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B.C. prohibits illegal drugs from playgrounds, spray and wading pools, skate parks

The B.C. government has received approval from the federal government to prohibit the possession of illegal drugs at playgrounds, spray pools, wading pools and skate parks.

In a statement Thursday, the province said the ban will go into effect Monday, Sept. 18.

This means possession of “illicit drugs within 15 metres of any play structure in a playground, a spray or wading pool, or a skate park will be prohibited.”

The move means police in B.C. will be able to enforce the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act in such areas, even though the federal government granted the province an exemption to the drug law six months ago.

B.C. said the move will help ensure families feel safe in these public places.

These spaces join the list of K-to-12 school premises and licensed childcare facilities where the possession of illegal drugs is prohibited.

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Intoxication remains illegal in all public places.

“Our government is committed to breaking down barriers and connecting people to the supports they need,” said Jennifer Whiteside, B.C.’s Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, in a statement.

“We requested this amendment from Health Canada to ensure that families feel safe in their community while continuing to use every tool available to fight the toxic-drug crisis and save lives.”

It has now been more than six months since B.C.’s exemption to the federal Controlled Drugs and Substances Act took effect.

This means adults can possess small amounts of certain drugs — opioids, crack, cocaine, methamphetamine and MDMA — for personal use.

Under decriminalization, the limit on personal substance possession is 2.5 grams. The exemption lasts until Jan. 31, 2026.

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— with files from Elizabeth McSheffrey

&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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