Pubdate: Sat, 08 Jul 2000
Source: Border Mail (Australia)
Author: Andrew Byrne


DERRYN Hinch seems to have trouble dealing with the complex issue of drug 

Rather than listening to valid, pragmatic proposals that are aimed squarely 
at helping him and the rest of the community, he goes off with a torrid 
tantrum of confused, ill-educated, insulting and inciting jabber.

He does not seem to like "junkies".

But he would favour allowing them legal drugs, a rather courageous and 
uncertain policy, while at the same time decrying a rather simple and safe 
injecting room trial which may save lives, as happens overseas.

This might permit rehabilitation, an opportunity lost to all the sons and 
daughters who die of overdose, which is nearly always preventable.

Hinch's monstrous diatribe is, paradoxically, a series of gross 
generalisations about people whom he has actually known and loved.

But he will never know just who they are, since he would be the last person 
they would confide in about their "little problem".

We now know that drug users are ordinary citizens most of the time and 
cannot necessarily be recognised without doing a urine test.

The visible "junkies" Hinch sees are the exception.

And some of them are probably alcoholics, and just in need of our help and 

Far from the "lies" claimed by Hinch, injecting rooms are widely supported 
by the Australian community.

The Hinch website may not represent the average Aussie.

There was 88 per cent support in last week's South Sydney council election 
and majorities are also reported from professional telephone surveys.

Referendum and election results in various parts of the world on drug law 
reform have been very positive, including South Australia, California, 
Holland and Switzerland.

Hinch should hitch his energies and erudite communication skills to a 
winnable cause instead of flogging a dead and dying equine effigy.

(Rocking horses make little manure and raise little mud, Mr Hinch).

Andrew Byrne, Sydney GP
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