BC is working with Health Canada on a way to decriminalize personal possession of small quantities of illegal drugs in the province.

The NDP government says it plans to officially ask Health Canada for an exemption to Canada’s Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

The goal is to remove the stigma for people who use illicit drugs and combat the substance abuse crisis.

The Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has been working with Health Canada on an agreement on how to apply for a provincewide exemption, and remove the shame that often stops people from seeking help

Decriminalization of small amounts of drugs has been called for by police chiefs and public health officials.