Pubdate: Wed, 13 Nov 2002
Source: Montreal Gazette (CN QU)
Copyright: 2002 The Gazette, a division of Southam Inc.
Author: Alan Randell
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)
Bookmark: (Heroin)
Bookmark: (Safe Injecting Rooms)


Your solution for the drug problem (Editorial, Nov. 12, "Bad plan for 
addicts") demands "more social-workers, more halfway houses and other 
residential facilities, more housing subsidies, specialized medical 
facilities, closer monitoring of individuals, deeper involvement in the 
lives of addicts."

Yeah, sure, that'll work, so long as we taxpayers are prepared to give up 
even more of our hard earned pay to make life easier for drug users.

Let's get back to first principles. It is none of the state's business what 
I choose to ingest. The war on drugs is a pogrom whose sole purpose is to 
provide a measure of vicarious pleasure for the wealthy and the powerful 
and the mainly white by ruining the lives of the poor and the weak and the 
mainly non-white.

It sells newspapers, too, which might account for the media's instinctive 
support for government oppression and their opposition to freedom of choice 
for drug users.

And don't give me that guff about how the state is only trying to protect 
its citizens from the effects of dangerous substances. Users suffer more 
under prohibition because of jail time and adulterated drugs than without 
it. My wife and I became well acquainted with that aspect of government 
policy when we lost our youngest son to street heroin in 1993.

The harm argument is irrelevant in any event because two of our more 
harmful drugs, alcohol and tobacco, are legal.

As for safe injection sites, I'm all for them because they will save lives 
in the interim until we come to our senses and end drug prohibition, at 
which point they will no longer be needed.

Alan Randell, Victoria
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