Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Vancouver police killing addicts right to shoot up in public.

Canada: The image of Vancouver being a drug addict heaven is a possible reason for the crackdown. That doesn't help with tourists, businesses and people living downtown.

Police in Vancouver say they plan to start arresting drug addicts who shoot up in public, an uncontroversial idea in some cities but not in Vancouver.
I have a feeling more than "some" cities would think drug addicts shooting up in public is not a good idea.
The police say they want to get drug use out of the streets and doorways of the Downtown Eastside and into the city's supervised injection site. Some addicts and people who work with them call it a dangerous move. Dr. Anita Palepu, who treats people for illnesses associated with needle drugs, says the culture of open drug use is deeply ingrained in Vancouver's addicts. She says police are mistaken if they expect to change it just two years after the opening of the injection site, the first of its kind in North America.
This was a bright idea, why would it cause a problem?
Shooting up "stretched out on the steps" There are thousands of users in the Downtown Eastside, but other people still have to work and live in the neighbourhood, he says. He recalls one complaint from a volunteer at a community centre: "The woman was stretched out on the steps and she was shooting a needle into her neck. When the volunteer complained, she lashed out at her – how dare she interfere with her when she just managed to get this needle in the right position to inject?"
Harrassment, she should have sued.
Diane Tobin, 54, who shoots up at the injection site three times a day, says the site is already at capacity and it's time to talk about opening another. And because rules state that addicts have to inject themselves, it means people who need help shooting up are out on the street where they face arrest. "If that cubbyhole is your home and you're sleeping there and all your stuff is there and that's where you're using," she says, "they're actually coming into your home and arresting you for possession of a needle." Tobin, who served a drug sentence decades ago, says the police plan "is like going back 20, 25 years. It's ridiculous."
The right to be a blight on society should not be infringed. I would suggest programs to get these people off of drugs, but live and let live I guess.

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