Tuesday, April 12, 2016
The Killer Drug and the Killer Cons
I took this picture yesterday of a humble monument next to a community clinic in Toronto.
It's believed to be the first monument anywhere, to those who died of drug overdoses or drug related causes.
But if we were to build a monument to all those who have died the same way all over Canada in just the last ten years, it would be massive.
Because our country has a huge opioid drug problem, and these days the most dangerous killer is the drug fentanyl.
I've written about that drug before, and how it should only be used in a controlled hospital setting. For if an amount the size of a grain of salt can make you obliviously high. One more grain can kill you.
The Globe and Mail has been running an excellent series on fentanyl, and how it became such a deadly threat.
It's a depressing catalogue of mistakes stretching back twenty years. A tragedy which is now compounded by the fact the drug is cheap to make, easy to smuggle in from places like China. And can be enormously profitable, with an amount of fentanyl the size of a cantaloupe, worth about $20 million dollars.
But what stands out for me is how Stephen Harper and his foul Con regime could have done something to stem the rise of this deadly epidemic, but didn't...
Many medical experts say that the former Conservative government did not devote enough resources to harm-reduction measures (such as the provision of overdose antidotes) to address the side effects of drug abuse; Ottawa fought a war on drugs instead, primarily by prosecuting low-level offenders.
Instead of mobilizing resources to fight it, they tried to ban the words harm reduction.
Any mention of harm reduction was banished from Health Canada’s website in 2007, when the federal department changed the name of its National Drug Strategy to the National Anti-Drug Strategy.
They threatened those who were trying to save lives.
The Conservatives quietly spread the word that not-for-profit groups would have difficulty getting federal funding if they continued to provide harm-reduction programs.
They tried to close down Vancouver's wonderful InSite clinic...
Even though it has prevented thousands of fatal overdoses.
And when that failed thanks to the Supreme Court, they passed a law making it almost impossible to set up supervised injection sites anywhere else in Canada.
Just so Harper could pander to his rabid vengeful base and indulge his deranged views on drugs...
"This descent into nihilism... leads to silliness such as moral neutrality on the use of marijuana or harder drugs mixed with its random moral crusades on tobacco. It explains the lack of moral censure on personal foibles of all kinds, extenuating even criminal behaviour with moral outrage at bourgeois society, which is then tangentially blamed for deviant behaviour."
Stephen Harper Report Magazine 2003
No matter how many Canadian lives it cost.
You know there is a tendency in this sometimes hardhearted country to blame drug users for their own fate. Or worse consider them criminals.
But these people were not criminals, they were victims...
They may have been humble, for this is a poor neighbourhood.
But they were mothers, fathers, sons and daughters and friends, just like any others. They were and are still missed by all those who loved them.
Only to lose them so suddenly and so tragically.
And the real criminals are Harper and his Cons who put their foul ideology before the lives of thousands of Canadians, and never lifted a finger to save them.
Always remember what those Con killers did. How they betrayed their own people.
And never ever forgive them...
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