Pubdate: Mon, 16 Jul 2007
Source: Ottawa Sun (CN ON)
Copyright: 2007 Canoe Limited Partnership
Note: Title by MAP
Author: Connie Robillard


Re: "Off the crack pipes" (July 12). Personally, as a city resident, 
I am not morally in support of the crack pipe distribution program. 
With the $8,000 spent annually on this program, I would rather feed 
hungry families, support shelters for the homeless or abused persons 
or do something else that effectively creates a direct impact on our 
community. Hmmm ... wait a minute, the spread of HIV and Hep C would 
directly impact my community.

That being said, I couldn't believe what I was reading when I read 
that a city committee had recommended spending $500,000 to study the 
effectiveness of the pipe program.

I thoroughly understand the dichotomy of the issue and the opposing 
moral question as to whether you are assisting in the use of drugs by 
distributing crack pipes versus supporting less risk of the spread of 
Hep C and HIV.

However, as a taxpayer, I can tell you, without a doubt, that I would 
definitely rather turn $500,000 for research over to the pipe program 
and let them use other social program's benchmarking processes to 
monitor the program's effectiveness with the help of the city's 
medical office of health. Do we really need to create a committee, a 
sub-committee, a working group, an action group, a tiger team, etc. 
to review this?

It's not rocket science. Don't we employ the city medical office for 
a reason? Would taking their advice and direction on a medical issue 
as paramount as this not seem an appropriate course of action?

Presumably at some point in the 62.5 years that $500,000 -- not 
including the rate of inflation -- would fund such a social project, 
somebody, somehow will recognize whether it is effective. And we just 
may have saved a few lives in the process. Call me crazy.

Connie Robillard


(It does seem the effectiveness of a crack pipe program could be 
gauged for less than $500,000)
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom