Pubdate: Sat, 08 Mar 2008
Source: Standard, The (St. Catharines, CN ON)
Copyright: 2008 The Standard
Author: Christina Blizzard
Bookmark: (Opinion)


UN Report Says Toronto and Ottawa Are Little More Than Drug Pushers

Good morning, and welcome to crack central.

Yep, Toronto and Ottawa are the crack capitals of the world, 
according to a UN report on the international drug trade. It slams 
Ottawa and Toronto for their free crackpipe programs, and says the 
cities are contravening international drug trafficking control 
treaties by providing drug paraphernalia to addicts.

"The distribution of drug paraphernalia, including crackpipes, to 
drug users in Ottawa and Toronto, as well as the presence of drug 
injection sites, is also in violation of the international drug 
control treaties, to which Canada is a party," says a report by the 
UN's influential International Narcotics Control Board, released in 
Vienna on Wednesday.

The report asks the federal government to step in.

"The Board calls upon the Government of Canada to end programs, such 
as the supply of 'safer crack kits,' including the mouthpiece and 
screen components of pipes for smoking 'crack,' authorized by the 
Vancouver Island Health Authority, as they are in contravention of 
article 13 of the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic 
in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988," the report says.

Both Toronto and Ottawa provide mouthpieces and screens for addicts. 
And while Ottawa's city council voted last year to end the crackpipe 
program after residents complained about drug paraphernalia littering 
the streets and harassment by spaced-out addicts, the province 
recently provided $287,000 to keep the crackpipe distribution going. 
Kingston and Guelph have similar programs.

A spokesman for Health Minister George Smitherman said the ministry 
is interested only in the health of Ontarians, not the enforcement of 
international drug control treaties. Laurel Ostfield said another UN 
agency, the World Health Organization, supports the "safer crack use 
policy" that the INCB criticizes.

"We are concerned about keeping Ontarians healthy and we look to WHO 
and they support the use of safe injection and inhalation sites," she said.

Anyone with a smattering of common sense knows that's so much fuzzy 
logic claptrap.

You've only got to trip over some pathetic crack addict in downtown 
Ottawa or Toronto to know there is no such thing as safe crack use. 
It's an oxymoron. Crack use is dangerous no matter how you use it. It 
not only hurts the person with the addiction, it destroys the entire 
neighbourhood. Ottawa residents were so outraged by the program last 
year that residents and business owners marched on city hall armed 
with tax-funded crackpipes they had picked up in their neighbourhoods.

Opposition Leader Bob Runciman has raised the issue in the 
legislature for years.

"Here we are using tax dollars to fund activity that I think most 
people would find repugnant," he said, pointing out that Ottawa 
council pulled out of the crackpipe program and the police chief is 
opposed to it.

"Ottawa has a growing problem with street gangs and drug-related 
crimes are up dramatically," Runciman said.

The report says that every year, 15 to 25 tonnes of cocaine enter 
Canada, mainly from Colombia via the United States or in shipments 
from the Caribbean.

Those of us who've been complaining about these lunatic crackpipe 
policies of our left-wing councils for years have been told that 
we're out of touch. All those raving do-gooders know what's best - so 
they've been handing out drug paraphernalia to addicts. You might 
just as well pour gasoline on an inferno.

Now, no lesser authority than the UN says these councils are little 
better than drug traffickers.

Meanwhile, Premier Dalton McGuinty announced this week that his 
government will step in and stop parents who smoke in cars when 
children are present. Well, good for him. Most smokers I know, 
though, have become sensitive to the problem of second-hand smoke and 
tend to keep their butts away from children.

Fancy that, though. You have a government that on the one hand will 
stop parents from consuming a legal product in their cars. On the 
other hand, it uses our money to pay for crack pipes so drug addicts 
can consume an illegal and highly destructive substance.

For shame! We must be the crackpots to let it continue. 
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake