Anything worth talking about, is worth blogging about

Recently, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled unanimously that Vancouver’s safe injection site, Insite, can stay open indefinitely. It also ordered the Minister of Health, Leona Aglukkaq, grant the site an exemption from Canada’s drug laws. The specific legal rationale was that the failure to grant an exemption violated Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

This is the correct ruling. Harm reduction, which safe injection sites are part of, and the general practice of treating drug addiction as a medical problem than a legal problem, has been far more cost–effective than the failed War on (Some Classes of People Who Use Some) Drugs. In addition, harm reduction and the liberalization of drug laws are far more effective at reducing crime, improving public health, and reducing drug use than caving to the appalling prison–industrial complex.

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Comments on: "A good ruling from the Supreme Court" (4)

  1. harm reduction and the liberalization of drug laws are far more effective at reducing crime, improving public health, and reducing drug use than caving to the appalling prison–industrial complex

    The question remains though, if this is an accurate truth based statement, then why is our federal government pursuing the exact opposite course when it comes to this issue? Mandatory minimum sentences and more jails in the latest Conservative crime omnibus bill? WTH? What do you do with a government that refuses to base its decisions on fact?

  2. If you read The Authoritarians by Canadian psychologist Robert Altemeyer, you’ll find that people who score high on the authoritarian personality scale are, amongst other things, more likely to be closed-minded and more likely to get pleasure out of punishing people. In addition, they have exaggerated concerns over sexuality, and are extremely moralistic, and often dogmatic. Does this not sound like the definition of a wingnut? When Portugal decriminalized drug possession and liberalized its drug laws and treated addicts as having a medical problem, it far reduced cases of addiction and reduced the spread of diseases caused by drug usage (cite). And according to sources cited in the WP article on the War on Drugs (cite), the current approach is totally ineffective and a better use of money would be in harm reduction and medical treatment. Since these last measures are more cost-effective, it is the fiscally conservative way to deal with drug addiction. Why would anyone be against improving the efficiency of government?

    Perhaps the reason why the Harperites pursue ineffective, wasteful policies is puritanical desires to blow the budget on punishing people. As far as treating drug addiction goes, these don’t work.

  3. The other neat source about the authoritarian personality is Moral Politics by George Lakoff. I’m off to read your link on the Authoritarians.. 🙂

  4. Thanks for the link. Lakoff looks pretty interesting, too. He’s mentioned in Altemeyer’s book, I believe.

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