Kamloops Advocates against decriminalization of public drug use

Kamloops Advocates for end to Public Drug Use

April 24, 20242 min read

“If Bill-34 is unsuccessful Kamloops City Council is requesting a halt to [drug] decriminalization.” - Kamloops city Council

April 24, 2024

In the latest Kamloops Council News, City Council has finally had enough and decided to advocate against public drug use.


The province passed Bill 34: Restricting of Public Consumption of Illegal Substances Act. Which banned use of illegal substances within 15m of schools and parks and gave police and municipalities authority to deal with unsafe and nuisance drug use in public.

This bill was blocked by a group called Harm Reduction Nurses Association who took the issue to the BC Supreme court and won an injunction against the province in October 2023. This injunction was upheld when the province attempted to appeal it in March 2024.

Upon passing of the motion put forward by Councillor Katie Neustaeter, Council has sent a letter to Premiere David Eby in support of Bill-34 and the Restricting of Public Consumption of Illegal Substances Act and against the Supreme Court injunction.

The letter states:

"We urge the Supreme Court to reconsider their decision and allow Bill-34 to be implemented so that we can better protect our community and prevent further harm"


"If Bill-34 is unsuccessful Kamloops City Council is requesting a halt to [drug] decriminalization"

Bill Sarai, acting deputy mayor, signed the letter in place of Mayor Hamer-Jackson.

KCSC reached out to Mayor Hamer-Jackson and asked why he hadn't signed the letter. After expressing surprise that KCSC had been able to attain a copy of the letter before the Mayor himself, he went on to say "The letter was supposed to come from the Mayor. I wanted to add that Kamloops already has government supported consumption sites in all of the shelters and several supportive housing facilities - Why not open them to the public? If they were open to the public, there would be no reason for people to do drugs in public parks when there are safe consumption sites all over the city. Its common sense. Nobody wants people doing drugs in front of their kids or businesses not even the people doing them"

KCSC applauds the council by taking this effort to advocate on behalf of the residents of Kamloops. We all deserve a safe place to live, work and go to school. Kamloops drug use in public areas, around business and schools is a serious health issue that needs a strong approach from local government. Recently Kamloops crime statistics have seen a reduction, but the 10 year trend is a significant increase since 2015.

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