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Thursday, March 24, 2005

Vancouver to distribute free heroin to addicts

A couple of days ago, I pointed out a Chronicle editorial calling on the state to distribute free needles to heroin addicts. In that editorial, the Chron's editors swore up and down that this wasn't about legalizing drugs. It was all about preventing disease:
Needle exchange is opposed by groups that contend that legalizing drug paraphernalia is a step toward the eventual legalizing of the use of the narcotics. In fact, the opposite is true.
The editors were, of course, lying to you. Now officials in Vancouver are going to distribute free heroin to junkies, citing the same concerns as the Chron:
"They're using heroin. They'll continue to use heroin. What we're trying to do is prevent them from getting something irreversible like HIV, hep [hepatitis] C and overdose death,” said Dr. Martin Schechter, the director of the heroin program.
Let's hear from one of the beneficiaries of the program:
"I think it would lower the crime rate. Nobody's gonna be robbing each other. Nobody's going to be sick enough to rob each other. All be taken care of. Free dope, woo-hoo,” said heroin addict Olivia Edgars.
"Free dope, woo-hoo." Yeah, that's a brilliant public health move. So let's all get in the crime-empowerment mindset. I propose giving free Slim Jims to car thieves. After all, they're going to steal cars anyway. I want to prevent these guys from hurting themselves by punching out windows. Also, free beer helmets to drunk drivers. They're going to drive drunk anyway. We should at least let them keep both hands on the wheel.

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