Jerry Martin from Vancouver, British Colombia, is opening his drug store today in what will be a first in Canada.
The store will sell heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, MDMA and other drugs in an effort to reduce the overdose crisis plaguing the city.
British Colombia, decriminalised the possession of small amounts of drugs on January 31st.
People caught with up to 2.5 grams of opioid, cocaine, methamphetamine, or MDMA will not be penalised for personal use.
However, this does not mean that the drug store Martin is setting up in Vancouver will be legal.
Selling controlled drugs remains illegal, an issue that could lead to Martin’s arrest.
Martin does have a plan if this happens, though. He will launch a challenge related to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms arguing people need safe access to drugs under Section 7. Section 7 entitles a people to life, liberty, and security of person.
The aim of the store will be to provide people with safe drugs that have been tested for contaminants.
Arrest is not the only fear of Martin for opening his drug store in Vancouver. He is keeping prices of the drugs slightly higher than the street market value so that he doesn’t undercut local dealers. He will also keep a minimal number of drugs on his mobile site to avoid robbery.
Like the U.S. British Colombia is suffering from an overdose epidemic. In 2016, the B.C. government declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency. More than 10,000 people have died of since this declaration.