Pubdate: Sun, 09 Sep 2001
Source: Edmonton Sun (CN AB)
Copyright: 2001, Canoe Limited Partnership.
Author: Bruce Symington
Note: Parenthetical remark by the Sun editor; headline by newshawk
Bookmark: (Safe Injecting Rooms)


I applaud the positive tone of the article regarding setting up shooting 
galleries in Edmonton. I had not realized that there is an extremely 
effective needle exchange program there too.

It is refreshing to see such forward thinking in our province. In the late 
1960s I read an article about heroin use in Life magazine which pointed out 
that the major harms of heroin addiction relate to its illegal status, not 
to some characteristic of the drug.

The attitude of the Edmonton police chief of trying to reduce these harms 
by embracing alternative approaches is really great. At least some people 
are willing to look at alternative ways to deal with this issue.

On the other hand, the voice of the provincial government is an 
anachronism, repeating the same tired platitudes and calling for more of 
the same ineffective methods which have plagued us for many years.

If I as a teenager in 1967 could grasp the obvious, why has it taken so 
long for these public officials to catch on? Are they just not very bright?

My cynical nature requires me to think that the spokesman for Alberta 
Justice is more interested in job security, which is the result of the 
present regime, than in doing something to make things better for the 
addicts and society.

Bruce Symington,

Medicine Hat

(They probably don't want to think about it.)
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