In 2022, Health Canada approved a three-year exemption from the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act that decriminalized possession of certain illegal substances for personal use among adults in the province of British Columbia (BC). This exemption includes a cumulative threshold of 2.5 grams of opioids, cocaine, methamphetamine and methylenedioxy-methylamphetamine (MDMA). Researchers conducted interviews with people who use drugs in BC to understand the impact of the 2.5-gram threshold and how it might affect people who use drugs. The researchers interviewed 45 people who use drugs weekly or were receiving opioid agonist treatment. Participants said the 2.5-gram threshold limit might increase their risk of drug-related harms such as overdose and arrest. The researchers caution that it will be vital to monitor and evaluate the impacts of the threshold to ensure it does not result in further harms to people who use drugs.
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