Putting votes before health

TheStar.com – comment/letters – Putting votes before health
June 03, 2008

Re:Science vs. politics – Editorial, June 1

The decision by Ottawa to appeal the safe injection site ruling by the B.C. Supreme Court is a classic case of political ideology trumping public health, medical science and common sense. We need to start treating drug addiction for what it is: a public health problem. Costly incarceration, mean-spiritedness, community pandering, media hype and political grandstanding have never worked.

Time is not on our side. Addiction, whether to alcohol, cigarettes, gambling or drugs, is an illness that requires medical attention. The court recognized this fact. It is disconcerting and embarrassing that this ill-informed, ideologically driven, vote-getting government plans to appeal the court’s decision.

Obviously, dealing with the concerns associated with drug use, including human suffering, is not high on the government’s agenda.

Emile Therien, Ottawa

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