Pubdate: Mon, 02 Apr 2007
Source: StarPhoenix, The (CN SN)
Copyright: 2007 The StarPhoenix
Author: Ken Sailor
Bookmark: (Harm Reduction)
Bookmark: (Needle Exchange)
Bookmark: (Supervised Injection Sites)


Prohibition on drugs makes the world more dangerous. What could be 
clearer than having to warn children against playing in the snow 
because of the danger of discarded needles? (Used needles emerge from 
melting snow SP, March 13).

Making drugs illegal has resulted in a variety of ills from which we 
all suffer. Illegal drugs have given us a thriving underground 
economy complete with its own Al Capones and G-men.

Illegal drug use is the most frequent reason for new HIV and 
hepatitis C infections. Illegal drugs crowd our prisons with 
non-violent drug offenders who return from prison worse than when 
they went in. These drugs even make our parks dangerous for our children.

And for what? We have just as many users doing just as many drugs as 
in places where drugs are legal.

If we had a safe injection site such as the one in Vancouver, we 
could expect to reduce the number of overdose deaths and reduce the 
number of infections of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C, while making 
playgrounds safe for our children by providing safe needle disposal. 
We would save the lives of drug users and precious health-care 
dollars. More people would live healthier lives.

We're in the drug prohibition hole. The sooner we stop digging, the 
sooner we will can start to climb our way out.

Ken Sailor

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MAP posted-by: Beth Wehrman