Pubdate: Mon, 16 Oct 2017
Source: Expositor, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2017 Brantford Expositor
Author: Tim Hopkins
Page: 4


Re: Local safe injection sites urged for drug strategy (Oct. 11)

Medically supervised facilities for the administration and consumption
of illicit drugs are proposed as a means to save lives, protect the
community and help reduce illicit drug use itself. Of course,
opponents disagree, either questioning their effectiveness, or
objecting to the idea of enabling addiction and saving people from
themselves. But, whatever their differences, people seem to agree that
improved public health and social engineering are the primary
objectives. I submit this is fundamentally misguided.

To put it bluntly, such programs are justified because we owe it to
them. It's "harm reduction" in a sense deeper than that intended by
its defenders. Safe injection sites help reduce and mitigate harms
done to marginalized victims of drug prohibition. Every year
throughout North America, the lives of millions of non-violent people
are devastated through imprisonment for the consumption of socially
unapproved drugs. Users are forced into black markets and all of the
associated dangers, often resorting to violent crime themselves to
afford the drugs they need or want. The social and economic chaos, not
to mention the agony and suffering, imposed on drug consumers by
prohibition cannot by overstated.

The war on drugs is a monstrous injustice. And, despite modern reforms
in legalizing and regulating cannabis use, continues unabated to this
day. Harm reduction programs seek to address and minimize the turmoil
it causes. With billions spent annually on drug law enforcement, its
victims deserve some measure of justice. Think of it as

Tim Hopkins

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