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
- on Canadian Coast Guard vessels and helicopters