Musings —04.12.2012 09:17 AM—
Dan Gardner is an intimidating guy. I met him about a decade ago, when he was leaving the employ of the Ontario PC government and heading off to work at the Ottawa Citizen. He was a big, slightly-intimidating guy. I figured he was a conservative, and that we wouldn’t agree on much.
In the interim, I have come to be very impressed by his passion for certain issues, and the ferocity with which he writes about them. As such, he’s probably the most informed journalist in Canada on the drug trade, and what should be done about it.
Dan argues that the so-called “war on drugs” is irrevocably lost, and that governments have been doing a very bad job dealing with illegal drug use. In particular, he is resolutely favours programs like Insite in Vancouver. He also favours expanding them. So, today, do others.
Arguing with Dan, I think, is a bit like arguing with me: people don’t like to do it. We tend to take no prisoners.
But, with respect – lawyers always say that when they are about to disagree with you – I disagree with him, still, about safe injection sites. Not for the reasons that conservatives always give, of course, with their inane fetish for “law and order” (except as it applies to them, cf. Robocon). For another reason – for the reason a bleeding-heart liberal like me would give: drug addiction is bad, and it ultimately kills people. So we need to help addicts from being addicts, because we don’t want them to die. I believe we have a moral obligation to do that. That’s not hurting them; that’s helping our fellow citizens.
Dan will have a passionate and much more thoughtful take on that, of course. But I wanted to venture my own opinion – offered up to someone I respect a great deal, but with whom I still disagree.