August 19th, 2018

How not to fight war on drugs


By Lethbridge Herald Opinon on June 7, 2018.

Wow. SMH. The mayor’s statement on needle debris does not mention things that the City of Lethbridge is doing to eliminate addicts and drugs from our streets (with the exception of the comment about Lethbridge Police Service É thank you, LPS). Almost the entire statement is focused on accepting that there will be needle debris and all we can hope to do is attempt to reduce the needle debris while helping addicts stay addicted. The mayor believes we must educate ourselves and our young children rather than eliminate drugs and addicts. He has apparently given up on that. I, and many, like me, have not. I refuse to accept defeat and give in to the addicts. It is the wrong thing to do. It is a war and we must fight the good fight. Not give weapons to the opposing soldiers.

I must comment on some of the mayor’s statements:

“… we initiated the Executive Leaders Coalition on Opioid Use”

There are 16 members; 13 of them are funded by taxpayer money. Two of them may receive some funding from taxpayer money. Perhaps one (BRZ) is comprised of community members not funded at all by the taxpayer. Then again, oops, the BRZ does indeed receive some City funding for the Clean Sweep program. So perhaps no members are truly independent of the government. Where are the daycare owners? Or mothers? Citizens that enjoy walking through our parks and playgrounds? Or others affected by this crisis directly? Perhaps a few angry mothers on the committee could get something effective done. Because I and those I speak to believe the current works of the coalition are woefully ineffective and in fact contributing to the problem, not solving it. The coalition is sending out the message that it is OK to do drugs and that we will help you do drugs. And using taxpayer money to do it. I, for one, do not want my money used to send that message.

“… we will continue to do as much as we can, within our jurisdiction as a municipality, to ensure the safety of all residents of our city”

Your jurisdiction includes the LPS enforcing the criminal laws of Canada. Why then has the City apparently created a safe zone around the SCS where LPS are not allowed to do their sworn duty?

“Drug and needle debris in public places is a troubling and challenging issue for Lethbridge.”

Troubling? Really? You find it “troubling” that kids are bringing needles home in their backpack? You find it troubling that people have been pricked by needles? I found it horrifying and my heart goes out to every parent of a young child in this City right now. It is not an issue É it is a crisis and should be treated as such.

“Parents in particular are understandably alarmed by the risk discarded needles pose to their children.”

Understandably alarmed? Nowhere in this statement have I seen any sympathy directed at the parents and children that have already been pricked by needles or had needles picked up and brought home. Parents and children are in harms way and frightened. I hope all the “alarmed” parents rise up. I hope even more fervently that you as mayor start listening to them rather than all the taxpayer-funded members of the Coalition you appear to hold so dear. Quit doubling down and admit that what we are doing is failing and do something effective for a change.

All four points listed do nothing to eliminate drugs and addiction. And they put the onus on the citizen to deal with the situation that the city has enabled.

“… exceptional return rate” on needles

Exceptional? 100 per cent is exceptional. So is 99 per cent and 98 per cent. So which is it?

“What can you do, as a resident”

Residents don’t want to be told how to deal with needles. They most definitely do not want to have to educate their little children on needle debris. What they do want is to feel safe in our city. They want to take their children to a park or playground or school yard and not have to scan every square inch first to ensure it is safe. They do not want to hide in their houses while drug addicts take over their city. They do not want their cars or homes broken into by addicts looking for money for their next fix at the SCS. They do not want to observe addicts shooting up. They do not want to avoid areas of Lethbridge for fear they may run into addicts who become violent. They want true leadership from elected officials to solve the problem not perpetuate it.

Nowhere in the mayor’s stated goals for the community is it listed that we want to reduce addiction. Eliminate the sale of drugs in our city. Send drug dealers to jail. Help addicts get off drugs. Make the city safe for parents and children. Or quit wasting taxpayer money.

“… we will continue to seek effective ways to reduce the incidence of needle debris in public places”

The final statement suggests to me that the mayor has given up. Thrown in the towel. All he wants is a reduction in needle debris. I want elimination! Set the goal high! It appears we are being told to accept the current situation as the new norm. And educate ourselves and our young children to be safe around needles. While at the same time we pay health-care workers to be at the SCS to ensure drug addicts are unharmed and revive them if they overdose. Again. WOW. Citizens, we are on our own! Addicts are being taken care of and we are not. How did this situation become so perverted? Oh yes. Our star-studded coalition of taxpayer-funded groups. Party on!

Put our tax money towards detox centres, not consumption sites. Help the addicts get off drugs. Stop helping them stay on drugs.

John Davies

Lethbridge

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8 Responses to “How not to fight war on drugs”

  1. Jagtech says:

    Cheers! Excellent letter. At last, a voice of common sense.

  2. Dennis Bremner says:

    Always remember one thing, its all about the money. The Alberta Government is funding the ARCHES program, why? Less appearances in Hospitals, reduction in HIV HEPC and supposedly safer place to take your drug, so if you have a bad reaction people get to you sooner so you are less of a burden on the hospital system. Nowhere in that dissertation is their intent to either jail addicts, charge them with the use of illicit drugs, or stamp out Drugs in Lethbridge.
    These drugs are so chemically altered that addiction is immediate. Their is a young lady in Canada that is now blind because she decided to scratch her eyes out while “out of it”.
    This is all part of a kinder gentler more understanding apologetic “tear in your eye” society.
    There is no war on drugs, there is little interest in stopping the addiction because, so I am told, you can continue being a drug user in the Lethbridge Jail. So even incarcerating the addict results in no change. So politicians give up. They create novel new ways for you to pay and you to be a little less safe in your community.
    If you do not cater to the bleeding hearts then you are an unfeeling uncaring narrow minded ratepayer who does not want to help the downtrodden.
    Personally I help downtrodden, I give people money, buy them food, get them hot coffee if they are just down and out. If they are drug addicted zombies I pass them by like they do not exist.
    So if that makes me an unfeeling and uncaring narrow minder ratepayer, then I should start a club, because there are a lot of us in Lethbridge. There are many of us that would prefer to know that children will not get “stuck with a needle”, and illegal activities are still rewarded with a free ticket to the crowbar hotel.
    -Being socially acceptable, politically correct, who cries publicly about an injustice that ocurred 200 years ago is IN.
    -Needles are a product of not infringing on a drug addicts right to enjoy his/her drug of choice as he/she sees fit. Too object, is to impinge on those rights! If you want to know where your rights are? Well you are just being selfish by asking!

  3. jcampbell says:

    Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) Bill C-26 and then it became Bill C-10 and passed in 2012 outlining mandatory minimum sentences for offences relating to the trafficking and production of various controlled substances.
    This is a Federal Law that applies to every Canadian and foreigners to Canada. this includes Police, Military, Judges, Lawyers, Politicians-Everyone man/woman/child within Canada.
    This sets a very illegal and dangerous president.
    This City has said we can change any Federal Law with out a Judge, or any Federal debate or senate votes.
    So if our City tells us don’t pay GST we don’t have to?
    Like a GST SAFE ZONE
    Will Lethbridge pay my Legal fees?
    Please RCMP a plea from a Canadian, this is a Federal crime that is criminally been obstructed (obstruction of the Law) please take action again the City.
    Does this mean the City of Lethbridge will set up outdoor Pot smoking areas? I feel they must do that now if they do it for needle users at least a Pot smoker will take his/her finished Joint “Roach” home for later and not lave it for a kid to find.
    Where are all the Lawyers in this? Or is the money in the defence of Drug addicts and not the majority of your Neighbors and even your own children.
    The City of Lethbridge is breaking Federal Law and the Police by NOT enforcing the Law are now in contempt and face Liability as does the City of Lethbridge.
    I think we should be more like the USA and sue these Officials or our own City into the Stone age.
    How about filing a “Class Action Law Suit” against the City of Lethbridge, the Police and the RCMP for not enforcing Federal Law.
    This is pure and simple; Contempt of Federal Criminal Law.
    Why is the RCMP now not in Contempt to obstruct Federal Law?
    By not taking action to a Crime you are a criminal and can face charges.
    If you see a Murder and do nothing, what is that called?
    What do we expect? The City can’t even keep the westside bridges clean and safe in the winter, they just lower the speed limit.
    Its not Lethbridge its Deathbridge now.
    James

    • George McCrea says:

      James. You are correct. RCMP being a federal police force charged with enforcing the Narcotic Contol Act, Controlled Drug Act are under no restriction when it comes to jurisdiction. They can drive up there anytime they want and enforce the laws of the land. All it takes is one of the members in the blue and whites with the gumption to do something. My bet, nothing going to happen except the problems and issues surrounding this will get worse. At some point there will be a murder, assault with weapon, a rape with a body tossed in the dumpster. We will all recoil in horror, appalled, do our Facebook tributes and move on to the next day without a second thought. We will cleanse our conscious with a couple of RIP’s on Twitter. Sad but it will happen.

      • jcampbell says:

        George. I guess I just don’t understand when basic common sense is not even thought about.
        So, so what does it take? people to go down to the RCMP and file a Criminal complaint and force them to investigate and if they don’t take action; then at least on paper the RCMP will have to say why they “RCMP” legally are not prosecuting Federal criminal law.
        As far as I know if you are caught with POT you will be arrested even if it will be legal in a few month, other wise; its still on the Law books and the Law is the Law.
        I wonder in 20 years if Heroin, Cocaine will be Legal?
        I just turned 50 this year and 20 years ago the thought of Pot been Legal across Canada would get a “Dream On” reply; it would never happen and now its happening this summer, (Im for decriminalization for possession and growing 4 plants for medical)
        So we cant say what or wont happen in 20 years.
        We could RFID the Needles to GPS track and ever Needle and thus every User, RFID can now be activated by your house WIFI, its just a Firmware update.
        Back to holding the RCMP to the letter of the Law.
        Ill read more and if filing a Criminal complain with the RCMP will start things I’ll do it; I also realise I have to do it right or it won’t go anywhere.
        I lived on Vancouver Island for 12 years and had a Crack house start up beside ours and yes its true for no reason they leave their Needles all over the grass, sidewalks then at 5am-ish the Escorts would show up, it got very bad and it went on for a year before they moved and I called the Police every few weeks
        All that been said, anger aside; I think Adics need help, maybe the Canadian Armed Forces Medical could take them in and feed, cloth, house and clean them up under medical care; then put them though Boot Camp and some Tech training and released back to us.
        Well I have some reading to do on the criminal code.
        Where are the Federal prosecutors in this?
        James

  4. biff says:

    the most effective way to reduce the number of hard core addicts is to let nature run its course. the only obligation i feel we have to high risk behaviour is to try and keep the fallout to a minimal. besides my sundry entries in support of legalisation, and the banning of big pharm’s poison “opioids” as the best way to minimise fallout from high risk drug use, we should provide help when it is wanted, and deal with all in need as humanely as is possible. however, we should consider that we are best served by not rescuing the overdosed. in time, we will save money, the numbers of high risk addicts will be greatly diminished…and so will be the number of spent needles sprinkled all about town.

    • Jagtech says:

      Biff, By “letting nature run its course”, are you suggesting discontinuing the use of Naloxone kits? Not forgetting, of course, that “big pharma” developed and produces said kits.

  5. biff says:

    i am saying do not stop an overdose in progress (perhaps notwithstanding those using safe injection sites, as they would appear to be close enough to be open to accepting help). let those that have given up expire, as per their choice.
    let big pharm be investigated for their role in this synthetic “opioid” crisis, and if found criminally culpable, let us seize their assets under proceeds of crime laws, and deal with the ceos as harshly as law allows.


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