Health Canada will officially begin discussing Vancouver’s request to decriminalize the simple possession of all illicit substances, the city’s mayor announced on Wednesday. If granted, Vancouver would become the first city in Canada where possessing small amounts of drugs won’t be a crime.
“This is another hopeful and critical milestone on the path towards fully embracing a health-focussed approach to substance use in the City of Vancouver,” Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart said in a press release. More than 1,500 people died of drug toxicity deaths in B.C. during 2020.