SHOULD GOVERNMENTS GIVE OUT DRUGS?

The results of Vancouver’s controversial safe-drug-injection site are in and they are decisive. Insite, which offers clean needles and assistance to hard-drug users, is a remarkable success story. It saves lives, reduces infections and disease, and paves the way the way to detox. Eight thousand people have visited the site since it opened in 2003. The site costs the government about $3 million a year.

So why is the Harper refusing to say whether it will extend the legal exemption under which the site operates beyond June 30?

It would seem Harper’s minister of health, Tony Clement, rejected his own department’s advice and abruptly changed course.

Mr. Clement, by all appearances, does not want more research. He wants research that conforms o the Harper government’s antipathy toward supervised injection facilities and provides the impetus to shut down Insite or at least reject applications for similar facilities elsewhere in Canada.

Should the Harper government extend Vancouver’s supervised drug facility?

Should the government set up other facilities in cities in Canada?

Do you think there is a better way to spend $3 million annually on a drug program?

8 Comments »

  1. 1
    Joe Agnost Says:

    “Should the Harper government extend Vancouver’s supervised drug facility?”

    I haven’t seen the data myself, but it sure sounds like it’s a success! If the studies point to saved lives, less infections, more rehab etc. then it should certianly be continued!

    “Should the government set up other facilities in cities in Canada?”

    If they’re the success your post implies they are then YES!

    “Do you think there is a better way to spend $3 million annually on a drug program?”

    Hell yes!

    Drugs have a stigma attached to them. I don’t know how or why alcohol is given a free pass when it’s worse than many illegal drugs – but that’s the way it is. I don’t support the gov’t’s views on drugs and the war on drugs.

  2. 2
    Cornelius T. Zen Says:

    Good morrow, all!
    I once read that in 1998, 22,000 Americans died from the use (or abuse) of recreational drugs. In that same year, 110,000 Americans died from the use of prescription drugs. In other words, doctors killed five times as many people as pushers did. War on drugs? I will believe it when alcohol and tobacco become controlled substances.
    Drug addiction is a medical issue, not a moral or criminal one.
    When the moral midgets that run Canada set a better example, then they can preach a better gospel. Insite saves lives. What better reason to maintain it does one need? CTZen

  3. 3
    Chimera Says:

    When the ideological midgets that run Canada stop listening to the Americans about how to handle our own problems, make our own laws, and deciding our own priorities, we’ll all be a lot better off.

    To get the true flavor of why Harper and Co will not speak about extending the program, one only needs to look south of the 49th parallel. Mention Insite down there, and people start running in circles with their hair on fire, clutching their pearl handles and mumbling incomprehensibly.

    Harper is being pressured by Bush to get rid of any “soft” attitudes on drugs.

    Time to get rid of both of them.

  4. 4
    jim Says:

    Let me see now – 5 years @ 3,000,000 per annum divided by 8000 servings equals $1875 a shot. A case of wine would be much cheaper. If there’re passed out they wouldn’t be doing drugs. Wine sipping would be helping the local farmers in lieu of Afgans. Gov’t taxes on wine would replenish the treasury.

  5. 5
    Joe Agnost Says:

    I’m not sure if you’re serious Jim… your’s was a funny post when not taken seriously.

    Obviously booze isn’t the anser for hard-drug addicts.

  6. 6
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    While I was sitting on the board of a detox center, we were appraised of an American research that estabilshed that a dollar ($1) spent on addiction prevention, both to drugs and alcohol, on the long run saved $7 on medical, social and jail expenses. Insite, as far as I’m concerned, by providing safe drugs handling and channeling people toward detox is a sound investment. According to the currently accepted research data, those 3 million dollars will eventually translate into savings of 21 million dollars down the line.
    But then of course it is not sound conservative, or should I say, reformist thinking. And Big Brother Dubbya could become angry and build a fence around Canada.

  7. 7
    Heidi Gulatee Says:

    Dear Joe Agnost, I am also in favor of getting people of drugs, especially the ones that have completely derailed. But you can do that only if people see there is a problem in their drug use. What I would like to know from you is, how do you see the $ 3 Millions better spent on drug programs? In my experience it is only if people like us care enough to push the elected ones to offer programs that work better than what they have in place. I am trying to learn more from all you well informed ones. Can you inform me?

  8. 8
    Heidi Gulatee Says:

    Sorry, Joe, I wrote, “I am also in favor of getting people of drugs”
    Of course that should have said” I am also in favor of getting people off drugs”. After they had the drugs legally obtained.


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