Many lefty journalists are thrilled that heroin addicts can safely continue making their lives a misery at state expense. My friend Barbara kay not so much.
In 2003, Insite, the first experimental supervised injection site in North America, was installed in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside (DTES), Canada's poster district for entrenched substance abuse and addiction. At Insite, addicts may legally shoot up illegal drugs in hygienic, medically protective and non-judgmental circumstances. The controversial clinic instantly became, and remains, a crucible for passionate social and legal debate about public policy in dealing with drug addiction.
Those who argue for Insite believe that its governing philosophy of "harm reduction" for what they regard as an incurable affliction, is both ethical and efficacious in reducing disease and deaths. Opposed to Insite are those who support what one might call the "moral agency" model. This redemptive perspective, which favours pro-active strategies of treatment and prevention, has the support of the federal government, which has tried to close Insite down since 2006.