Pubdate: Wed, 29 Feb 2012
Source: Vancouver Courier (CN BC)
Copyright: 2012 Vancouver Courier
Author: Ruth Birgin


To the editor:

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

Mark Hasiuk should broaden his understanding of addiction and would do
well to read beyond the American-style paradigm of so called
"addiction science." The World Health Organization has a number of
illuminating publications that explain dependency in terms anyone can
understand. You will soon discover that simplistic notions of drug use
as hedonistic and for the weak willed are grossly misinformed. VANDU
is pro people who use drugs, but not pro drugs per se.

As Hasiuk points out, drug policy is being debated and the community
of people who use drugs-including countless numbers with minds at
least as perceptive and insightful as Hasiuk's-are naturally in the
fore of the advocacy for drug law reform. He would also do well to
read about the history of drug prohibition and recall the failed
experiment of alcohol prohibition. Hasiuk is very brave to put his
name to such a discriminatory and underinformed column. However, the
tide is turning to more sensible and compassionate drug policy.

Ruth Birgin

Brisbane, Australia
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