Decriminalization of Illegal Drug Possession

B.C. Premier John Horgan formally asks federal government to decriminalize possession of illegal drugs for personal use citing the harm caused by the prohibition and the ineffective deterrence it provides.

The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police come out supporting decriminalization of personal possession. The CACP found that drug use is a health issue, not a justice issue. The CACP concluded, “Merely arresting individuals for simple possession of illicit drugs has proven to be ineffective.”

In May 2020 the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, Pivot Legal Society and the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition requested the decriminalization of the possession of illicit drugs by way of either a s. 56 exemption or regulations by cabinet.

As we speak, Canadians across the country continue to be sentenced to jail time for personal possession of drugs. Federal prosecutors need to stop seeking criminal sanctions (let alone jail) for personal possession, judges need to stop giving out jail sentences for personal possession, and our federal government needs to end this destructive prohibition that undermines health and safety. We know this is wrong.