a call for a safer drug supply. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
A homeless person uses a portable propane heater to try and stay warm under umbrellas and tarps as rain falls in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Sunday, December 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Drug users in Vancouver respond to targeted effort to ramp up vaccination rate

‘If you actually make the effort and you put in resources properly, you can do it’

A homeless person uses a portable propane heater to try and stay warm under umbrellas and tarps as rain falls in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Sunday, December 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Sheila Malcolmson speaks at a press conference in the press gallery at the Legislature in Victoria, Monday, Nov. 1, 2021. B.C.’s mental health and addictions minister said Health Canada is thinking about lowering the threshold for the province’s decriminalization request. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

Health Canada mulls lower threshold for drug decriminalization: B.C. minister

Federal government is mulling a 2.5-gram cumulative threshold

Sheila Malcolmson speaks at a press conference in the press gallery at the Legislature in Victoria, Monday, Nov. 1, 2021. B.C.’s mental health and addictions minister said Health Canada is thinking about lowering the threshold for the province’s decriminalization request. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito