Pubdate: Wed, 25 Sep 2002
Source: Medicine Hat News (CN AB)
Copyright: 2002 Alberta Newspaper Group, Inc.
Author: Devin Olmstead


Dan Smith has chosen to step up his and his wife's campaign by inviting the 
creators, and one star, of Through a Blue Lens to Medicine Hat.

While I applaud the fact that the Smiths are at least paying attention, I 
fear they do not have the facts or the truth on their side. The Smiths 
choose avenues where they can disseminate their propaganda.

Poverty, hunger, and homelessness in addict populations is a direct result 
of the price of the narcotics they abuse. The prices of these substances 
are as ridiculously high as they are because of their legal status. What 
sells for hundreds of dollars on the street in our legal quagmire can be 
produced legally for pennies.

In Through a Blue Lens the truth about addiction has been washed over by 
the tragedy of the reality of these poor addicts' present circumstances -- 
circumstances that would not and could not exist without the draconian laws 
and the predation of those participating in the drug war.

We see addiction every day but it has a different face. The equally harmful 
chemical dependency that drives one to use nicotine and caffeine is the 
same as the chemical dependency that causes an addict to use heroin or 
cocaine. The only difference between a cigarette smoker and a heroin addict 
is the legal status and price of their drugs of choice.

We could provide free heroin and cocaine for less than it costs to buy off 
one corrupt politician. Providing these substances for free would afford 
addicts the ability and time to work instead of selling their bodies and 
stealing. The paycheque earned could be used for a month's shelter, food 
and clothing instead of one day's supply of heroin or cocaine. This is, of 
course, assuming they have the will or health to work. If they cannot or 
will not work then a social safety net should be in place to catch them 
until they can work. After all, they are ill and few in number compared to 
relatively healthy unfortunates the social safety net supports now.

When I see an unwashed, starving, homeless, AIDS-infected junkie wearing 
rags with abscesses all over his arms I can't help but feel rage. Screaming 
rage that we have let this happen and continue to support the war on 
humanity that has caused it.

Prohibition has failed completely. To continue to support it is not only 
evil it is pure madness.

Devin Olmstead

MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom