Pubdate: Thu, 21 Aug 2008
Source: Province, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2008 Canwest Publishing Inc.
Author: Steve Finlay


Health Minister Tony Clement attacks doctors for supporting "the 
distribution of drugs that are of unknown substance, or purity, or 
potency" at Insite.

But the blame for this lies with Clement and his government.

These drugs are dangerous and unpredictable only because Clement's 
Yankee-style "war on drugs" doesn't allow anyone except criminals to 
supply them.

Instead of demonizing addicts, let's ignore them. Let's think 
selfishly about our own interests.

If addicts could pay prescription-like prices for quality controlled 
drugs at a licensed or government-run pharmacy, at least two things 
would happen: Firstly, most addicts wouldn't need to steal from our 
homes and stores to feed their habits.

Secondly, the wealth and power of organized crime would be 
drastically cut, as the gangs would lose their largest and most 
profitable business.

A controlled legal supply may improve life modestly for addicts, but 
it is guaranteed to improve life enormously for everyone else -- 
except for the gangs.

Steve Finlay, Burnaby
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