Meanwhile, California is poised to open up “safe injection sites” in a number of its largest cities.
We have been covering several stories related to the escalation of drug deaths across the country, namely due to fentanyl (now the leading cause of death for young Americans).
In a normal world, there would be a push to stem the recreational use of powerful narcotics. However, the Biden administration and progressives across the country are pressing to normalize drug use.
For example, we reported that Biden’s Health and Human Services department provided $30 million in funding to dole out crack pipes to drug addicts as part of its ‘Harm Reduction Plan.’ In the same piece, we noted that Biden’s Department of Justice says it might be open to allowing safe injection sites, which are places where people can shoot up heroin and other narcotics.
“Safe Injection Sites” are now being considered in several of California’s larger cities.
California moved a step closer Wednesday to creating sites where people could legally use drugs under supervision designed to save them from dying if they overdose, over the objections of opponents who said the state would be enabling dangerous and illegal activity.
The full Assembly will now consider allowing test programs in Los Angeles, Oakland and San Francisco, more than a year after the proposal narrowly passed the state Senate.
“We know that we are experiencing a crisis of overdose deaths, and these are preventable,” said Democratic Sen. Scott Wiener. “This is one way to help keep people safe and to actually help people get into treatment.”
Assembly Public Safety Committee members advanced the bill on a 5-2 vote after hearing conflicting statistics about the experiences in Canada, Europe, Australia and most recently two sites in New York City.
On the other side of the country, my colleague Mary Chastain noted that the New York City Department of Health recently ran a campaign with the message of being “empowered that you are using safely.”
Howard Husock, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, took exception to that message and asserted that such an attitude would lead to more drug overdoses. His analysis appeared in The New York Post.
Consider what’s happened in Oregon, where in 2020 voters approved a ballot measure to decriminalize hard drugs — and at the same time establish addiction treatment centers. Unconsidered was the possibility that making heroin and fentanyl legal — subject to a $100 fine that could be waived if one just calls a help hotline — might actually encourage more use.
Instead of harm reduction, OD deaths are climbing. At a hearing on the law, a state legislator from rural Eagle’s Pass reported a 700% hike in drug use and a 120% rise in overdose deaths. Oregon’s secretary of state told the hearing that “in many communities in Oregon we’ve seen the problem with drug addiction get worse.”
The harm-reduction movement needs to accept common sense: Acquiescence signals approval.
…Whether it’s the safe-injection sites in Harlem and Brooklyn or the decriminalization of cocaine and opioid possession in British Columbia (announced this week), advocates of the harm-reduction approach must be willing to accept evidence.
Accepting hard-drug use signals that public-health authorities believe they have no tools to reverse a public-health crisis, that they are giving up on thousands of citizens or embracing the misbegotten idea that one can be a productive drug addict.
I must point out that today’s drugs are much more potent than those abused in previous decades. Fentanyl is lethal at a level close to the required dose to achieve its desired effects. And there are ever-increasing reports other recreational drugs are being mixed with fentanyl to boost the effects, profit, and addictions.
Parents who have lost children to opioids are now challenging this acceptance. For example, Matt Capelouto found his 20-year-old daughter, Alexandra, in 2019. She took a pill laced with fentanyl she obtained via a deal she connected with via social media.
“She was poisoned, and nothing was going to happen to the person who did it,” he said. “I couldn’t stand for that.”
The self-described political moderate said the experience made him cynical about California’s reluctance to impose harsh sentences for drug offenses.
So Capelouto, the suburban dad who once devoted all his time to running his print shop and raising his four daughters, launched a group called Drug Induced Homicide and traveled from his home to Sacramento in April to lobby for legislation known as “Alexandra’s Law.” The bill would have made it easier for California prosecutors to convict the sellers of lethal drugs on homicide charges.
Capelouto’s organization is part of a nationwide movement of parents-turned-activists fighting the increasingly deadly drug crisis — and they are challenging California’s doctrine that drugs should be treated as a health problem rather than prosecuted by the criminal justice system. Modeled after Mothers Against Drunk Driving, which sparked a movement in the 1980s, organizations such as Victims of Illicit Drugs and the Alexander Neville Foundation seek to raise public awareness and influence drug policy.
We have a lot of work ahead of us if we are going to undo the destruction by many Biden Era policies…but especially those pertaining to drugs.DONATE
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