British Columbia just decriminalized hard drugs. Two of the men responsible for this sea change explain what comes next.
This is a brilliant piece of journalism. I have shared it with Moms Stop the Harm. In absence of any effective political and public attention and action, this crisis grows and spreads across this country every day.
I'll answer my own questions. About four times, as with every article about addiction, I started to ask "Can't they just...." ...and the answer always is, "No, they can't". For some good reason. Because all the "simple" solutions have been tried and tried, by people of good faith and intention.
Letting Garth Mullins solve it, reminds me of that scene in Wargames:
(For those under the age of 50, a "spark plug" was an automotive part with a high voltage point on it.)
Okay well just surprised to see the phrase in “print”, takes me back to other slogans that came
out of the US during the 1970’s/80’s/90’s such as, “this is your brain on drugs” and “ just say no” etc. Not all that research based, sounds catchy for consumption that enters public space and then becomes entrenched in the vernacular and in some cases leads to more stigmatizing. I’d question if the folks who use “war on drugs” can actually articulate what it means to them/ their understanding of the issues, and be able to engage in measures to alleviate the problem with others.
I was happy to find this in my inbox today. I read the interview with Marshall Smith a few weeks ago and really wanted to hear a rebuttal to it. Side note: thank you for keeping your comments open, unlike The Line...
Small quibble. JD Vance is not a failed Senate candidate. He won his election. You could absolutely argue that he is a failed human but he is not a failed Senate candidate!
Always appreciate your writings Justin, but in skimming the article ( I still need to read and process more fully) a few things jumped out at me that have frankly become triggers. I thought
the “ War on Drugs” phrase had been retired from the language around substance use disorder so was a tad dismayed to see it mentioned several times in the piece. I gained so much perspective for the challenges of these fellow citizens when years ago I read, “ In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts” by Dr. Gabor Mate who worked for ten plus years in the DTES.[ Highly recommended reading, he is a Canadian physician who has lived in Vancouver for years]. Only then did I truly begin to understand the long histories of trauma for these folks and Felleti’s landmark work on ACE ( adverse childhood experiences). I view so many on these initiatives as bandaids, and think of the book by Dan Heath, “ Upstream”. Heard him speak at the CAEH ( Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness) in 2019 around the futility of the majority of efforts to solve complex issues as we employ downstream thinking as it produces “ results”, bang for our buck yada yada. The truly good work lies to tackling issues upstream which means being courageous enough to break the old paradigm of downstream thinking.
My heart hurts, “Safe supply, or we die.”