Don’t pack illicit substances on flights in and out of Kelowna: YLW

Kelowna International Airport (YLW). Global News

Kelowna International Airport is reminding potential air passengers that just because illicit substances have been decriminalized in B.C., it doesn’t mean they’re welcome to pack them on flights.

“As of Jan. 31, adults are able to possess small amounts of certain illicit substances for personal use within British Columbia,” reads the notice from Kelowna International Airport.

Click to play video: 'More than 2,200 people died from toxic drugs in B.C. in 2022'
More than 2,200 people died from toxic drugs in B.C. in 2022

“Decriminalization does not apply in airports, even when an individual’s final destination remains within BC. Individuals found in possession of illegal substances at Kelowna International Airport will remain subject to criminal penalties.”

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Health Canada granted an exemption from the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to the Province of B.C. This is effective from Jan. 31, 2023, to Jan. 31, 2026.

Under this exemption, people 18 years and older in B.C. are not going to be arrested or charged for possessing small amounts of certain illegal drugs for personal use.

Starting Tuesday, adults with up to two-and-a-half grams of drugs for personal use, including opioids, cocaine and MDMA, will not be arrested or charged.

The goal is to reduce the shame and stigma surrounding drug use, which the province says keeps people from accessing life-saving services.

Since 2016, toxic drugs have killed almost 11,000 people in B.C.

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