Heroin Is Never 'Safe'

By:  Rachel Marsden

VANCOUVER -- The big question in this town is whether or not the federal Tories will renew the drug law exemption to keep the "safe" injection site in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside up and running. It's the same kind of taxpayer-funded drug den that's being considered for Toronto.

The leftists -- including three former Vancouver mayors -- are all out in full force. Some of these people are against junk food in schools, but if little Johnny wants to pump some junk into his arm, they'll gladly use mom and dad's tax money to help him find a vein. I'm starting to think that the only way to get lefties to stop pushing for legalization of hardcore drugs is to get big corporations like Halliburton or Pepsi to start making crack and heroin.

The mayors say that "scientific data" proves the clinic is a success. Of course it does. Aren't the people doing the research the same ones who will be out of work if the clinic shuts down? It's like saying, "a survey of McDonald's employees proves that McDonald's makes the best cheeseburgers in the world."

We keep hearing that the clinic "saves lives." This injection site is so "safe" that hundreds of addicts have overdosed right inside the clinic since it opened in 2003. They then head out into the tourist district to shoot up some more and score drug money.

The province had to pass a Safe Streets Act to combat aggressive panhandling. Now, further measures are being considered, including limiting "napping in the street" to 10 minutes or less.

Heroin doesn't exactly give people that get-up-and-go feeling. You can't have both a junkie haven and nap-free streets.

We're also hearing how these clinics have "reduced crime."

That's a stretch. A comparative analysis of the Vancouver Police crime data for January through July of the years 2004 and 2006 (limited to these months because 2006 isn't over yet) reveals that in the Central Business District, which includes the Downtown Eastside, assault has actually increased by 38%, robbery by 27%, theft has stayed the same (5,191 instances in 2004 versus 5,177 in 2006), and break-ins have decreased by a mere 14%.

These rising crime stats exist despite the fact that, as a police source told me, "The cops are so busy they do not report their work correctly, as they can't ever follow up on all the cases. Certain crimes get 'written off' in order to survive the workload. The result is a public that loses faith in the system and stop reporting crimes, as nothing is ever done. Hence the 'reduction' in crime."

Shooting heroin for "health" is like having sex for "virginity." If I set up a Big Mac binge clinic, and people come in and stuff their face under my watchful eye, it doesn't mean that it's safe or healthy. And after they leave, they're going to go home and raid the fridge. What they really need is Weight Watchers, not semantic re-jigging.

Likewise, when addicts show up at Insite, Vancouver's taxpayer-funded heroin shooting gallery, they should be arrested for possession and put into a mandatory detox program.

Either that, or safe-injection cheerleaders like Toronto's Stephen Lewis, or any one of these three former Vancouver mayors, can apply to have Prime Minister Steve Harper declare their family home a legal drug den and personally help each addict overdose their way to good health.