July 21st, 2018

Public spending, drug problem are ongoing issues


By Letter to the Editor on May 12, 2018.

I am writing in response to Mr. Johnston’s concerns regarding my letter to the editor April 14.

Home decor was provided to a city aquatic centre at the tune of $226,000 of taxpayers’ money for two pieces of “art.” This was beneficial to line the pockets of two individuals as opposed to the benefit of the community.

Misuse of taxpayers’ money is an ongoing issue. It would be beneficial to put some funding toward a sub-acute care facility since the hospital always seems to have a bed shortage. A vacant building in the city could be utilized for this service.

It is not acceptable for local businesses to be riddled with used drug paraphernalia at their doorstop from the neighbouring “safe injection site.” Providing clean needles to drug users is an attempt to reduce blood-borne pathogen-infectious diseases, yet the public are exposed to the used needles, subjecting them to the potential of contracting Hepatitis C or HIV. This is not following best practices for infection control standards.

The safe injection site is only a “Band-Aid” which does not address the problem. To reduce the number of deaths related to fentanyl overdose, the justice system must incarcerate drug traffickers, thus the availability of street fentanyl will significantly diminish in addition to the city crime rate.

A “safe centre” for drug users should entail addiction counsellors, social workers, a methadone clinic to counteract the addiction. It is ethically and morally unacceptable to provide illegal drug users with clean needles to engage in criminal activity. Mr. Johnston is concerned about deaths related to fentanyl overdose. What about the deaths of innocent people brutally beaten and murdered due to this criminal activity.

I find it appalling that Mr. Johnston wishes ill will to parents in the community by suggesting fines at schools should be doubled when parents drop off their “special cargo.” Many young families face financial hardships with a low socio-economic status. Providing shelter and food for many is difficult.

I hope this letter alleviates Mr. Johnston’s ignorance regarding the social, economic and political issues this community faces. He may be satisfied to reside in a low-populated city ranked 26th among the most dangerous places in Canada. As a mother of two young children, I am not. Crime prevention should be first priority for the safety of the community, not cash cows, tax hikes or a “safe injection site” for illegal drug use.

Charlotte George

Lethbridge

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5 Responses to “Public spending, drug problem are ongoing issues”

  1. Jagtech says:

    Excellent, common sense letter, Ms George. We do have “safe centers” for drug addicts in Alberta, taxpayer-funder AADAC treatment centers, such as the big one in Claresholm. But these centers are only beneficial to those who WANT help, whereas users of the safe injection sites DO NOT WANT help. They only want to shoot up, time after time. Until the government stops wasting our money by supporting the use of illicit drugs at these sites, there will be no end to the problems that you refer to.

    • George McCrea says:

      Yes, part of walking thru the door at these sites should be walking out the back in a rehabilitation program. Don’t adhere to it, unable to come back thru the front door. Only then will we be helping those that have the addiction.

  2. chinook says:

    Lethbridge has gone from a city that virtually had no problem to where today we are in a ‘crisis’ – this is nuts. Seems we have more of a stupidity problem than anything else.
    Why aren’t we dealing with drug dealers more severely? Dr. Gifford Jones offers practical advice: How To Cure 42,000 Addicts Quickly…
    http://www.docgiff.com/article/cure-42000-addicts-quickly/

    Parents need to do better … easiest thing in the world is to have kids but it takes effort to instill in kids worthwhile values. Why not equip parents with info / workshops etc throughout a pregnancy & beyond with parenting skills, guidance and support?
    Education system is also being under-utilized – mental and physical health programs should be cutting edge; ones that work – not just fluff.
    Prevention is the best medicine to ensure this rot doesn’t destroy our society.

    • snoutspot4 says:

      @chinook – Seriously? Dr. Gifford Jones as your solution? Dr. Gifford Jones is a charlatan who has no knowledge of anything beyond peddling false information. This point has been made many times in this forum. The reality of Dr. Gifford Jones is that he is a purveyor of shady health advice about vitamin C, he makes his money by selling dubious supplements and disseminates quack information about radiation, cell phones, and the whole long line of tinfoil hat wearing gibberish. In this case, with zero training and understanding he advocates for summary execution for drug dealers. That’s a pretty big leap.

  3. biff says:

    ok, it is likely the compassion ctr – personnel and users – needs to get out from the walls and ensure the area is clear of needles. simple.
    but, still, here come the hardliner dinosaurs…only, the war on drugs has been a failure forever, and yet the control freaks must still wail for it. the gov’t has no place in the bodies of others – therefore criminalizing and enforcement of drugs is the true crime.
    moreover, far more money is wasted in the process of enforcement, judiciary, and incarceration than would be in prevention/honest education, legalisation and gov’t control to ensure quality standards – like alcohol – and with support services that do indeed include the opportunity for the addict to access help.
    two major issues with drugs today are: 1) synthetic poisons called “opioids” manufactured and patented by big pharm, which are unnaturally addictive – are these the dealers chinook hopes to have killed, as per gifford-jones’s stupidest opinion piece ever? addicts will find their vice, no matter what illegal laws are written and no matter how horrible and cruel and unusual are the punishments a society inflicts in its vain attempt to “deter and enforce.” . we have more than enough evidence – spanning generations the world over that irrefutably supports this point. 2) the artificial and ultra-inflated cost of drugs is due to the risk associated with criminality, and with corruption associated with each of organised crime and organised enforcement. naturally occurring drugs are basically weeds and shrubs. they are cheap to produce: think tobacco (without the level of nefarious taxation and without the chemicals used by big t to artificially induce addiction), coffee, tea…some or all of these are pretty much in the homes of all, and purchased without needing to resort to crime.
    the drugs that cause the most issues for individuals are those that are refined, or completely synthetic. the more the natural composition of chemistry is disrupted, the more difficult it is for the body to have a natural interaction with the substance. note that in the giff-jones piece, the authority cited states that heroin and morphine are not as addictive as we have been led to believe. however, each of those is refined opium, and each is more addictive than opium. ingesting cocaine powder is more addictive than simply chewing the leaf from which cocaine is refined.
    i find it ironic, even moronic, that there remain folk that have long accepted the far too many public dollars wasted to finance the war on drugs – over a trillion dollars in the usa alone since 1971 (https://elevationshealth.com/annual-cost-war-on-drugs/) – but cannot stomach far less being spent to fund an holistic and humane strategy. this approach is in its infancy, yet the brainwashed, biased, control-freak hacks would fall into line to shoot it down before it has a chance. and then, to shout for more of the old, ineffective way? that has been a way riddled with a long history of proven failure and corruption; a way that has given big pharm and the state the control over one’s ability to choose how to manage pain, and enjoyment, for that matter. i am left to wonder: just what and how much have that lot been drinking?


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