column was published in the North
Shore News on
July 19, 2000)
for addicts would be Kwan's folly
By Leo Knight
from a brief sojourn into the world of television news last
week, it now seems apparent that Jenny Kwan, NDP Minister of
Municipal Affairs, has decided the only way to stop junkies from
keeling over in their fetid mess is to provide them with safe
injection sites and free drugs.
is the measure of enlightenment emanating from Victoria. Drugs
are the poison killing them, so let's give them easier access to
was out parading around last week, fresh from her recent brush
with the law, a Minister of the Crown engaging in a little
trivial graffiti during yet another protest, on that occasion
demanding the property of others be given to those who haven't
"skids" in Vancouver, an area which used to be a few
blocks along East Hastings, has now grown to include much of
Chinatown, Gastown and beyond.
called the "Downtown Eastside" for those eschewing the
reality of "Skid Road," it has long been populated by
the poor, the besotted, fallen whores and those who prey on
those less able to protect themselves.
what was once an area where omnipresent drug dealers used to
hide from the enforcement actions of the police, it has now
become a veritable downtown drug emporium. A street flea market
for every type of mind altering substance imaginable, home to a
battalion of Honduran crack dealers and Asian street thugs, not
to mention our own homegrown white trash, the "Skids"
has evolved into a bubbling cauldron displaying the futility of
a justice system gone wrong and a government that just doesn't
any given day, at any given hour, in any given alley, you can
see the results of the permissive society tying up a bicep while
spanking a withered arm trying desperately to coax a metal
fatigued vein out of its slumber just one more time.
answer is to give them free drugs because that will somehow stop
the dying and the despair in the poorest neighbourhood of the
best country in the world to live in.
next? Perhaps she'll order up a "safe drinking" house
and give the winos she stepped over to get to her little
protest, a bottle of the best B.C. wine. After all, they're
dying down there too, drinking Chinese cooking wine and poking
holes into cans of Lysol to "shoot" the contents (an
act colloquially known as a Proctor & Gamble cocktail).
NDP have, for the nearly 10 years they have held power in
Pitiful B.C., largely ignored these people, the very citizens of
Kwan's own riding. There are so few treatment beds, that even if
a junkie wanted to escape the needle, there's precious little in
people need help, not more drugs. They need places with warm
beds and warmer hearts to help them escape the hell they are in.
They sure as hell do not need a benevolent government adding to
their life's misery by making it easier for them to get the
poison that is destroying their lives and killing them by the
is it with this lot? Do they somehow think they would be a
better class of drug dealer?
whether the weekend pot smoker believes it or not, are killing
our country. And, at the same time, are providing untold
billions into the pockets of organized crime. Good God,
marijuana cultivation has become the third largest industry in a
natural resource rich province.
I don't want to hear from the aging hippies who think it is a
harmless drug. It isn't the drug of their youth. Not any more.
The percentage of THC content in the hydroponic crop produced in
this province outstrips the Woodstock version by over 600%.
one reading this would condone someone getting smashed on booze
then driving a car. Well, why is it somehow acceptable with
marijuana? Is the person they hit any less dead? Most women
wouldn't think of having a drink while pregnant, but somehow the
occasional toke is still okay?
argument for legalized drugs doesn't hold water at any level.
The shallow thinker, or perhaps those who conduct their thought
analysis while sucking on a "bong," believe that to
make drugs legal will eliminate the ravages of organized crime.
legalized, are we going to allow a 14 or 15 year old kid to buy
marijuana? Heroin? Crack cocaine? What about a little speed to
get them through exams? Hell, we won't even allow them to buy
cigarettes, which however unhealthy, is at least not
mind-altering. Where a prohibition exists, so will a black
market. This isn't rocket science.
about the U.S. or Europe, or South America, China, Korea, Japan?
Are all these places going to jump on the legalization bandwagon
as well? Or will B.C. Bud, produced illegally, still be the
global toke of choice?
refuse to accept the arguments portrayed saying that we are
criminalizing people for innocent activity. Talk to any police
officer and ask them the last time they made an arrest for
simple possession of marijuana. It just isn't done and hasn't
for many years, unless the individual is such a belligerent
yahoo they practically scream out to be arrested for something,
anything. The truth is that the simple possession of so-called
soft drugs has been decriminalized for all intents and purposes
for the past 10 or 15 years.
despite what the pro-druggies say, the police do not target the
users. They are after the dealers. And the organized crime teams
and drug squads are after the bigger fish, those who make
millions trading in human misery.
have portrayed drugs and the drug culture as somehow harmless.
Trust me, it isn't. Look at ecstasy. The media call it a
"designer" drug as if it's haute couture. Ecstasy, or
MDMA is, essentially, a vile chemical cocktail of LSD and
methamphetamine. Great, you get to hallucinate at high speed.
That sound you hear at raves is not music, it is the collected
noise of neurons popping in kids' brains.
government is trying to outlaw tobacco and, at the same time,
looking for ways to accommodate drug use all the while ignoring
their responsibility to provide treatment for those whose
addictions are leading them to the morgue.
Maybe the lunacy of drugs will never end. Maybe the war against drugs cannot be won. But surely, for the sake of our kids, surrender is not an option.