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Advocates Win Injunction Blocking BC’s Drug Decriminalization Rollbacks – The Tyee

Jan 03, 2024

Bill 34 prohibits possession and consumption in a range of public areas, which pushes people to ‘use alone,’ one nurse says.

Legislation limiting where people can use drugs under the province’s decriminalization pilot project has been put on hold after the Supreme Court of British Columbia ruled the updates could cause irreparable harms.

The legal challenge was launched by the non-profit Harm Reduction Nurses Association in early November. The lawsuit alleges B.C.’s Bill 34, the Restricting Public Consumption of Illegal Substances Act, violates sections of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The lawsuit alleges the legislation violates people’s right to equality, life, liberty and security and protection from cruel and unusual treatment, said Caitlin Shane, staff lawyer with Pivot Legal Society and counsel for the Harm Reduction Nurses Association.

The court didn’t rule the law violates those Charter rights.

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