Pubdate: Wed, 22 Feb 2012
Source: Vancouver Courier (CN BC)
Copyright: 2012 Vancouver Courier
Author: Jean Swanson
Cited: VANDU:


To the editor:

Re: "Pro-dope VANDU doesn't deserve taxpayer money," Feb. 15.

I have worked with the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU) 
and some of its members for six years. I have watched them build a 
legal street market so low income people won't get $175 tickets for 
selling things on the street, and work with the city to slow down 
traffic on Hastings so people won't be killed if they are hit by a car.

I've met VANDU members who volunteer four hours a night to pick up 
needles so others won't be hurt by them, and others who work 
tirelessly for changes to laws and services that will help people 
with addictions. When my partner died, VANDU members gave me lots of 
hugs and consoling.

Heart patients and cancer patients have organizations that speak out 
for them and treatment and prevention of these illnesses is stronger 
because of it. The same goes for VANDU. When the people who are 
coping with addictions can organize and work for the solutions they 
identify, we have more chance of solving problems.

Jean Swanson,

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