Justin Trudeau tells UBC students he wants supervised injection sites across Canada

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      Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau has reaffirmed his support for an expansion of supervised injection services across Canada. At the same event, the would-be prime minister also restated his belief that hard drugs should not be decriminalized.

      Trudeau was speaking in Vancouver at the University of British Columbia on March 4.

      A few members of accredited media outlets were in attendance but not permitted to ask questions. That didn’t prevent Trudeau from getting pressed by reporters still enrolled at UBC (who did a better job with their follow-up questions than most professional journalists I’ve seen at any press conference in Vancouver in quite a while).

      Much has been made about Trudeau’s promise to decriminalize marijuana if he's elected to lead the country. And so Sam Fenn, a reporter with the Cited, asked for Trudeau’s position on the decriminalization of harder drugs.

      Fenn briefly argued there is evidence the prohibition of narcotics like heroin does more harm than good and suggested Canada could decriminalize those sorts of drugs like countries such as Portugal have.

      “What do you have to say about the prohibition of heroin, crack cocaine, crystal methamphetamine?” Fenn asked.

      “I disagree with loosening any of the prohibition on harder drugs,” Trudeau said. “I think that there is much that we can and should be doing around harm reduction. Insite is a great model of that, and I certainly want to see more safe injection sites opened around the country. And I am firm on the fact marijuana needs to be controlled and regulated and that prohibition isn’t working. But I’m not in favour of loosening restrictions on harder drugs.”

      Fenn quickly followed up: “Why?”

      Trudeau’s response: “Let’s get harm reduction right first. Let’s make sure that we are doing everything that we can. I don’t think that, despite some of the examples around the world, I don’t think it’s the right solution for Canada now or ever.”

      Fenn again pressed him for more of an answer: “Some of the experts at, say for instance, the [B.C.] Center for Excellence [in HIV/AIDS], would say harm reduction is the end of prohibition of those drugs.”

      Trudeau: “Then I’ll allow them, academics, to play with definitions. I believe in harm reduction, but I don’t believe in decriminalizing harder drugs.”

      That's more than I've been able to get out of Health Minister Rona Ambrose in two years.

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      11 Comments

      Quasi

      Mar 5, 2015 at 4:44pm

      Why don't the federal parties do something about the continued proliferation and easy availability of hard drugs in Canada instead? Are they in bed with the gangs that provide them? They certainly regulated access to alcohol, why can't they do the same with drugs?

      arming mustered

      Mar 5, 2015 at 5:36pm

      Trying to deflect attention from the real issue BILL C 51

      @Quasi

      Mar 5, 2015 at 9:38pm

      Because alcohol and tobacco are the hardest, most addictive drugs around, and their gangster-conglomerate producers don't want competition. Every dollar someone spends on cocaine, methamphetamine, etc. is a dollar someone isn't spending on booze or tobacco.

      In modern industrial states, the people are treated like children, to be run like cattle by their University masters.

      Drug prohibition is immoral because the only way to implement it is to rob people of their drugs. No mentally stable, healthy-minded person would ever join a society that would rob him of drugs.

      Blergh

      Mar 5, 2015 at 11:51pm

      And nowhere is there actually any hope for rehab facilities or the forgotten reality that lots of people actually can quit using drugs and go on to have productive lives as happy and secure as anyone else.

      The idiocy is all built around what sounds good and not what really helps anyone.

      Quasi

      Mar 6, 2015 at 6:39pm

      Insite's stated goal is "managed addiction." The goal of people like Trudeau is to keep the populace in thrall to murderous substances. Tobacco will indeed kill you dead, but if you think liquor has anything on crack or heroin, you've got another think comin'. Our governments at all levels have given up on protecting people from destructive substances.

      Newsflash

      Mar 7, 2015 at 4:44am

      @ Quasi

      If you think you know what you're talking about regarding the risks associated with the consumption of Ethyl Alcohol, and that it's nothing compared to DIacetylmorphine ('Heroin') or Erythroxylum Coca's psychotropic alkaloid ('Crack'), then you have been hoodwinked like countless other thralls around the world who are victims of the U.S. led 'war on (certain) drugs' - which by the way, was the idea of a former PotUS who turned out to be a felonious crook (Richard M. Nixon).

      The two aforementioned drugs - which have somehow been exempted from this draconian war - are as follows:

      - partially or primarily responsible for ~1 death every 6 seconds. [tobacco/nicotine products]
      - partially or primarily responsible for ~1 death every 10 seconds. [alcoholic beverages]
      - both Group 1 Carcinogens in any amount (e.g. one beer) - along with (but not limited to) arsenic, asbestos, formaldehyde, and radioactive isotopes. [both drugs]
      - neurotoxic (kills brain cells), cardiotoxic (and heart cells), and hepatotoxic (and also liver cells). [alcoholic beverages]
      - considered a medical emergency during acute withdrawal (going 'cold turkey') since the side effects typically include delirium, seizures, coma, and death. [alcoholic beverages]
      - the most addictive drug on the planet, with 30% becoming long term, habitual consumers. [tobacco/nicotine products]
      - celebrated by society in the form of countless advertisements via television, magazines, newspapers, radio, billboards, and the internet. [alcoholic beverages]
      - ignored by the mainstream media (with the very rare exception) whenever a death occurs as a result of consumption. [both drugs]
      - communicated by governments around the world - with respect to the risks involved - to the public as a simple and vague phrase which says simply (and only) to "please enjoy responsibly." [alcoholic beverages]
      - by far, the biggest burden on healthcare systems and productivity/workforce contributions around the world. [both drugs]

      As a neuropsychopharmacologist who has been working closely with Schedule I substances (including 'Crack' and 'Heroin') for close to 10 years, I can tell you with certainty that no drug on this planet is risk free - there's a lethal dosage for all of them.

      No one deserves to lose their freedom solely for choosing to consume a drug without a government permission slip - it must stop for good.

      @Quasi

      Mar 7, 2015 at 12:01pm

      "Overall, alcohol was the most harmful drug (overall harm score 72), with heroin (55) and crack cocaine (54) in second and third places." (Nutt, et al. 2010).

      There is some evidence that cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine are more dangerous to individuals, but I am quite confident that such is a product of research confounds---it tends to be lower socioeconomic strata users of these drugs that come into contact with the healthcare system.

      But considered all around, alcohol is most dangerous to others---someone on meth might be doing serious damage to his own body, but he's far less likely to do damage to my body. Alcohol and tobacco are dangerous drugs that cause serious social harm.

      If Governments really want to protect people from substances, they should make them all available in measured doses. People want to get high, but they're not _stupid_. If they can get a buzz they like from substance X, which scores a 10/100 on some "harm scale", why would they ever use substance Y, which scores 50/100 on the same scale? These sorts of measurements are quite possible to do.

      As an aside, drugs like LSD and psilocybin are pretty much non-toxic and without serious risk of injury to the user or to other people. Good thing we have a serious community of hardcore alcoholics to protect us from them---don't the RCMP have a bar in one of their clubhouses?

      Quasi

      Mar 7, 2015 at 8:48pm

      Alcohol is deadly, but it's easier to get hard drugs in Vancouver than alcohol. Other societies have dealt with the scourge of drugs by creating safe environments in their cities without open air, twenty four hour drug bazaars. Why allow drug dealers, their paid- off politicians and their wrong-headed advocates to ruin the centres of every Canadian city as they have done with Vancouver. Do you think Edmonton really wants a parade of crack smoking and heroin shooting on White Avenue? Yonge Street? Parliament Hill? Your quotation marks around my terminology show that you've never deal with these substances on the street. They are deadly and that is what they are called by the vast majority of people who use them. Normalization of their usage is a betrayal of an entire generation of young people. I've seen Nutt's study - he got fired. Don't blame it on lower socioeconomic status, blame it on politicians who don't care that these drugs drag people from all walks of life down into the pit of addiction and despair. And don't you think those numbers of deaths per minute would rise if crack and heroin were as available as booze and smokes? Don't lock up addicts for possession; lock up dealers for trafficking- and do it like you mean it. Get the drugs off the street and you won't need harm reduction and managed addiction centres. Let our young people live in a safe place. It can be done.

      Doug Pederson AKA SpectateSwamp

      May 4, 2015 at 1:04pm

      To the victor go the spoils
      This should apply to the Marijuana revolution as well.
      We have them down and by the throat. Let's finish 'em off NOW.

      No licenses should go to people that weren't involved in this victory.

      Only those who lost jobs or were incarcerated etc should get our support $$$ Period. We are a cohesive group and if we boycott those pretenders shops, they will soon be out of business.

      I read about one investor that owned over 60 licenses. Boo and boycott.

      Those $30,000 licenses will be worthless real fast.

      9 16Rating: -7

      Ger

      Aug 22, 2015 at 6:04am

      Every country should do what Portugal is doing. They have proof it works. If someone needs help, help them, do the throw them in jail. Such a barbaric approach. Educate people, help them, and most importantly keep Canada free.