READING In scanning through some of Joel Connelly's recent columns (for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer) and running across this side-note, which seemed useful for a spotlight here as a new presidential administration starts to work through its plans for social policy. Connelly is writing here about the approaches used in Vancouver, British Columbia . . .
The city has embarked on a treatment-based, not punishment-based, drug strategy. The head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration flew in to lecture a business lunch on dangers of the city's plans for a "safe injection center."
The Yanks' drug czar was, thankfully, ignored.
Vancouver has experienced a steep decline in deaths from heroin overdoses and other illegal drugs. British Columbia had 396 drug deaths in 1998, 191 in Vancouver. The figures so far this year are 133 provincewide, and just 30 deaths in the city.