With an election around the corner, BC NDP reverse course on open drug use
Eby learns that allowing people to use hard drugs in public parks isn’t the smartest public policy.

TCS Wire

April 26, 2024

British Columbia’s venture into decriminalizing possession of hard drugs appears to have backfired, and now with just months until the provincial election in October, NDP Premier David Eby is now taking steps to reclassify public drug use, citing concerns over public safety and disorder.

With an election around the corner, BC NDP reverse course on open drug use

“Our goal was to save lives,” Eby said Friday. “But that compassion, that concern for people who are struggling does not mean anything goes.”

The trial initiative, initiated in January 2023, permitted adults to hold up to 2.5 grams of substances such as heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, and methamphetamine without the threat of arrest or charges. However, a little over a year into the program, it is facing increasing opposition. 

Critics contend that it has transformed the province into a disaster with opioid deaths at all time highs and public parks having been taken over by zombie-like drug addicts.

Furthermore, opioid-related overdose deaths continue to rise in the province.

In response, the province has suggested broadening the list of prohibited places for drug use, including schools, airports, playgrounds, residences, and businesses. Previously, this proposal was halted by the BC Supreme Court over concerns that it may heighten the risk of overdose deaths.

Premier David Eby has acknowledged the public safety apprehensions associated with the policy, asserting that while sympathizing with those grappling with addiction, the government will not tolerate disorderly behavior jeopardizing community security. 

Consequently, law enforcement has been granted immediate authorization to crack down on drug use in all public areas.

New polls published by both Mainstreet Research and 338Canada show a surge of support for the BC Conservatives, leaving the BC United Party (the recently transitioned BC Liberal Party) drowning in their wake.

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