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VANCOUVER--MORE THAN A FUNNY NAME

 
 
Setanta
 
Reply Mon 1 Mar, 2004 12:57 pm
Vancouver is no long just a town with a goofy name, it now has a unique mayor. Formerly a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and a narcotics agent, he became a coroner (and a folk hero-a television series has been based on his career), and then ran for mayor of Vancouver. Mr. Campbell won by a huge margin, in an election with an extraordinarily large turn-out. His platform was? Providing a store-front clinic at which heroin addicts can get clean needles, and shoot-up in a safe, controlled environment. On NPR's fresh air, he has heavily slammed drug policy in the U.S., and said that as a narcotics officer, he would get a degree in accounting, so he could track the money. He does not deny that there is a great deal of petty property crime in Vancouver, as elsewhere, associated with drug abuse; his point is that the money trail of the suppliers ought to be the priority of law enforcement, and treatment programs the focus for dealing with drug users.

Waddya think, gang?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 1,608 • Replies: 11
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Swimpy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Mar, 2004 01:12 pm
I couldn't agree with him more, Boss.
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Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Mar, 2004 09:03 am
I guess everyone here thinks it is so smart that nobody felt it necessary to reply, Setanta. I just saw this though and I'll agree too.

The mayor makes a good point -- follow the money. I've never heard anybody say that narcs should have accounting degrees, but it makes sense (and is kind of funny, too).

I wonder why the USA has never concentrated on trying to follow the money. Could it be that they don't really want to find out?

IMO, the drug problem should become a tax problem. Legalize it, tax it and let the chips fall where they may. If some people want to get completely strung out, let 'em.

Vancouver now has an area where marijuana cafes have grown up, I'm told. Just outside the door and before they were even finished parking, my friends were offered a variety of purchase options.
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Jim
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2004 12:35 am
I disagree completely with you.

I grew up in Seattle, and don't thing Vancouver is a funny name at all.
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Jer
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2004 12:47 am
I live here - it's good - and I support Campbell's drug initiatives.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2004 01:17 am
Agreeing too...
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Swimpy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2004 08:57 am
NPR recently did a series about the fact that there is a lot of very cheap, very pure heroin on the market now. More info here. The purer form of heroin can be snorted, making it attractive to those who are squeamish about needles. They also think snorting it means they won't get addicted.

I think it's ludicrous to believe that government can stop this illegal flow of drugs. We can educate our children to the dangers of drugs, but not just the same old lines. "Just say NO." Come on...We can't insult peoples' intelligence. When the anti-drug campaign equates marijuana and herion, it loses credibility.
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Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2004 10:05 am
Hmmm, lots of inexpensive, high-quality heroin but they say it is from Columbia and not Afghanistan? That seems odd to me.

It is very different to have a needle exchange program vs. a center where addicts can go to shoot up, I think. Hard to imagine it, really. Tacoma is my closest city; about 200 miles south of Vancouver, B.C. There is a heavy-duty narcotics problem, possibly from a combination of proximity to military bases, indian reservations and a poor economy. This is what Tacoma has done...

Quote:
The first needle exchange program to operate with some community consensus was organized by Dave Purchase in Tacoma, Washington. In April 1988, Purchase, an activist with extensive experience in directing drug rehabilitation programs, informed the mayor, public officials, and others whom he thought might be politically affected that he planned to begin a program. In August of that year, he set up a table in downtown Tacoma to exchange needles and syringes. The program, originally funded by the Mahatma Kane-Jeeves Memorial Dope Fiend Trust, which consisted of Purchase and other private donors, grew into the Point Defiance AIDS Project and operates under contract with the local department of public health.


from Needle Exchange: A Brief HistoryAegis Law Library

The Pt. Defiance AIDS Project received a $75,000 grant for 2003 to continue the needle exchange program.

As far as having a safe place during the day... there is a program here called Nativity House which provides meals, clothes, logistical support and most of all a daytime respite from the street, however drugs are absolutely forbidden.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Mar, 2004 11:01 am
I'm glad to see you weigh in on this Jer. As a denizen of Vancouver, would you mind giving us a run-down on how this plays politically in the city, and the province?
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cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Mar, 2004 11:14 am
Hmm...I still believe that Vancouver has the highest gross heroin use in Canada next to Toronto. I think radical solutions may be the solution, hopefully, and the American 'war on drugs' is simply a joke. I support the policies, but cross my fingers they actually work. Mind you, they did get Al Capone by following the money, so who knows?
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Swimpy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Mar, 2004 05:52 pm
After thinking about this for a while, I wanted to add that this can't be the only solution offered. It should be part of a multi-facetted approach that, on the whole, offers hope to the addicted and diminishes the market for drugs.
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Jer
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Mar, 2004 01:36 pm
The city of Vancouver's Four-Pillar Approach...
City of Vancouver's Four Pillar Approach to Drugs
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