Pubdate: Mon, 21 Mar 2016
Source: Staten Island Advance (NY)
Copyright: 2016 Advance Publication Inc.
Author: Tom Wrobleski


STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. - Sure, let's just hoist the white flag of 
surrender in the war against heroin addiction.

That's what Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal (D-Manhattan) would 
effectively do with her bill to legalize "supervised injection 
facilities" for people to self-administer illegal narcotics under the 
supervision of medical staff.

If it's not the dumbest proposal we've heard to battle drug 
addiction, it has to rank pretty close to the top of the list. And 
yet we keep hearing it.

In what world do you battle a drug scourge by actively encouraging 
people to keep taking drugs? By making it easy for them? We're trying 
to get our addicted family members and friends to stop using heroin, 
in case Rosenthal hasn't noticed.

It's not the first time that a proposal like this has been floated. 
Folks from the Drug Policy Alliance a couple of months ago said that 
injection facilities can reduce the number of overdose deaths and 
improve a host of public health and safety outcomes. The sites could 
also reduce the stigma surrounding heroin use.

And the mayor of Ithaca has also pitched a plan like this. Ithaca 
residents are welcome to it if they want it in their town.

Connecting addicts with treatment programs aimed at getting them off 
the drugs are also part of these proposals. That's the only piece of 
it that we like. Just leave out the part where we enable addicts to 
keep getting high by providing them with a clean, well-lighted place 
to shoot up.

And good luck siting one of these facilities, assemblywoman. Maybe we 
should put the first one on your block. We certainly don't want to 
see a heroin den like this in our neighborhood. The mind boggles when 
you think about the magnets these places would become for drug 
peddlers and other scum. Sounds like a pretty good way to kill a neighborhood.

Thankfully, Staten Island's GOP officials and other lawmakers are 
four-square against the plan, urging Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie 
(D-Bronx) to kill the bill.

Among the questions they raised in a letter to Heastie: Would the 
NYPD and other law enforcement agencies be prohibited from arresting 
people for possession of illegal drugs at these injection centers? 
And would members of the medical staff be required to aid in 
injecting the drugs?

Here's how popular these safe places are: There are none in the 
United States and only 100 in countries around the world.

Oh, it's a great plan if you're a liberal, big-government type. Think 
of all the medical personnel you'd have to hire. And the facilities 
you'd have to build and staff. It's not a solution to the heroin 
crisis, it's a jobs program. Think of how the system would perpetuate 
itself. The addicted will always be among us, after all.

And what better way is there to keep people dependent on government 
than by keeping them high on drugs? It's nanny-state paradise.

We can't help it: The future-shock, sci-fi, conspiracy-theory 
synapses in our brain start firing uncontrollably whenever we hear 
proposals like this. What a great way to keep the masses placid and 
controllable. Hey, in addition to giving folks a safe space to shoot 
up, let's give them the heroin as well. And some legalized marijuana, 
while we're at it.

Isn't this how "Brave New World" starts?
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom