There's demand across the country for supervised injection.
They believe that regulation will make it harder to get drugs that are now sold on street corners, in shady back alleys and through dial-a-dope operations. And, they say that fear is the major reason people support prohibition even though reams of evidence show it doesn't fix the problems it is meant to solve.
Last week's controversy over Health Canada's funding of a program to give heroin to select addicts is like déjà vu. It's an awful lot like the conflicts the federal government has had with similar drug programs over the years. The Insite supervised injection clinic in Vancouver's renowned Downtown Eastside is the most famous example, where addicts can go to inject heroin under the supervision of nurses. Centres likes these are sometimes called "safe injection" sites, which is truly an oxymoron considering that these harmful drugs are anything but safe.
There has been much talk recently about the possibility of a safe injection clinic in Toronto. So our mayor -- surprise, surprise -- is against it. The provincial Liberals -- surprise, surprise -- have been ducking the issue. Since the feds are not on board, the Liberals have an excuse to sidestep rather than do the right thing and speak up (which would jeopardize their share of the redneck vote). Hey, Liberals will be Liberals. History will vindicate these efforts. History will condemn those who oppose these efforts. And, for the purpose of this article: history will not be kind to those who lag, stay on the fence, and do nothing. Toronto cannot afford to make that mistake.
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Just as a city with less homophobia is more attractive to businesses, the same will soon apply to any urban centre that deals intelligently with drug addiction. The people at Vancouver's safe injection site are helping Vancouver's future as a business centre, an intellectual mecca, and a better place to live.