performing policy

so now we have BC’s application for a section 56(1) exemption from the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, which they claim will decriminalize people who use drugs. which is nonsense.

The province is proposing a decriminalization framework which relies on weight thresholds to determine whether the drugs are for personal use. as this is explained in the submission:

“In order to decriminalize personal possession, it is necessary to first define it. In BC’s decriminalization framework, the exemption will only apply if the quantity of the substance possessed qualifies as an amount for “personal use”. Those amounts will be set out as specified quantities in a Schedule. The definition will also provide PWUD clarity regarding criteria under which the exemption applies to them. A robust public education campaign will support dissemination of clear public-facing messages regarding the exemption.”

oh dear. yes so here’s where they ended up:

Substance Cumulative Binding Threshold Floor for Personal Use
Opioids (including heroin and fentanyl)
Powder cocaine and crack cocaine 4.5g
This cumulative, binding threshold will be simple and clear to communicate to the public,
PWUD, and police agencies operating in the province. The threshold quantity is a floor, below
which nobody found in possession would be subject to confiscation of drugs, arrest, or charge
for simple possession. This model limits police discretion and reduces the risk of inequitable
application of the exemption based on bias and discrimination. Above the threshold, law
enforcement will continue to exercise discretion regarding whether to confiscate drugs or
arrest an individual for simple possession. Officers may still choose not to seize drugs or arrest
for amounts above the threshold floor if they feel that the individual circumstances do not
warrant such a response. Police discretion would continue to be governed by federal guidelines
which advise the Public Prosecution Service of Canada to avoid pursuing charges for simple
possession except in the most serious cases when there is a risk to the public

this will result in the manufacture of more potent drugs. obviously. because an exemption from a prohibitionist law reinforces prohibition. this will make everything even worse.

because in this framework, producers will be motivated to create the most potent product they can, to stay under the 4.5g threshold.

I say this in the most gentle way possible, people.


stop advocating for policy that was a good idea fifteen years ago. everything is different now, in the age of synthetic drugs. if you don’t understand this or if you’re citing your lived experience from the days of heroin, you have been wrong for a while so you need to stop killing people with your advocacy.

Let’s do This.

why not actually decriminalize? start by rescinding these terrible bylaws that criminalize people having a tough time.

next, void all warrants associated with those bigoted things. FFS. give people a chance. it’s not about access to ‘treatment’ or shame or stigma, dorks, its about being allowed to exist.

Do you want to decriminalize for real? Defund the police.