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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The Fort St. John City Council has directed staff to draft a new bylaw that would prohibit the use of narcotics in public places within the city.
The directive to staff was given at the latest council meeting on April 24th.
The topic of a bylaw that would prohibit the use of narcotics in public spaces in the city came after Inspector Anthony Hanson’s presentation to council on crime statistics for 2022.
Hanson told council that due to the decriminalization of small amounts of hard narcotics in January, the RCMP did not have any provincial authority to stop residents from using these previously illegal drugs in public spaces.
Hanson explained that many communities were creating bylaws to police where drugs were being used.
Councillor Trevor Bolin, who has been vocal about his disagreement with the decriminalization passed by the province, was the one who initially brought up the idea of the bylaw and was the initial proponent for staff to create the bylaw.
Council and staff discussed looking at what other communities were doing with their bylaws when crafting this bylaw.
Staff also stated that many communities were implementing bylaws like this by “beefing up” the language in their smoking bylaws.
Some of the other B.C. communities in the process of applying bylaws that would ban drug use in public spaces include Prince George, Campbell River, Kamloops, Penticton, and Sicamous.
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