Great news this morning – the BC Supreme Court has ruled that parts of Canada’s federal drug rules are unconstitutional, as well as granting a constitutional exemption to Insite, Vancouver’s supervised injection site.

I love that part of the judge’s ruling was that while the law cannot condone addiction, it also can’t deny addicts from receiving healthcare.

The SIS is hotly debated across Canada, even though a strong body of scientific research says that the SIS is a good influence on the community, which saves people from overdosing, reduces the
spread of some diseases, and gets addicts into detox programs swiftly. In short, it is an amazing resource in one of the poorest, most addicted neighbourhoods in Canada.

This ruling in BC is important because the federal Health exemption that currently allows Insite to operate expires in June 2008. In other words, in about a week. Our Conservative federal government does NOT like the idea of a SIS, let alone one that is highly effective – it doesn’t fit within their drug-control views. They keep saying that they need more research or that they’re looking into it, but if they continue to futz around past the deadline, this ruling in BC would give the SIS some room to continue operating after their federal exemption expires.

Which means that they can keep saving lives, preventing the spread of disease and offering addicts the resources they need to get clean.


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