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Old 09-18-2003, 01:42 PM   #61
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Originally posted by iacrobat
It does nothing to fix systemic poverty that exists in America and Canada and is the cause of most drug use.
While many drug users may also face poverty, there is no cause/effect relationship.

The proposals above are ways to internalize the externalities of drug use.
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Old 09-18-2003, 01:44 PM   #62
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Headache -

Yes, it was a bad choice to start. Good. Done with. Next. What about once they're hooked? Once they've gotten to the point where they cannot quit, because to do so is life-threatening? The addicition is so strong, yes, that many have died suffering withdrawals. Even if they don't die, there is little choice involved for the heroin addict. They are biologically ingratiated with the need for a fix. It goes beyone a simple choice at that point. To put someone in jail for one mistake while giving them a sentence based on the *current* problem they have is simply unethical on many levels.

You are right that drug use is not selective among simply the poor. But that doesn't mean the poor aren't addicted to drugs. Many of them have no family to go back to, and in pretty much every case, have no legal job to go back to. It's a vicous cylce of emptiness and despair, and punishing them for that is not the answer. Compassion, and offering hope is a start.
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Old 09-18-2003, 01:47 PM   #63
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while im not really up to speed on what is exactly going on in vancouver (ive been out of our nation for too long), i do know that the safe injection site is one part of a plan put in place by the new mayor. i believe clamping down on the dealers of hard drugs, which seems to be a continued focus of headache's plan, is one of the primary goals of vancouver's broader program.
if i remember correctly local police are on board as observing the site for dealers. obviously some degree of trust will have to be established between users and police before there is any degree of success.
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Old 09-18-2003, 01:55 PM   #64
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so should we not send someone who's lived a clean, crime free life to jail because they had one moment of rage and killed someone? it's just one mistake... why should we punish someone for making just one mistake?

if a person is so addicted that going through withdrawl will likely kill them, then they are likely to die shortly anyways. so you might as well give them that slight chance that they could beat their addiction, as opposed to leaving them as addicts... and a certain death. the chance of them surviving in rehab may be slim, but a slim chance of survival is a hell of a lot better than no chance, don't you think?
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Old 09-18-2003, 02:01 PM   #65
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and i am not punishing the homeless for being homeless. the punishment is for using drugs. so after they go through the rehab, you're right. they might not have any place to go. rehab is not just the act of quitting drug use. that's the first step... rehab is also rehabing your life. parole boards have deals set up with certain establishments to give inmates jobs once they leave the system. they also have halfway houses set up for those with no place to go after prison. the same sort of system could be set up with these national rehab centers. yeah, some may slide back into being homeless. there is always that possability. but they would leave the center with, at the very least, a little bit of hope.
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Old 09-18-2003, 02:02 PM   #66
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Headache - I'm all for rehab. But simply arresting them to punish them for their crime won't help. Your point about someone killing someone and then living a clean life is simply not analagous. Once again, you're not looking at the situation, but simply applying uncontextualized principles to it. The crime of homocide and the crime of using heroin are completely different, as are the resulsts (heroin users don't kill other people by using drugs, and if they do, it's a separate crime). Once again, I don't think it's a good analogy at all.
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Old 09-18-2003, 02:20 PM   #67
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did you not read my entire proposal? the "simple arrest" came only if they fell back into addiction after going through the rehab system. the way things are set up right now, a person who is arrested for possession would simply go to jail... unless of course you're scott weiland. and that's really the point... these rehab centers would be similar to what the betty ford clinic does for celebrities. it gives them a chance, rather than just throwing them in jail.

the only way to truely stop drug use us to prevent it from begining in the first place. in order to prevent someone from taking something, you either have to get rid of that something, or you have to set up a deterent for that person. in a perfect world, the horrors of addiction would be enough of a deterent. but it obviously is not. people think they are invincible... how many addicts began with "oh, it won't happen to me. i won't get addicted." and those people start, they progress, and bam... they're addicted. so there has to be something else out looming out there to deter new users from starting in the first place. and there will still be people who just don't care and do the drugs anyway. the rehab program is a way to give them a chance. but eventually you have to say enough is enough.
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Old 09-18-2003, 03:15 PM   #68
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The rehab programs are already in place, but the situation is still there, regardless. The lifestyle I'm sure has a lot to do with it. Real change does not happen readily. People are habitual and once they've slipped into the sad state of heroin addiction (where they no longer eat much or sleep...lose their teeth and so forth), they will not change. You can offer hope and counselling and so forth, but it still has to come from within the person at some point. It takes a lot to get to that point. The situation in the Eastside of Vancouver is horrible, and it's been like that for years. Vancouver has North America's 2nd largest port, making it easy access for heroin and other drugs. Police have been making arrests and have really cracked down...but people are still dying and spreading disease amongst themselves. This injection site is not the *only* measure being used. It's in conjuction with many other measures. Hopefully it will simply help make the process more efficient over the long term.
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Old 09-18-2003, 03:35 PM   #69
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we'll just have to agree to disagree. i can not support a program that provides addicts with a means to continue being addicts. sorry, i just can't.
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Old 09-18-2003, 03:42 PM   #70
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This is part of Vancouver's port. A big reason for the heroin influx:




To give you a good idea of the entire port:



The entire city is surrounded by water. Way too much freaking access.
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Old 09-18-2003, 03:46 PM   #71
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Quote:
Originally posted by Headache in a Suitcase
we'll just have to agree to disagree. i can not support a program that provides addicts with a means to continue being addicts. sorry, i just can't.
But you speak as though not having it will remove the means of the addiction being supported. But, of course, we don't have to agree.
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Old 09-18-2003, 04:04 PM   #72
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funny... not as big of a problem in this city surrounded by water...

used to be. back in the 70s drug use was a crisis in new york city. still is a problem, but not close to as bad as it used to be. every major city has a drug "problem." some cities handle it better than others. new york has cut all of it's crime in half, including drug crime. they never opened up places where drug users could come and do it safely, that's for sure. they cleaned up the city by getting tough on crime. and a lot of people didn't like it at first. but guess what... it worked. now new york city has one of the lowest crime rates in the nation.

but again... we're obviously not going to agree on this. good debate, we'll let the people decide.
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Old 09-18-2003, 04:11 PM   #73
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Yes, Headache, I agree with you about being tough on crime. Vancouver is tough on crime. I don't think by having a site like this means they're not...because as I've said, part of the regiment which has been underway for a while has been to really nail the drug dealers and to clean up the area. This part of Hastings is much cleaner than it used to be, but still really bad. It's improving due to the police presence in the area, but is it really solving the problem (cutting down heroin use)? I really don't think so. It has only spread it around and driven the addicts into other parts of the city.

But, yes, good debate...and whether you believe me or not, I appreciate your points as well as your proposal. I wish it could work here.
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Old 09-18-2003, 04:18 PM   #74
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Quote:
Originally posted by Michael Griffiths
If it works (that is, if users actually use the site), I think it's a good idea because it would get people into an environment where they could possibly help themselves. Heroin is possibly the most addictive drug on the planet, and most users never quit. This would at least help bring them off the streets, into a place that would not only prevent AIDS and other deseases from spreading as much, but where they could seek help. I don't see this as a place that would encourage drug use. Nothing is going to stop people from doing it, if they so choose (if addiction at this stage is even a choice). Further, I can't see average joe blow citizen walking by and thinking to himself, oh, let's try a little heroin today.
(...)
As the article said, many countries in Europe have been doing this for years, and it has worked well there. It remains to be seen if it will work well here.
Exactly, agreed. Only... which European countries deal with the problem the right way, except of Holland? H usage in Holland has gone down.

In some European countries you will find anonymous help. Anyway, ill people are criminalized or criminalize themselves. Hard drugs should be accessible through drugstores via controlled programs.
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Old 09-18-2003, 04:47 PM   #75
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From what I read, it was a success pretty much everywhere, including places like Sweden and Sydney, Australia.

Anyway, Headache, here's what the problem I was mentioning before with the police crackdown:

http://canada.com/vancouver/story.as...C-5CF993E67FB5

Police action only moved drug trade

Jack Keating
The Province

Thursday, September 18, 2003


The police crackdown in the Downtown Eastside has moved many crack-cocaine dealers to Vancouver's central business district and the West End, senior police officers admitted yesterday.

"The problem has definitely branched out more," said Insp. Bob Rolls.

"We see that there has been a significant part of the problem moving . . . downtown."

Crack dealers now openly roam the areas around Richards, Seymour, Dunsmuir, Georgia, West Pender and Granville Streets and the West End after being pushed since April from Main and Hastings.

Deputy Police Chief Bob Rich said the dealers downtown "didn't used to be there."

Rich and Rolls made their comments after a Vancouver Police Board meeting in which they confirmed that the police crackdown in the Downtown Eastside would continue for another year.

"We're not going away," said Rich. "The chief said once we've started this we're not just going to walk away."

Senior officers are now trying to map out ways to deal with the migration of drug dealers -- what they call the "displaced order and crime" problem.

When asked what was the point of moving the drug problem Rolls said: "One of the things that we felt for a long time was that there isn't a good reason why one area of the city should basically have all the problem."

Police expect their official "evaluation report" on the crackdown to be finished in November at which time city council will assess what has occurred in terms of further funding.

"We're not going to sacrifice the Downtown Eastside for the sake of other communities," said Rich. "You can't equate some people now dealing in drugs [downtown] as the same thing that was occurring in the Downtown Eastside."

- Julie Berg, whose brother died in police custody, demanded the board order a "public inquiry into the department's handling of 61 missing women in the Downtown Eastside, the death of prisoners in custody and police brutality.

- Rich said police are "not looking for a violent confrontation" if marijuana activist Marc Emery and his supporters openly smoke pot in front of their Cambie Street headquarters today at 4 p.m. Emery said he will smoke pot at there to prove it is not illegal to smoke marijuana in B.C., despite what the police say.

jkeating@png.canwest.com

Copyright 2003 The Province
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