It’s time to decriminalize drug possession in Vancouver!

We did it, thank you!

Over 1400 people emailed Vancouver City Mayor and Councillors to urge them to formally apply to Health Canada for an exemption against the offence of simple drug possession in Vancouver. City Hall approved the motion unanimously, and Mayor Stewart Kennedy along with Vancouver Coast Health submitted the application for exemption on December 8th, 2020.

Thank you for taking action. It's past time we stepped up as a city to protect people who use drugs from ineffective and fatal drug policy. We've lost too many already.

When we act together for health and human rights, we win together. 

Will you urge your local government to decriminalize?

Now that Vancouver has walked the path, it's time for other municipalities and provinces to follow suit. The following resources can aid local governments to apply for an exemption today:

Decriminalizing People Who Use Drugs: A Primer for Municipal and Provincial Governments

HIV Legal Network (November 12, 2020)
Report detailing actions that municipal and provincial governments can take to decriminalize drug possession locally
Download the primer

Act Now! Decriminalizing Drugs in Vancouver

Pivot Legal Society (September 16, 2020)
Technical report urging the City of Vancouver to apply for a federal exemption to ensure local decriminalization
Download the report

Joint Statement of VANDU and Pivot Legal Society on Decriminalization in Vancouver

Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users and Pivot Legal Society (November 19, 2020)
A joint statement of support for the Vancouver motion to apply for decriminalization with the condition that it be full decriminalization, without penalties or sanctions.
Read the statement

Vancouver's unanimously approved motion to apply for an exemption

City of Vancouver (November 25, 2020)
The final unanimously approved motion is contained in the following document starting on page 8 (Motion B.4)
Read the motion

Mayor Stewart Kennedy and Vancouver Coastal Health's application for an exemption to Health Canada

Vancouver City Mayor Stewart Kennedy (December 9, 2020)
Mayor Kennedy writes to Patty Hajdu, Federal Minister of Health to request an exemption under section 56(1) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) to decriminalize personal possession amounts of controlled substances within our municipal borders
Read the letter


The fight doesn't stop here.

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