Pubdate: Sat, 16 Jun 2007
Source: Vancouver Sun (CN BC)
Copyright: 2007 The Vancouver Sun
Author: Steve Finlay


Re: Mayor plans campaign to save injection site, Westcoast News, June 12

Despite their differences, Vancouver's safe injection site and Mayor
sam Sullivan's substitution plan have the same fundamental weakness:
They are crippled by our drug laws.

The safe injection site allows addicts to use illegal drugs safely,
but it can do nothing about supply. The addicts must still buy from
criminals, at insanely inflated prices. It is this fact, not the drug
itself, which causes virtually all the crime, death and suffering that
surrounds addiction.

Conversely, Sullivan's initiative will supply drugs, but not the ones
which the addicts use. This is the same concept as methadone
treatment, and will be equally ineffective. As with methadone, most
addicts will still seek what they are hooked on, and will keep making
the criminals rich.

Switzerland has proven that the best way to eliminate drug-related
crime is to provide addicts with a regulated supply of their drugs.
Furthermore, this approach has enabled far more addicts to quit drugs
entirely than anything that Canada has tried.

Let the safe injection site provide a medically controlled supply of
the addicts' drugs, and let the Mayor's plan prescribe those same
drugs. Then, both initiatives could be truly effective.

Steve Finlay,

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