Patterico's Pontifications

10/18/2007

I Left My Heart Syringe in San Francisco

Filed under: Political Correctness — DRJ @ 6:56 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

Where else but San Francisco?

City health officials took steps Thursday toward opening the nation’s first legal safe-injection room, where addicts could shoot up heroin, cocaine and other drugs under the supervision of nurses.

Hoping to reduce San Francisco’s high rate of fatal drug overdoses, the public health department co-sponsored a symposium on the only such facility in North America, a 4-year-old Vancouver site where an estimated 700 intravenous users a day self-administer narcotics under the supervision of nurses.”

San Franciscans have surrendered when it comes to the War on Drugs.

— DRJ

115 Responses to “I Left My Heart Syringe in San Francisco”

  1. For god’s sake. Someone proposes a reasonable solution that has worked well in other places reducing the number of heroin overdoses and people like you come along claiming “surrender.” What’s the problem with this program, other than it acknowledges the inescapable fact of the reality of large numbers of heroin addicts?

    I like how you bolded “Hoping to reduce San Francisco’s high rate of fatal drug overdoses,” as if that is self-evidently ridiculous. What’s the implication? You’d like to see more drug overdoses?

    Russell (cf89ed)

  2. Hey, that sounds like Vancouver.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  3. Your taxpayer dollars at work. Why not simply give the drugs out for free? Is there anything that San Francisco will not stoop to? Aren’t there any normal, sane people left in SF?

    Thomas Jackson (bf83e0)

  4. I have mixed feelings on this…One thing that made me consider the validity of this approach is that there are drug users who are trying rehab who do need a fix just to make it through the day. As opposed to having to ration it away in secret and taking it all in a lump, at least now they can take whatever bit they need to get from place to place as they move towards a drug free life. I’ve never done illegal drugs, but I imagine that for some people, cold turkey isn’t possible…and if we want these people to be able to fight the addiction, then having these safehouses may be vital for them.

    Zach (8e0e3b)

  5. Our “allies” in Afghanistan are now the world’s leading suppliers of heroin, Thomas.

    Giving it away for free would destroy their major source of income.

    alphie (99bc18)

  6. Yup….the “Bay Area”…where people just end up. Frisco and Oakland are truly becoming a Last Stop for those shaggy, damp, and addicted folks from parts unknown.
    Welcome All……

    Andrew (f367d8)

  7. Even folq such as Wm Buckley have opined against the War on Drugs industry.

    Booze was outlawed.
    Prohibition didn’t work.
    Booze was re-legalized.

    Other drugs were legal.
    They were prohibited.

    Prohibition still does not work.

    King Pandeen (87ec7f)

  8. They could name it the Gov. William J. LePetomaine Home for the Insane Gambling Drug Addict.

    capitano (03e5ec)

  9. Don’t forget that this proposal could also drastically reduce the number of new HIV cases from needle sharing. Does that factor into your “surrender” calculus, DRJ?

    Russell (cf89ed)

  10. No lessons learned. Zurich, Switzerland had a flirtation with such a program which produced a needle park that became so unsafe, unhealthy and unlivable that officials shut it down.

    amr (c36902)

  11. Doesn’t the fact that drug use is illegal make a difference? It’s like the city council version of jury nullification.

    What’s next? Safe rape rooms, where rape occurs under observation by nurses so that no STDs are transferred and nobody gets pregnant?

    CliveStaples (a9eda6)

  12. hooray for san francisco, where i lived 1977-82, for trying to offer a policy that is not only more humane, but will also, i believe, prove ultimately less expensive to public resources. these folks are gonna shoot up anyway, do you want them shooting up in a safe, dedicated facility under medical supervision, or out in golden gate park, where henry hayseed from out of town and his family can come around a corner and find joe junkie with a spike in his arm? they catch more diseases out there (which will cost you) and they will more readily commit property crimes to support their habits if they aren’t being watched as closely.

    you war on drugs people aren’t getting very much value for all the money you’re spending, are you? america is spending beyond its means, and soon there will be a reckoning. we baby boomers’ medicare entitlement is yet unfunded, what kind of priority do you think your war will have in relation to that? alcohol was once illegal. i am the descendant of lawbreakers. are you war on drugs people the descendants of lawbreakers too, or the descendants of self-righteous, moralistic busybodies? this period will be remembered as the lull before the storm; that reckoning will be sooner and harsher than you think.

    assistant devil's advocate (ade2e7)

  13. No lessons learned. Zurich, Switzerland had a flirtation with such a program which produced a needle park that became so unsafe, unhealthy and unlivable that officials shut it down.

    Canard. Did you read my link, amr? Yes, Needle Park was a disaster. But the Swiss learned from their mistake and instituted a new program which is generally considered a success. Conservatives seem to always whip out Needle Park as though that was the end of the story in Switzerland and now they’re back to US-style War on Drugs.

    Not so.

    Here is an explanation and evaluation of the Swiss program, and here is another. Read those and then tell me why this safe injection stuff is going to be a disaster.

    If Switzerland doesn’t convince you, then how about England?

    Russell (cf89ed)

  14. What’s next? Safe rape rooms, where rape occurs under observation by nurses so that no STDs are transferred and nobody gets pregnant?

    Can you be remotely serious? There is no equivalence. That’s retarded.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  15. Doesn’t the fact that drug use is illegal make a difference? It’s like the city council version of jury nullification.

    Putting aside your equating raping someone else with taking a drug yourself, no, drug use is not illegal. Drug possession is illegal. The CSA regulates the “manufacture, importation, possession, and distribution” of some drugs. Notice nothing about use.

    This is a result of the history of the drug laws. The legal penalties for drug prohibition came about originally as a tax violation, because it was believed at the time that the government didn’t have the power to ban a drug outright–thus the amendment to the constitution to ban alcohol. Now, some have tried some kind of hokey “internal possession” argument for drug users, but that hasn’t taken as far as I know.

    Russell (cf89ed)

  16. Look, I’m already strapped paying for the Frost family’s insurance. Isn’t that enough?

    (Yeah, it says non-profit but we know how that song goes…)

    Dana (0a9c7f)

  17. Look, I’m already strapped paying for the Frost family’s insurance. Isn’t that enough?

    I argue that this system is cheaper than sending these people to jail. First, safe injection doesn’t exactly require a medical degree. These facilities can be staffed at a minimum of expense. Second, sending these people to prison is going to cost a hell of a lot more in the long term. So which would you rather pay, a dozen EMT’s at $30/hr, a few hours a week, or a few hundred prison cells at $31,000 a year?

    Russell (cf89ed)

  18. Is anyone considering that they want to have a safe, legal place to inject unsafe, illegal drugs?

    So, the next step is for the government to pay for the drugs, and make them legal….

    And, idiots like alphie will think that we’ll be in Afghanistan for “poppys” like we’re in Iraq for oil.

    reff (99666d)

  19. I can’t imagine the State Board of Nursing, even in California, condoning participation in this. If they do, it’s sick thinking. If this were a rehab program aimed at eliminating use it would be one thing, but enabling heroin users is wrong… medically, ethically, and socially. They cannot “rehab themselves”… it doesn’t work. This is nothing more than another feel-good measure that will do more harm to everyone in the long run. Reducing or removing the consequences of self-destructive behavior encourages the behavior. Any nurse assisting in this should have their license revoked immediately. Any nurse with an ounce of sense and self-respect would speak out against it.

    Stashiu3 (992297)

  20. reff:

    Is anyone considering that they want to have a safe, legal place to inject unsafe, illegal drugs?

    Oh, jeez, now that you put it like that, I sure see the error of my ways…

    Honestly, do you have a point other than that? It seems like most people are worried about the “message” we’re sending, or that this is somehow “condoning” illegal drug use and so forth. But you’re only looking at one side of the risk ledger. Sure, this is a legal place to do stuff that’s not terribly safe and happens to be illegal. But one of the reasons heroin is so dangerous is because most people do it in unsafe, unsupervised places, which increases their risk of injury.

    San Francisco is just taking a clear-eyed look at what’s the actual effects of heroin are and how they can reduce the negative parts of those effects. You take the decreased risk of HIV/hepatitis, overdose, and death and weigh that against some nebulous consideration of “the message,” and it’s clear which side comes out stronger.

    So, the next step is for the government to pay for the drugs, and make them legal…

    Absolutely, if by legal you mean prescribed to addicts by doctors. Look at my comment #13 to see such Swiss and English programs, which have been quite successful.

    Russell (cf89ed)

  21. Zach – Utterly and completely ineffective. I cannot imagine a scenario where that would be effective.

    Russell seems pretty fired up about this. Russell, how is one supposed to inject these drugs if they do not possess them first?

    If NY suffered an epidemic of drug addicts or drunks falling off the roofs of buildings, we should just ban buildings?

    JD (ba4c77)

  22. No doctor that cares about the Hippocratic Oath would allow themselves to be a participant in this.

    Obviously, you know nothing of recovery, Russell.

    JD (ba4c77)

  23. Russell…Have you ever been hooked on a drug?

    I have….and as long as you are hooked, all you want is to do the drug….and now someone comes along and wants to make it easier to do….

    but, while not everyone can get themselves off, EVERYONE should try…and the first thing is not to make it easier to get them, to inject them, to make it “safe” to do so….

    And, for you to mock the “fact” that what I described is exactly what they are doing means you want to enable those who choose not to try to get off….

    What is being proposed in SF is exactly that…to make it easier for people to use them, not to get off of them….

    And, my point about the government making them legal is just another example of some sort of government welfare program that doesn’t solve the problem, but only makes it more of a problem over time….

    Please give me an example of a government program that gets people “OFF” of the bad behaviors…

    You can’t….so why are we doing it again???

    reff (99666d)

  24. Putting scare quotes around the word condoning doesn’t make it wrong. That is exactly what is happening here. Also, using heroin is inherently dangerous no matter where you do it or how supervised you are, so giving that as a reason it’s dangerous is not reasonable. You’re more likely to survive a GSW to the head if you’re under direct and immediate medical supervision, but that doesn’t mean that playing Russian Roulette is more dangerous if you do it someplace else. It’s unethical for medical personnel to participate in this, just as supervising Russian Roulette would be.

    Stashiu3 (992297)

  25. reff – I could not agree with you more. I completed a recovery program exactly 3 years and 361 days ago, not that I am counting. Were there an opportunity for me to get free _____ (fill in the blank), I doubt, no, I know I would have ever been able to quit. Cutting back would certainly never do it. I cannot count the number of times I told myself that I will only drink at certain times, or certain amounts, or would only do 10 lines instead of 20, etc … Those may work for a day, a week, what have you. But, that will never get you clean or sober. Russell’s plan will simply prolong their inevitable and tragic deaths.

    JD (ba4c77)

  26. San Franciscans have surrendered when it comes to the War on Drugs.

    While the idea of spending tax dollars on such a program is something I strongly oppose, I think declaring the War on Drugs lost/over would be a good idea. Seriously, the notion that we have to be protected from Psuedaphed is just idiotic.

    Steve Verdon (49796d)

  27. JD, congrats on staying clean. Keep doing whatever it takes… you’ve seen that it’s worth it. Russell is absolutely wrong and so is anyone else advocating for this program. Nobody has a one-size-fits-all answer for any addiction, but this is the absolute worst way to handle it. They may keep some parts of the problem off the streets, and for only a short time, but this is monumentally stupid and harmful for the addicts, any medical staff sufficiently unethical to participate, and society.

    Stashiu3 (992297)

  28. Stash – Thanks, but staying clean is nothing to congratulate me for. It is simply something that I must do, in order to continue to be a productive member of society, and more importantly, a good father and a good husband.

    There are many paths one can take that lead towards recovery, but rest assured, the one that Russell is advocating will not lead toward recovery, just a slow and painful death, for the addict and those that love them.

    JD (ba4c77)

  29. San Franciscans have surrendered when it comes to the War on Drugs.

    Good. Here’s hoping the rest of America follows their example.

    We have spent tens of billions; foregone tens of billions more in tax revenue; crowded our prisons; militarized our police; and made Swiss cheese of the Fourth Amendment, all in a failed effort to control what others do with their bodies and their lives.

    The war on drugs is indecent. Next to slavery, it is the greatest assault on human freedom in this Nation’s history.

    Paul S. (91660f)

  30. Paul S – Drug addiction affects far more people than just the user. The accompanying crimes of theft, burglary, etc … are driven by the need for more. Every time a drunk or high driver gets on the road, everyone is at risk. There are huge personal costs to the addict, their friends, family, and loved ones. So, this problem is a bit larger than people doing what they want to their own body.

    JD (ba4c77)

  31. Seriously, the notion that we have to be protected from Psuedaphed is just idiotic.

    I agree with this for the most part. The reason pseudoephedrine is so controlled now is because enterprising chemists figured out how to make methamphetamine using it. Go after those guys instead of denying it to normal folks. I’m not one for using drugs… even my alcohol consumption is pretty much limited to a couple of beers during the Super Bowl. Alcohol, and most drugs, can be addictive… just as most can be used responsibly and in moderation. I don’t have any answers as to what drugs should be legal. I just know that this program was developed from a flawed premise and will end up hurting far too many people, even as people like Russell point to it as a success. There’s a world of psychiatric pathology at work here that could be discussed for days. That’s just the concepts of enabling and codependence… talking about addiction could take months to cover the current understanding in the field.

    Stashiu3 (992297)

  32. Stash – Agreed that the entire concept is far more reaching than we could actually cover in a comments thread. What we can say, with nearly 110% certainty, that making it easier to be an addict will in no way help those that these programs profess to help. In fact, in the end, it will hurt the addict even more.

    JD (ba4c77)

  33. Russell – It doesn’t sound like you read the linked article in DRJ’s post. SF already has a needle exchange. The surrender line was from the article.

    The Swiss example you linked to states that possession is rarely prosecuted there, which is one reason the program, the one outside of prison, may be working. How often is possession prosecuted in SF? I’ve got no idea. If 1/7 of emergency calls to paramedics are related to overdoses, I’d say it’s an issue on spite of your bluster to the contrary. I don’t buy your argument that a safer place cures it.

    It would be kind of fun to put the place on a map for tourists to stop and take pictures, though. Most think SF is a good place to visit, but pretty wacky. Stopping by there would help cement the impression.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  34. JD – On a positive note though, something like this could be a magnet for SF to draw addicts from other parts of the country if it got enough publicity. I wonder how the fine folks out there would like that. The Berkelet residents haven’t been too tolerant of their homeless people lately.

    I share your views on nature of the program. Craziness.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  35. Drug abuse is a serious subject for the 5% of users seriously trying to kick at any one time.
    I am not sure what exactly will happen with limited legalization. Maybe it turns out good for all of us, and the addiction rate goes down while the overall costs associated with drug addiction/enforcement/incarceration also go down here in the U.S. I am still open to that possibility.
    I really don’t think anybody knows how this ends up, though.
    (And the Amsterdam/Swiss experiment has no bearing on our situation in the U.S., IMO). It is apples/oranges.

    I do know that I am present every day at ground zero here in the modern day (2007-2007) Frisco/Oakland Bay Area. I fear that the number of these marginally employed, marginally educated, and at the same time hop-headed and easily distracted urban immigrants/addicts/white knuckle substance abusers (some would say squatters) from somewhere else (usually parts unknown) will increase down here. Kind of an attractive nuisance, I guess.

    I have met some of the people who spend their time going back and forth across the Bay Bridge, rotating between crack cocaine and Oxy (West Oak to the T.L. and back)…back and forth continuously until the jailhouse or the E.R. snatches them and props them us for another run. The heroin is just a temporary, addictive, detour.

    And we pay for it. (Even ‘Henry Hayseed’, who more than likely pays his own way into town, pays excessive Sales and Hotel taxes, pays his bills, behaves, and then leaves on time…all the while maintaining enough agility to step around prone and besotted bodies and discarded needles. He probably even has enough self esteem to allow him to ignore sneering locals and ex-residents at the same time with respectful humor. Henry might even have some true compassion for the addicts, too).

    On the other hand, these addicted and near addicted urban immigrants bring virtually nothing to my community. These folks are quite predictable and always seem to aimlessly drive down the avenues on their skateboards and broken down bikes, sporting faded tattoos while all the while aging toward the dark side of their thirties, getting older. They all look pretty much the same, and are usually high as heck. They are generally arrogant, surly, and unfriendly: especially for their place in life…
    And no, they are not “Edgy”….”Edgy” was 1997…

    This whole risky show makes me pretty sad, as I guess I would much rather deal with a “confirmed” dope fiend than the masses that are still in the process of “becoming” dope fiends and looking for a place to land.

    Andrew (f367d8)

  36. JD at 30:

    Drug addiction affects far more people than just the user. The accompanying crimes of theft, burglary, etc … are driven by the need for more. Every time a drunk or high driver gets on the road, everyone is at risk. There are huge personal costs to the addict, their friends, family, and loved ones. So, this problem is a bit larger than people doing what they want to their own body.

    By inflating the cost of drugs, the drug war itself fuels much of the crime you refer to.

    Nobody thinks that theft, burglary or driving under the influence should be legal. If you want to send people to prison for something, send them for the harm they do to others. But as William F. Buckley notes elsewhere, most people who use drugs do little harm to themselves or to anyone else. Why do they belong in prison?

    As for the personal costs to an addict or his family, why is that the Government’s business? I don’t want to live in a society where people go to prison just because they make me unhappy. If I can’t stand your behavior, I can put you out of my house and out of my life. But I shouldn’t get to use the power of the state to put you behind bars.

    Paul S. (91660f)

  37. So it seems there are a number of issues here.

    1) This program is condoning drug use.

    2) This program is not medically ethical, heroin is always incredibly dangerous and any use whatsoever will invariably lead to a slow and agonizing death.

    3) This program is not going to help people kick their addiction.

    Response:

    1) I say this program is not condoning drug use, that it is simply acknowledging the fact that some people are going to use drugs no matter what, and nothing the government is going to do is going to help, especially putting them in jail. San Francisco still condemns heroin use in all forms.

    2) This is wrong on many levels. First, heroin is not some magic death potion that kills all those stupid enough to try it. Biochemically, it’s exactly the same as morphine except it’s more potent, i.e. it takes less of the drug to get the same effect. This is due to two the polar acetyl groups (heroin=diamorphine) which enable the drug to pass the blood-brain barrier more easily, but once in the brain, it is immediately hydrolyzed back to the alcohol form, morphine. It is well known that morphine, and therefore heroin, is powerfully addicting. However, aside from the risk of overdose, it’s pharmacological side effects are minimal. Constipation is about the only one. By far the greatest risk of doing heroin comes from its illegality–the risk of HIV, poisoning from some contaminant, or overdose from an improperly labeled batch. It is possible to do large amounts of heroin/morphine for your entire life and suffer few ill effects.

    This is not true, by the way, of alcohol, tobacco, cocaine, meth, etc. I’ve always considered heroin to be one of the best cases for drug policy reform precisely because most of its negative effects are due to its illegality. Back in the 19th century, when people use to drink laudanum and so forth all the time (a solution of 50% morphine by volume), opiate addiction was considered a minor vice, comparable to gambling, but certainly not as bad as alcoholism.

    3) Who said this program has to help people kick their addiction? The purpose of this program is to try and get people who are already doing heroin to do it more safely so they quit dying in such large numbers. You think prison is going to help these people quit heroin? The prison system is about the easiest place to get drugs in the entire world. If you want to lock up all these druggies, say so, but don’t tell me you’re concerned about their addiction.

    Back to my first point: this program is not taking a stance one way or the other with regards to addiction, it’s simply a pragmatic step to reduce harm that has worked (see comment #13) in other countries. In my opinion, drug addiction is not something to left to the government; it’s the job of friends, family, churches, etc., to help people out of their addiction.

    But let me say this unequivocally: prison is the absolute worst idea for someone with a drug addiction.

    Russell (cf89ed)

  38. Let’s legalize drugs! Our gene pools would be cleaned out in ten years. I can’t think of one good result drug advocates can advance but society would benefit from the elimination of drug addicts. Lets face it only a small per centage of these people do clean up their acts. The vast majority are like Alpho lacking the courage to confronbt the problem or idiots like Paul who would even acknowledge it.

    Others nations like the Swiss and Dutch have seen their cities turned into hazardous crime ridden areas. The UK has been reduced to one large drug crazed population that either lives in fear of crime committed by addicts or is in search of fix.

    Yup lets legalize it now. Its time to clean up the gene pool.

    Thomas Jackson (bf83e0)

  39. Alpho:

    You ought to really be pleased that drugs are being produced in Afghanistan Alpho. They always have and I know you need to stay high to evade the drugery of life in your parent’s basement and the horror of reporting to your parole office.

    Thomas Jackson (bf83e0)

  40. Others nations like the Swiss and Dutch have seen their cities turned into hazardous crime ridden areas. The UK has been reduced to one large drug crazed population that either lives in fear of crime committed by addicts or is in search of fix.

    Bullshit.

    Russell (cf89ed)

  41. there’s no zealot like a reformed addict, is there? while it is right to celebrate your recovery and sobriety, it does not follow that your personal experience is a master template for all the people around you, or that your perspective is more enlightened than the rest of us.

    assistant devil's advocate (ade2e7)

  42. ADA,

    The zealots with the master template seem to be in San Francisco.

    DRJ (67ced6)

  43. DRJ–

    I don’t see the SanFran liberals proposing their program be stuffed down the throat of every city. Seems like it’s just for them.

    Russell (cf89ed)

  44. Russell,

    And communities that don’t want drugs should be free to pass and enforce laws that prohibit their sale, use and possession, right?

    DRJ (67ced6)

  45. I say this program is not condoning drug use

    Just ’cause you say it don’t make it so… “Condone: verb – excuse, overlook, or make allowances for; be lenient with; “excuse someone’s behavior”

    This program is not medically ethical, heroin is always incredibly dangerous and any use whatsoever will invariably lead to a slow and agonizing death.

    Nice of you to mislabel my argument, then respond to your own dishonest characterization… I think they call that a strawman. I also notice the only part you characterize accurately, that it’s not medically ethical, you completely ignore even though you pretend you’re responding to the sentence you put up there. Perhaps you’ll consider responding to the actual points people make in the future?

    This program is not going to help people kick their addiction.

    I don’t think JD or I said it was supposed to help them kick… just that it was going to facilitate their addiction. You have again put up a strawman argument by mischaracterizing the point. You pretend that at worst, the program is neutral and we should not object because it’s not meant to cure addiction. This is wrong because even if the intent isn’t there, by enabling the behavior you reinforce it. This makes the problem worse, not better. Then you go on about how prison is not the best place for them as if we said it was. Talk about bullshit.

    Stashiu3 (992297)

  46. Fatal overdoses of illegal drugs is just one more method of skimming the gene pool. I have zero sympathy for anyone who is so damned dumb as to overdose on illegal drugs, even to use illegal drugs. That they even started using them proves that they are mentally deficient and not qualified to come even near my space. Damned SanFrangayo, now we’ll have even more of them on the streets.
    nuf sed

    Frankly Opinionated (e9fc8a)

  47. Who is being a zealot, ada? Or has the meaning of zealotry changed? I simply disagreed with Russell and Paul, who both seem to be much more highly invested in this topic than myself. I just pointed out from my experience that making it easier for the addict will not help the addict, and in practice, will harm them.

    JD (ba4c77)

  48. Well, Stashiu3, if I’ve mischaracterized your argument, please put it up in nice bulleted form so I can respond accurately. I was trying to sum up a lot of people’s points at once, not just yours. If I was being dishonest then I apologize. There’s no need to get angry.

    Here’s what I think it comes down to. All this talk about facilitating the addiction, condoning drug use, sending the wrong message and so forth is missing the point. You’re only looking at one side of the risk ledger. These are nebulous, hypothetical effects that are balanced against concrete reduction of harm: overdoses will go down. In the article it mentioned that Vancouver’s drug injection facility had had 800 overdoses over its lifetime but zero fatalities. Why? Opiate overdoses are, medically speaking, a piece of cake. Simple shot of opiate receptor antagonist and they’re fine.

    I don’t consider this “condoning drug use” argument to be very convincing because a) safe injection sites aren’t going to convince other normal people that heroin is a great thing to do and b) I think it will help addicts quit their addictions. Why? Let’s look at the supposedly violent and destitute Swiss model. The Guardian:

    Switzerland is now leading the way out of prohibition. In 1994, it started prescribing free heroin to long-term addicts who had failed to respond to law enforcement or any other treatment. In 1998, a Lausanne criminologist, Martin Kilias, found that the users’ involvement in burglary, mugging and robbery had fallen by 98%; in shoplifting, theft and handling by 88%; in selling soft drugs by 70%; in selling hard drugs by 91%. As a group, their contacts with police had plunged to less than a quarter of the previous level. The Dutch and the Germans have had similar results with the same strategy. All of them report that, apart from these striking benefits in crime prevention, the users are also demonstrably healthier ( because clean heroin properly used is a benign drug ) and that they are more stable with clear improvements in housing, employment and relationships.

    Bringing people stability in other aspects of their lives is going to help them quit if they so choose. There’s a reason that for the most part only the poor and destitute do heroin. This program is a small step in that direction and if I had my druthers, heroin would be prescribed to addicts, but that’s another argument.

    PS: I talk about heroin mostly because not many people inject other drugs. The article mentions cocaine “and other drugs” but really heroin is where 99% of the drug use is going to be in these facilities.

    Russell (cf89ed)

  49. Russell – Are you a doctor? Do you have any support for statements that you make like the following:

    “It is possible to do large amounts of heroin/morphine for your entire life and suffer few ill effects.”

    Do you have some living examples?

    daleyrocks (906622)

  50. There’s a reason that for the most part only the poor and destitute do heroin.

    I know many higher income people who have used/use it. One guy is just smoking weed but he prefers heroin. He goes to work high every day. Last time he used heroin was about a month ago I think.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  51. TJ,

    Afghanistan went from producing 7 metric tons of heroin a year under the Taliban in 2001 to producing over 500 metic tons a year of heroin under the neocons:

    http://www.usdoj.gov/ndic/pubs21/21137/heroin.htm#Table%206

    Can’t say that I’m happy about it.

    Can’t say I’m surprised, either.

    But by all means, blame the “libruls” for trying to come up with a solution.

    alphie (99bc18)

  52. Paul S. – You sound like a Republican arguing for personal responsibility and against raising the income limits on SCHIP with comment 36.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  53. Are you a doctor? Do you have any support for statements that you make like the following:

    “It is possible to do large amounts of heroin/morphine for your entire life and suffer few ill effects.”

    No, I’m not a doctor, I’m studying chemistry, but I do have such information. I’ve already linked to them, but here and here they are again. Here‘s is the National Institute of Drug Abuse’s section on the long-term effects of heroin:

    Medical consequences of chronic heroin injection use include scarred and/or collapsed veins, bacterial infections of the blood vessels and heart valves, abscesses (boils) and other soft-tissue infections, and liver or kidney disease. Lung complications (including various types of pneumonia and tuberculosis) may result from the poor health condition of the abuser as well as from heroin’s depressing effects on respiration. Many of the additives in street heroin may include substances that do not readily dissolve and result in clogging the blood vessels that lead to the lungs, liver, kidneys, or brain. This can cause infection or even death of small patches of cells in vital organs. Immune reactions to these or other contaminants can cause arthritis or other rheumatologic problems.

    Of course, sharing of injection equipment or fluids can lead to some of the most severe consequences of heroin abuse- infections with hepatitis B and C, HIV, and a host of other bloodborne viruses, which drug abusers can then pass on to their sexual partners and children.

    Notice not a single one of these effects has anything to do with heroin per se. It’s all about the contaminants, the poor health from spending all your money on heroin, infection from too much injection, HIV, etc.

    One example of someone who spent most of his life addicted to morphine (which, as I’ve said before, is basically the same thing as heroin) is William Stewart Halsted. He was the greatest surgeon in American history, one of the four founders of Johns Hopkins, and spent most of his long professional career heavily addicted to morphine. Yes, it’s a crippling addiction. But aside from that, it’s not a death sentence.

    Russell (cf89ed)

  54. daleyrocks, he is correct… you can develop tolerance for huge amounts of opiates. There is effectively no upper limit, cancer patients being a good example.

    Russell, I am looking at both sides of the risk/benefit equation. I don’t deny that, if your goal is to prevention death from overdose, this will be effective. What I’m saying is that, by condoning (and yes, it meets the definition) the behavior, you’re going to make it worse in the long run, despite the short-term societal benefits you mention in Switzerland. Overdoses are easily managed with Narcan and such, that’s true. You’re also encouraging addicts to increase their tolerance because they don’t have to worry about overdosing. If heroin and other drugs were made legal, with potency carefully regulated, then we might get the benefits you argue for. I said that I’m not going to get into the legalization of any particular drug. The pro-drug and pro-genepool-thinning crowds both have defensible points. As a healthcare provider, administering or monitoring an illegal drug being used as part of an addiction, without it being part of a detoxification and rehabilitation program, is unethical. I wouldn’t do it and any nurse who would should have their license revoked.

    Stashiu3 (992297)

  55. As a healthcare provider, administering or monitoring an illegal drug being used as part of an addiction, without it being part of a detoxification and rehabilitation program, is unethical.

    Why?

    I think the biggest problem with this program is that it doesn’t go far enough. If we had a supervised injection site, where addicts could sign up to be prescribed heroin if they went through a drug treatment program, would you support it?

    Russell (cf89ed)

  56. Absolutely. They’re not going to kick on their own and medical support, to include opiates while undergoing treatment (think Methadone), is not only ethical… it would be arguably unethical to subject them to the pain and possible death from withdrawal. Opiates, benzodiazapines, and alcohol are different than most other drugs in that way. You really can cold-turkey most drugs if you’re in a medical setting, but these will kill you if you stop taking them too suddenly.

    As long as it was part of a treatment program (preferably inpatient because outpatient programs are too easily, and too often, abused by addicts who don’t really want to stop), I would certainly support any nurse who chose to participate.

    Stashiu3 (992297)

  57. Well, there we go. I think that’s a good place to stop. I’m going to sleep :)

    Goodnight!

    Russell (cf89ed)

  58. I wonder when SF will become enlightened enough to allow smoking cigarettes in safe government run buildings? Exactly what addictions will the government support and will they own up to their liability when the inevitable happens? Ah, I see the cash cow of perfect nannystateism clearly in the rear view mirror now, it will overtake us shortly.

    Buzzy (9d4680)

  59. The War on (some) Drugs is 100% unconstitutional. While I don’t necessarily agree with SanFran’s plan, I think everyone needs to wake up and realize the the drug war is a complete and total failure.

    Many of you want to talk about the crime caused by “illegal” drug users. What you completely fail to realize is that it is the War on Drugs that has created the black market which in turns causes the crime. There was a mass amount of crime after prohibition was enacted and then it was repealed and crime dropped. Is there possibly a connection between the two? http://www.drugwarfacts.org/Modifiedmurderchart.gif

    “I can’t think of one good result drug advocates can advance but society would benefit from the elimination of drug addicts.” I love statements like this because it shows the author completely ignores the damage caused to 100% completely innocent people. So, here are my examples of the benefit to society by ending the War on Drugs. Each link represents at least one person who would be alive today if not for the War on Drugs:
    http://www.cato.org/raidmap/
    http://www.reason.com/blog/show/116863.html
    http://www.fff.org/comment/com0306e.asp
    http://www.reason.com/news/show/36869.html
    http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/072807/met_187473621.shtml
    http://www.decaturdaily.com/decaturdaily/news/060803/swat.shtml
    http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2004/04/08/loc_helriggle08.html

    So, what is the benefit of continuing the War on Drugs? I’ve given a very small amount of evidence showing the benefit. Now I want to see the proof that the benefit of the war is greater than my benefit of ending it.

    For those that say drug use affects more than just the user, you people aren’t too bright. Anyone else affected, either chose to be affected or is a victim of the War on Drugs. No one is holding a gun to your head forcing you to associate with a drug addict, if you do, that’s your choice. So, again, how does a drug user affect other people in such terrible ways?

    Today, I am more afraid of my home being raided and myself or my friends being killed by the police than I am of any criminal. At least if it’s a criminal, I can fight back with less risk of being murdered. And if it is a criminal, I have some faith that they will be held accountable. ZERO chance of that happening if it’s the police.

    I want to feel safe in my own home, but because of the War on (some) Drugs, I can’t.

    Sean (e1d31a)

  60. No one is holding a gun to your head forcing you to associate with a drug addict . . .

    Except for when a drug addict holds a gun to your head and forces you to associate with him.

    Seriously, the notion that we have to be protected from Psuedaphed is just idiotic.

    How about the notion that methamphetamine is a dangerous drug? Is that idiotic?

    Patterico (bad89b)

  61. I have so mixed feelings on this. I think the enforcement, like prohibitions, leads to a massive crime problem, drug murders in the thousands (just look at Mexico and South America, etc., and it’s not much better in the states), and funds terrorism, organized crime, etc… plus you STILL have addicts. And, philosophically, I believe people should be allowed to do what they want to themselves. But sometimes I think the only thing worse than drugs being criminalized is them being legalized… because look at alcohol and tobacco, two legal drugs. They each kill far more people than all of the illegal drugs combined and crime included.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  62. …enabling heroin users is wrong…

    Psychobabble alert; whenever somebody uses the word “enabling,” it’s a not-perfectly-reliable sign that they’re not thinking something through.

    The difference between the junkies shooting up in an otherwise safe environment, medical professionals nearby, with clean needles, and junkies shooting up, say, in alleys with dirty needles is just that. What’s being “enabled,” in this case, is the safe environment, the medical professionals nearby, and the far reduced likelihood of those junkies dying of HIV, hep3, overdose reactions, or whatever.

    Of course it’s a bad thing for people to be junkies, but after several gazillion dollars flushed down the toilet of the War on Some Drugs, perhaps it’s time to admit that prohibition not only failed in this, but has been inherently corrupting.

    Just as a thought experiment, which makes more sense for society?

    1. A junkie with a serious habit stealing (at best; let’s assume that junkies commit no violent crimes against persons, rather than few) at least several hundreds of dollars of stuff every day so that he can turn around and sell it for several tens of dollars a day, so that he can shoot up with a dirty needle in a back alley, or

    2. A junkie being able to get his junk, needles and supplies free — from the government — as long as he stays out of jail.

    3. A magic wand being waved with solves addiction.

    Yup: 3 is the best. Until we get a magic wand, though, which does less harm to society? 1 or 2?

    It’s not like, in his other life, even absent drug crimes (and the crimes of violence that surround them) our host wouldn’t have more than enough to keep him busy.

    Joel Rosenberg (677e59)

  63. The problem, I think, Joel is that when you remove the social stigma from these drugs being criminal, more people use it over time — a lot more — and the net harm increases. That’s what I am getting at in comment #61.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  64. I’ve heard that argument before, but:

    1. Something not being criminal doesn’t mean there’s no social stigma. Consider, say, people who don’t bathe regularly. (And if you’ve hung around junkies at all — as I have, although not recently — you’ll probably agree that there’s a connection here.)

    2. Yup; it’s likely that if the use of heroin was decriminalized, there might be an increase in the number of users, probably a slight increase. On the other hand, there would surely be a decrease in the number and seriousness of crimes committed to support expensive heroin habits.

    I think that’s obviously a good tradeoff in terms of societal safety, although perhaps not in Gross Domestic Sin Production, depending on how much more serious a sin the use of heroin is than, say, burglary and shoplifting.

    Joel Rosenberg (677e59)

  65. Let’s eliminate welfare and replace it with free drugs. Hungry? Here, have some cocaine!

    Alta Bob (c549e9)

  66. probably a slight increase

    That’s the part I take issue with.

    And there’s an ultra-large list of illegal drugs. If you add a “slight” (or substantial) rise in usage to all or many of these presumably decriminalized drugs at some point… you’re talking a lot of increased net harm.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  67. So, what do junkies live on? Either they steal or you are going to declare their addiction a disability and give them welfare. They actually did that for a while a few decades ago. Or, should be give them city jobs — driving a bus, maybe? Sorry, but decriminalizing drugs means more addicts. SF has made it so more lowlife will move there. Obviously, SF wants to increase, not decrease, their homeless problem.

    dave (588505)

  68. I live in a city where decriminalization and needle injection sites are a recent fact of life… and the homeless and and drug addicted population, plus property crime and muggings, have increased.

    A. Lot. You see it every day, and you didn’t used to. People like my mom are afraid. She didn’t used to be.

    Think on that, Joel.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  69. *De facto decriminalization… but definitely very real needle injection sites

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  70. 2. A junkie being able to get his junk, needles and supplies free — from the government — as long as he stays out of jail.

    So, would this program make me eligible for free Marlboros and Glenlivet? And a comfy government paid facility in which to partake? If it does, sign me up. I’ll promise to stay out of jail.

    sarc off

    On a more serious and prosaic point, will the junkies departure be monitored? How much liability does the city assume if one of the ‘clients’ takes it upon himself to drive and kills a family of four or whatever? If bartenders can be held responsible for monitoring drinkers, could the nurse be held responsible for letting someone who got stoned in the safe room drive away?

    Any bets on the proposition that somebody with the plaintiff’s bar won’t try to make it the city’s responsibility?

    Any takers on the idea HIPPA will be invoked to shield any and all records pertaining to ‘clients’ if they get sued? Or, failing that, no records at all will be kept to maintain the city’s clean hands?

    kaz (cad490)

  71. The interesting thing about arguing on the drug problem is that you get this mix of what is good for individuals, what is “good” for society, what is “right/moral”, and what is “practical”. And all of those things don’t necessarily agree with each other particularly what is good for the individual and good for society.

    The article made it sound like San Francisco wants to try an experiment. They want to do this new thing and see if it will help solve what is good for the individual (get out of alleys with dirty needles), what is good for society (sort of), ie keep junkies off the streets, and what is practical, reduce costs of responding to and trying to treat overdoses.

    Its pretty obvious that the current “war on drugs” system neither stops drug use, stops the crime associated with drug use, nor reduces costs of medical treatement for drug users.

    EdWood (9f0c0f)

  72. EdWood, it’s even more obvious that San Fransisco runs a crappy city full of awful social experiments and the rest of American has nothing to learn from it.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  73. I’m all for junkies dying with the spike still in their arm.

    Bud Dickman (2a4d4b)

  74. Actually Russell, I have no problem with more fatal drug overdoses–seems like kind of a “win-win” to me. I suppose you’re in favor of assisted suicide lib?

    TheManTheMyth (9f3bd7)

  75. Can I sign up for the program where I get a fifth of Lagavulin 16yr. for staying out of jail each month?

    Techie (c003f1)

  76. Christoph, All of America has been running a crappy social experiment for about 40 years now called “the war on drugs”. This experiment is at least trying something new.

    EdWood (9f0c0f)

  77. EdWood, the death toil from these drugs pails in significance to those of the relatively less potent legal drugs, alcohol and tobacco.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  78. I have no problem with “surrender” in the Drug War. But this isn’t surrender, it’s collaboration.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  79. You are right about that, in fact its one of the arguments that some people use to legalize them.
    You are also right that it would suck if we did legalize them and a lot more people even a “small percentage of the population” got sucked into their orbit, particularly people who had kicked one or more of those drugs. Some of the commeters above absolutely would not be thrilled if that temptation were more easily available (for instance, through a doctors perscription). There is an argument that society would benefit through a repeal or some partial repeal of complete prohibition, especially if it reduced profits going to terrorists, profits to organized crime, profits to prisons (=costs to taxpayers), and costs of drug related crime that is perpetrated by people in the drug business. That is what I meant by a societal “good” maybe acting against the good of individuals.
    This experiment that these people in SF want to try, apparently based on the experience of similar programs in Europe may be a way to try to balance societal and individual good.
    I don’t think that the “drug war” experiment is working very well for either individuals or society.

    EdWood (9f0c0f)

  80. EdWood, pretty much I’m a libertarian and believe drugs should be legalized because people have a right to do dumb things healthwise, provided it doesn’t interfere with safety aspects of the user’s job or driving (which of course it would… more people use… particularly now non-marginalized people holding down jobs, means more road deaths). I also believe prostitution should be legalized because no one should lose their freedom for a consensual transaction between adults, no matter how ill-advised.

    But, I fear, were my beliefs brought in to fruition (for drug use, not prostitution) the death toll would be higher, not smaller… and I am honest enough to admit it. So I don’t fight this issue too hard and am quite happy to vote for my Conservative Party which is introducing a massive crime bill including tougher drug laws in Canada.

    You bring up good points about crime or terrorism, something I touched on. It’s a balancing act.

    And my judgment is legalization… would probably cause more problems than it solves. And may still be the right thing to do because I don’t like the state taking someone’s freedom away for smoking a herb in their home or deciding what chemical they want to ingest.

    If I choose to drink draino on my living room floor, that’s my business. As a libertarian. Now, as my neighbour, if you choose to whack me in the face and call the cops to bring me to a hospital… I would thank you for it.

    Have I made any kind of point here?

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  81. Stashu3u:
    As a healthcare provider, administering or monitoring an illegal drug being used as part of an addiction, without it being part of a detoxification and rehabilitation program, is unethical.

    Why the emphasis on illegal? I respect the argument that it’s unethical for a healthcare provider to adminster a drug being used as part of an addiction, without it being part of a detoxification or rehabilitation program. But I would think that the legality of the drug is irrelevant to the medical ethics; in a world where meth were legal, it would still be unethical for medical professionals to help an addict remain addicted.

    If i’m wrong, can you explain why? ISTM that the relevant issue should be the medical harm caused by the drug or the addiction, and not the potential legal consequences.

    aphrael (db0b5a)

  82. Christoph I think we agree on the point if not on what would happen with some sort of legalization. Its that attempting to balance the “good” that people do that prevents me from dismissing the experiment outlined in the post above as just another stupid program by those libs in San Fran.

    EdWood (9f0c0f)

  83. aphrael, one easy answer is medical professionals are obligated to follow society’s laws in order to main in good standing with their professional organization. It’s, essentially, a morals clause.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  84. Christoph: “what I have to do to retain my licence” and “what I have to do to conduct myself ethically” are not the same set. I’m asking about the philosophy of medical ethics, which I’d like to believe is based on something other than the pragmatics of what the law requires.

    aphrael (db0b5a)

  85. #62 Joel Rosenberg
    Psychobabble alert; whenever somebody uses the word “enabling,” it’s a not-perfectly-reliable sign that they’re not thinking something through.

    How is using legitimate terminology in an appropriate context psychobabble? Or do you use the term psychobabble to dismiss comments rather than address them, without understanding what psychobabble really means? I grant that the terms enabling and codependence are frequently misused to make a commenter appear more knowledgeable than they really are, but not recognizing when they’re being used appropriately is fairly ignorant by itself.

    Stashiu3 (992297)

  86. Once again folks – it’s time to stop “The INSANE War on Some Drugs”™, and the legal junkies who are addicted to it -politicians, law enforcement, prosecutors, prison officials and companies in the private prison biz.

    Horatio (f61519)

  87. Hi aphrael,

    There are many legal drugs that I could ethically administer or monitor to an addict, without detox or rehab being involved, should I choose. For example, there would be nothing unethical if someone wished me to monitor alcohol consumption, or even serve it, at their Super Bowl party for alcoholics. Personally, I wouldn’t do it because it would violate my own standards. I wouldn’t advocate revoking someone’s license who chose differently. That’s splitting hairs a bit thin, but I was trying to be as concise and accurate in my statement as I could. Make sense?

    Stashiu3 (992297)

  88. Russel:

    You have every right to your own demented opinions, you have no right to make up your own facts. Drug addiction in Europe is far more serious than it is in the USA and anyone who has lived in Europe can attest to it. Your defense of drug use cn only mean you earn your livihood by selling such items or are an addict.

    Which is it?

    Thomas Jackson (bf83e0)

  89. San Franciscans have surrendered when it comes to the War on Drugs.

    And a good thing too. In case people haven’t noticed, there’s an actual war going on. Against real enemies, not against people’s God-given right to inject whatever they damn-well like into their own veins.

    Milhouse (f10fb3)

  90. Some San Franciscans have surrendered in that war, too.

    DRJ (67ced6)

  91. If this is a “surrender” in the war on drugs, then tax breaks for the rich is a “surrender” in the war on poverty.

    Why do you like poverty so much, DRJ?

    Daryl Herbert (4ecd4c)

  92. If you assume that rich people cause poverty then I guess your comment makes sense, Daryl.

    DRJ (67ced6)

  93. “Except for when a drug addict holds a gun to your head and forces you to associate with him.”
    -patterico

    Please cite your source.

    Sean (7650e5)

  94. How is using legitimate terminology in an appropriate context psychobabble?

    How is begging the question other than a fallacy?

    Joel Rosenberg (677e59)

  95. Except for when a drug addict holds a gun to your head and forces you to associate with him.Would this be more or less likely to happen if drug addicts could get their junk, free of charge, other than when in jail or prison?

    As to your point that meth — as well as many other illegal drugs — are dangerous to use: congratulations; you have a keen eye for the obvious. So are many legal drugs, and legal non-drug substances — alchohol, and Big Macs, say. Our national experiment in making alcohol illegal was only a success for criminals and (to a lesser extent) for those lawfully involved in criminal-dependent industries, like yours.

    Alas, the War on Some Drugs has gone on longer, with more detrimental results.

    Joel Rosenberg (677e59)

  96. Sean – Congratulations. In comment 59 you made one of the standard claims of addicts entering recovery programs:

    “For those that say drug use affects more than just the user, you people aren’t too bright.”

    You’re young aren’t you or live in a bubble? Have you been to many 12 Step meetings where you can hear the subject discussed? Is you vision of addicts just street people or singles or do you see some of the married and working people I see with kids in their 30s and 40s who lose jobs and careers and houses and cars to addiction.

    Your attitude on the law is also interesting. It must be great to have the attitude that we should be able to pick and choose which existing laws to follow without fear of adverse consequences. You argue that’s what you want but you’re afraid because the police might bust you or your friends. NO SHIT! That’s because of the laws on the books. You can’t make an argument against a situation that doesn’t exist. Work to change the laws we have if you don’t like them. See if you can persuade enough people to your point of view to get them changed. Otherwise find a way to live within the framework of our society.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  97. Will the city of SF sponsor intro classes for people who have never used heroin who want to give it a try? They could maybe schedule intro, beginner, intermediate and advanced sessions. It could become like a new date night activity. Grab a few bottles of wine, go down to the free injection clinic, shoot up, zone out.

    Civic pride the SF way.

    Thanks Gavin Any Twosome Newsome!

    daleyrocks (906622)

  98. How is begging the question other than a fallacy?

    Maybe that makes sense to you in some alternate universe… on Earth it’s the typical attempt to appear intelligent without knowing what you’re talking about. In other words, no matter how you try to explain it, that question makes no sense. It’s like someone trying to make up Zen sayings or beatnik poetry… faking it just makes you look stupid.

    Now, as for your psychobabble comment you pusillanimous pissant, the terms are used correctly in the context of addiction and treatment. You obviously have no knowledge of the field or you would recognize the difference between psychobabble and clinical description. I hate psychobabble and call people on that bullshit all the time. Just because you don’t fully understand the words, doesn’t mean that others can’t use them appropriately.

    Stashiu3 (992297)

  99. daleyrocks-

    Actually, if you bothered to follow the links I provided, you would have noticed that these were innocent people that were murdered by the war on drugs. These weren’t people that were guilty of ANY crime. I’m worried about the police “no-knocking” on the WRONG door. Here are examples of paramilitary drug raids on the wrong home:
    http://www.cato.org/raidmap/
    http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=6476
    http://www.reason.com/news/show/121169.html
    http://www.katc.com/Global/story.asp?S=6813344
    http://www.thelibertypapers.org/2007/06/17/another-botched-police-raid/
    http://www.drugsense.org/tfy/botched.htm
    http://www.theagitator.com/archives/027623.php#027623

    Is it clear enough for you now? 100% innocent people are being terrorized and killed by the perpetrators of the War on (some) Drugs. I fear the “police” more than “criminals”. At least, in general, I know how to avoid the “criminals.” It’s impossible to avoid the “police” as the above stories clearly demonstrate.

    Sean (e1d31a)

  100. How is begging the question other than a fallacy? I write.

    Maybe that makes sense to you in some alternate universe, Stashiu3 responds before disgracing himself further by throwing gratuitous insults.

    Let me explain the obvious: in the question you posed — “How is using legitimate terminology in an appropriate context psychobabble?” — you assumed your conclusions, and posed them as part of the question.

    This is the fallacy called “begging the question.” Hence my response, which I’m sorry went over your head; I’m sure you’re capable of understanding that. Happy to help.

    Joel Rosenberg (677e59)

  101. Ummm…. the original use of the word enable wasn’t a question, it was included in a statement of my opinion. Calling it psychobabble prompted the question asking why you thought it was psychobabble, given the context. Are you still saying my use of the term enable was psychobabble? If so, why? Are you denying that the term enable is a legitimate term in therapy? I want to see your source since I work in this field. Are you contending that the context was inappropriate? How so? I don’t believe you can honestly answer yes to any of those questions and that’s why your “begging the question” reference makes no sense. The insult was well-deserved, happy to help.

    Stashiu3 (992297)

  102. I love the meme that alcohol and tobacco kill more people than drugs. Its so laughable. Ever seen a tobacco junkie mug someone on a street to get their fix for the day? Ever seen an alcoholic sell alcohol at a scholl yard? How many drug related deaths are there in traffic? No records are keep yet we know exactly how many alcohol related traffic accidents there are.

    More people die from over eating so lets outlaw food goes the logic of the less informed. Since heart attacks kill more people than drugs lets outlaw exercise. Such logic is beyond me.

    Its clear that the same people who argue for the right to kill themselves and ruin the lives of others are the same people who also will not allow babies a chance at life or allow people to exist on life support. Of the two suicide cults America confronts, Leftists are the far deadier and more sinister of the two.

    Thomas Jackson (bf83e0)

  103. Thomas Jackson, the argument that alcohol and tobacco kill more people is predominantly made on this thread in support of the notion that criminalization of illegal drugs saves more lives than it costs. The point made is legalization would cause more people to use them resulting in more death, addiction, and social problems.

    “Ever seen a tobacco junkie mug someone on a street to get their fix for the day? Ever seen an alcoholic sell alcohol at a scholl yard?” No, but drunk people fight, beat, and harm a lot.

    Anyway, go here and address my response to your borderline racist comment and then I’ll come back here and address your next bit of illogic.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  104. This is the same city who voted to ban guns(overturned as unconstitutional)and now they want afre place to shoot themselves full of dope? HANOI ON THE BAY IS GETTING WEIRD

    krazy kagu (171210)

  105. SF’s residents should all go around wearing buttons that say “I’m for what’s popular”, so they could feel good about themselves.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  106. KK: Actually, it was overturned as preempted. They didn’t reach the constitutional argument, assuming it was raised in the first place. Not sure how well that argument would fare if they did, as CA has no RKBA provision in its own constitution, and the Ninth Circuit has taken the judicial nullification view of the Second Amendment.

    DR: Nah, they’d have to qualify it further to say “I’m for what’s popular in SF.” Friscans are fully aware – and in fact rather proud – that their “progressive” views are unpopular among the slobbering masses in flyover country, and even most of California.

    Xrlq (d9dd67)

  107. Xrlq – I should have been more clear. Of course it’s all about them and how they feel and screw everyone else. You are 100% correct. I had a large subsidiary headquartered in SF in my last job and they “just had” to be treated diferently than everyone else in terms of compensation, benefits, etc., etc., because they were unique, doncha know.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  108. Chrissy:

    Stop projecting. Its quite clear who the bigot and racist is. Now run along home to your NAMBLA meeting. Your arguements are both misleading and your explanation or rater rationalization doesn’t rise to the levels of grotesque. What a craven dullard you are. The day you attempt to respond fully is the day you pull out.

    Thomas Jackson (bf83e0)

  109. I know that harm reduction does not sound pleasing to most people, but you need to look at this through the eyes of a person who has an addictive problem. Going “cold turkey” from drugs, doesn’t work for most people, so harm reduction gives smaller doses of the addicts’ drug of choice, which reduces their need of heroin, crack, alcohol, etc. This program “has shown an increase in addicts seeking drug treatment and a decrease in abandoned syringes, needle-sharing, drug-related crime and other problems since the clinic opened.” San Francisco hasn’t given up on the drug war, rather it’s going in a different direction trying to find a new way to help addicts recover.

    ~ Peace from the SF bay area

    Kate (6429a5)

  110. Kate is just ooooooooooooooozing goodwill. Too bad that her position does not result in a harm reduction, but an increase in harm. If they want to quit, moderately reducing intake will not work, period. Try selling that idea to an alcoholic. See how many times they tried to cut back, quite for a week, etc … In the end, much like most liberal social programs, good intentions get in the way of bad results.

    JD (49efd3)

  111. Yes. Maybe I am “oozing goodwill,” but have you been on the end of harm reduction? Obviously not if you automatically assume that moderate intakes of drugs do not work, “period.” I am just giving a personal opinion from the positive ends of harm reduction and the good that I have been able to witness from it. That’s all.

    Kate (6429a5)

  112. Kate – When did the clinic open and how long has your period of observation been?

    daleyrocks (906622)

  113. Kate, I have been on the “harm reduction” end, and the vast majority of the time (not 100%), the “harm reduction” will result in enabling a progressive disese that eventually ends in death or institutionalization (medical or legal). The good intentions of “harm reduction” would have left me dead.

    JD (49efd3)

  114. While harm reduction and public health issues can’t rationally be argued, I am concerned about the creation of new users. I find it naive to ignore the air of permissiveness these safe rooms create.
    If we wholly surrender this war on drugs with these safe rooms, isn’t it logical to assume that those individuals denied easy access to heroin etc may now be compelled to use?
    It’s always been my perception that our fight against drug use has picked ‘the low hanging fruit’ And that now we were climbing high up to get the core users.
    Those individuals who were socially, physcially and psychologically suseptable to the lure of illegal drugs are all but a force of nature.
    But welcoming those individuals will undoubtedly entrain casual users into the hell of addiction.
    Then, as a nurse myself,I can’t see how can the State of California change it’s Nurse Practice Act, to permit Nurses to help “patients’ calculate safe dosages of unknown pharmacuticals?!?! I can’t wrap my head around the sequlae of that decision!

    paul from fl (47918a)

  115. Oh, and a question to those much closer to this, whatever came of the needle exchange programs?

    paul from fl (47918a)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.4623 secs.