|Drug Policy, Safe Injection Facility|
I was delighted to hear that the BC Court of Appeal has supported InSite's right to operate in Vancouver. "In this province, there is no longer any serious debate about the need for Insite as a health care facility... All of the provincial authorities, including the Attorney General of British Columbia and the Vancouver Police, agree that Insite is a necessary component in dealing with the scourge of addiction in the (Downtown East Side)," said the judges in their decision.
The bigger issue, of course, is how we deal with drug use overall. The US experience should be taken as a model of how not to do it. " The war on drugs is really a war on people," says Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance. It's not working. With only 5% of the world's population, the US has almost 25% of the world's prison population. Truly a staggering number. If you have a moment, do read Mr. Nadelmann's op-ed at change.org. We would do well to learn when not to emulate our neighbour to the south.
Posted On Feb 02 02:18PM
There's an interesting follow up to this decision on Insite in The Mark, "Right Decision, Wrong Reasons"
A highly thoughtful assessment by Patrick Fafard, a Prof. at U Ottawa.
Into all things politics, policy and parliamentary.
Posted On Jan 20 07:59AM
Incredible, really, that it had to get this far. All the scientific research points to Insite's success, and the provincial authorities, as you say, including the police and the attorney general, as well as the health care and front line workers, say Insite works and is sorely needed.
So why did it get this far? Why won't our politicians listen to our experts?
Politicians are elected to govern, yes: but not unilaterally (and why would they want to?). Successful governance comes from well informed policies, which means doing due diligence on policy research and listening to those with expertise on the issue. ESPECIALLY when the issue is controversial, as in this case.
Time to let the scientists and researchers back into the policy circles and have our MPs do more listening and less talking!