Vancouver: The B.C. government’s drug decriminalization policy has changed to make it illegal to possess illicit drugs near playgrounds, water parks and skate parks.

The Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions says the change is intended to keep drugs and drug users away from what it calls “child-focused spaces”, adding to the existing list of excluded spaces that includes schools and childcare facilities.

It says B-C had to go to Ottawa to request the amendment to allow police officers to enforce federal drug laws around those spaces, after the possession of small amounts of drugs for personal use was decriminalized earlier this year.

The ministry says the move is designed to make families feel safe in their communities, and the province is also working on new legislation to further regulate public drug use that’s set to be introduced this fall. — The Canadian Press

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