Friday, September 30, 2011

Ilegal dope vs tobacco - mixed messages (and lying scumbag politicians)

Today the Supreme Court of Canada ruled (unanimously) that Vancouver's "supervised drug injection" site ('Insite') can stay open:

To force the site to close “would have been to prevent injection drug users from accessing the health services offered by Insite, threatening the health and indeed the lives of potential clients,” Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin wrote in the ruling. 
It thereby constitutes a limit on the section 7 charter rights of drug addicts - life, liberty and the security of person.
So the Supremes ruled that enabling illicit dopers is good for their health, life, liberty and security.

Then we have another class of (legal) users - smokers, who have been attacked mercilessly and kicked while they're down.  In BC the health minister is now threatening smokers with another kick - forcing them to pay higher health fees:
“Some people, in B.C. about 14 per cent of the population, continue to smoke and they’re going to cost more,” de Jong said in an interview. “Maybe they should contribute more.”
Civil liberties and ethics experts think it's a crappy idea, primarily on "slippery slope" grounds. As far as I know, no one wondered if it might be unenforceable.

Also, Minister De Jong neglected to point out that the government is already taxing smokers to death:

The province collected $682 million from tobacco taxation in the 2009-10 fiscal year, $708 million in 2008-09 and $692 million in 2007-08.
That probably more than covers additional health costs. And I'm sure that De Jong would prefer that no one mentioned any studies like this one in the New England Journal of Medicine which found:
... In our study, lifetime costs for smokers can be calculated as $72,700 among men and $94,700 among women, and lifetime costs among nonsmokers can be calculated as $83,400 and $111,000, respectively. This amounts to lifetime costs for nonsmokers that are higher by 15 percent among men and 18 percent among women.
Altogether this spells "CASH GRAB" from (and harassment of) smokers to offset the cost of enabling dopers.


Gerry said...

If I remember correctly a couple of BC researchers some time ago published an article in a medical journal (epidemiology I think) that participants in the homosexual lifestyle had similar health outcomes to those smoking 1 to 2 packs of cigarettes a day. Granted the researchers - once faced with the backlash for daring to highlight the health risks of that particular alternative lifestyle - clarified their position somewhat the data remains.

Now, I really don't care if a person is gay, bi, transgendered or simply confused as long as the health risk approach is used across the board. Demonizing smokers but failing to apply the same health criteria to alternative life styles as well as morbid obesity is, in my mind, selective umbrage and selective taxation. Use the criterion across the board or not all.

Alain said...

This court ruling is one of the dumbest yet. That closing down these sites would prevent druggies from accessing the health services provided makes you wonder where people with such twisted thinking were found. Health services exist elsewhere; these are simply tax payer funded free shoot-up and crack sites.

As for the outrageious comment concerning smokers, simple math shows that smokers pay enough in tax on their smokes to cover the health cost of themselves and at least three other people. Of course this kind of comment is now most often accepted, since smokers have been so demonised that they can be treated anyway the non smoking lobby likes. You don't have to be a smoker to see this.

JR said...

Hypocrisy, stupidity, impracticality, contradiction, bleeding hearts and bullying are hallmarks of leftist ideology and policy. These cases exhibit all.