Tag Archives: Needle Exchange

Vancouver, BC handing out free crack pipes and drug needles

Map of Canada
Map of Canada

From the Vancouver Sun. (H/T The Michael Medved Show)


Vancouver health officials will distribute new crack pipes to drug users this fall as part of a pilot project aimed at reducing the transmission of diseases such as hepatitis C.

The program, part of Vancouver’s harm-reduction strategy, is expected to start in October and run for six months to a year, said Dr. Reka Gustafson, a medical health officer with the Vancouver Coastal Health authority.

[…]While heroin users can get clean needles from needle-exchange programs or the city’s safe-injection site, new pipes aren’t as easily accessible.

Across Canada, only a handful of cities, including Calgary and Winnipeg, hand out crack pipes.

A kit with a clean, unused pipe, mouthpiece, filter and condoms will be handed out to the participants, Gustafson said. It’s not known at this time how many drug users will take part in the pilot, which will have an estimated cost of between $50,000 and $60,000.

[…]Transmission rates for disease, particularly for hepatitis C, continue to rise in Vancouver. About 60 per cent to 80 per cent of drug users in Vancouver have the disease or are at risk of getting it, said B.C. medical health officer Dr. Perry Kendall.

“There’s good reason that hepatitis C and HIV can be transmitted on the mouth piece of pipes. It’s not as clear as with needle-sharing but it’s pretty persuasive,” Kendall said. “This pilot will tell us if we should be doing more.”

I can’t believe that this is happening in conservative cities like CALGARY, ALBERTA. It’s craziness. When you lower the cost barrier and risks of drug use, you get MORE drug use, not less. Lowering the cost of any choice or behavior will, all other factors being equal, create more of that choice or behavior.

Twelve policies that undermine civil society

I noticed this “web memo” on the Heritage Foundation web site. Basically, they just list the twelve policies and then write a couple of short paragraphs on how each policy negatively impacts civil society. This is a good introduction to Christians who want to think through whether some government policies that sound good really do good by reducing the amount of destructive and costly behavior, and promoting the public good.

The twelve policies are described in detail in the full post. (PDF)

  1. Massive Expansion of the Welfare State
  2. A Big Step toward National Same-Sex Marriage
  3. Abstinence-Based Education at Risk
  4. Expanding the Federal Government’s Role in Education
  5. Hate Crimes Expansion
  6. Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Purposes
  7. Taxpayer-Funded Abortion
  8. Needle Exchange for Drug Addicts
  9. Ending Parental School Choice for Low-Income Children
  10. Federal Funding for Abortions in the Health Care Overhaul
  11. Limiting Parental Rights and Expanding Family Planning
  12. New Government Parenting Program

Here are the details for #2.

The House of Representatives is on a trajectory to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2009 (ENDA), just as it did in 2007. This legislation would disallow discrimination in hiring decisions based on “actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.” ENDA would give special protected class status to sexual orientation and gender identity–just as is given to race, color, sex and religion.

Legislation like ENDA is a major precursor to legalizing same-sex marriage, as the history of the issue in several states shows. According to a recent Heritage Foundation paper, no state that has approved same-sex marriage has done so without first adopting ENDA-like legislation. In Vermont, Massachusetts, and five other states, courts have used the non-discrimination law as part of their reasoning to strike down traditional marriage.

Here, you can read more about the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and how it paves the way for same-sex marriage. I wrote a post about why people oppose same-sex marriage a while back.