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Dispatch from Florida: Where Opioid/Illicit Drug Crisis is MUCH WORSE than BC

November 6th, 2017 · 80 Comments

Even one loss is too many … but in Florida, the opioid crisis has grown well beyond what we could even imagine for BC.

In just TWO counties …. Broward (Fort Lauderdale region) and Dade (Miami) … 1,036 people lost their lives in 2016 to illegal drugs… overwhelmingly due to opioid fentanyl contamination.

By way of comparison, all of BC rang up 935 illicit drug deaths … 81% involving fentanyl.  Far too many to be sure…and each one a tragedy for all of us.

But what makes it all the more interesting … and frightening … is that Broward and Dade have a total population of  4.58 million … almost identical to the population in all of BC, totaling 4.6 million.

Add Florida’s other 65 counties into the mix and the figures are almost too difficult to comprehend: 6 people a day are dying in the Miami area alone from drug overdoses/interactions and an estimated 20 people are losing their lives EACH DAY throughout Florida from drugs.

In BC, the last province-wide figure I saw was 4 fatalities per day.

It IS a crisis beyond anything we have seen …and families have suffered from … back home.

But Florida was way ahead of President Donald’s Trump’s recent hollow declaration/photo op of an “opioid emergency”  in the country where 59,000 people died from opioid abuse in 2016 …. while adding not a penny to the US $56,000 bank balance for the public health program fighting it.

Months ago Florida Governor Rick Scott called it “a public health emergency” and introduced legislation that would place a THREE-DAY limit on prescriptions for opioids AND a $50 MILLION fund to fight opioid abuse.

“The legislation would require all health care providers who prescribe or distribute medication to participate in the Florida Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, a statewide database that monitors prescriptions for controlled substances. The legislation includes reforms to combat unlicensed pain management clinics and require continuing education courses on responsibly prescribing opioids, and would also create new opportunities for federal grant funding,” US News has reported.

The proposed $50 million budget would include funding for substance abuse treatment, counseling and recovery services, and The Florida Violent Crime and Drug Control Council.

Florida is fighting back …and literally putting its money where the politicians’ mouths are.

Effective last month, those posessing more than four grams of fentanyl and carfentanil will get minimum jail sentences of three years in prison; 14 grams will draw a 15 year jail term; and 28 grams or more … 25 years!  And prosecutors will be empowered to charge fentanyl dealers with murder if they sell a fatal dose of the drug.

Action! Not just discussions, further studies, panels and ponderings.

Could have some good ideas that would be well worth looking at in BC … along with a concentrated effort to FIND and IMPRISON for a long time those miscreants AT THE TOP of North America’s opioid crisis, who import the drugs by the ton from overseas.

Harv Oberfeld


Tags: British Columbia · International

80 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Diverdarren // Nov 6, 2017 at 10:15 am

    Good to see your writing again. I hope things in Florida are good and that the storms didn’t cause to much damage for you.

    I know, Harvey. This opioid crisis and the associated deaths are out of control. We need to catch these perpetrators sticking needles into the arms of these poor innocent victims. We need to prosecute these things ramming pills down the throats of these hapless bystanders.

    I MEAN who knew that using illicit drugs recreationally, or abusing prescription narcotics, or being a DTES junkie was hazardous to your health.

    There’s no amount of tax money we should not spend to protect people from themselves.

    Rick Scott, ha! 3day limit on opioid prescriptions. That’s the kind of response I’d expect from an uncaring conservative. I propose a 1day limit on prescriptions. I’m more than willing to pay daily dispensing fee for a painkiller that I’m not planning to abuse. It’s the least I can do as a responsible member of society with no plans to abuse drugs. In fact, put a special tax on painkiller prescriptions. We should all pay more to ensure these innocent victims are protected.

    Sorry Harvey, I’m as concerned about the opioid crisis mortality rates as I am about the high death rates found among BASE jumpers.

    (Response: Drug use is certainly a very complicated issue … but there’s a big difference between toking bud or hash etc… and dealing out something to produce a cheaper and/or greater high by containing an ingredient with a very high chance to kill. And I’m no great fan of Scott, but I do like his aggressive plan to spend on treatment AND tougher laws to go after and imprison dealers. h.o)

  • 2 jay // Nov 6, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    No amount of legislation will end this. There are only 2 ways this ends…all the users are dead or you legalize and regulate the drug. Legalize it, open dispensary clinics where people can go and get a dose of TESTED and VERIFIED drug (not the street mixes that are killing people) and have healthcare staff available to assist if an OD occurs. Trying to stop the drug war has been a failure since it started and its only getting worse.

  • 3 Harry lawson // Nov 6, 2017 at 1:36 pm


    Welcome back, where to start?

    If we did not have insite and and the pop up injection sites would our statistics be comparable?

    Enforcement of drug laws , prosecute all , no exceptions . No probation or parole unless rehab is included. Heavy importers life sentences. Expensive yes at first cheaper in the long run for society as a whole.

    Forcing sick people to have to go out and get medicine every 3 days could be a health burden for some, perhaps a delivery service from the health board.

    Enabling a addiction is disabling society period.

    (Response: I don’t believe we should prosecute those addicted: they need help/treatment…not punishment. But the dealers should be nailed … and NOT allowed to go through a revolving door process where they are out selling again within days …or even hours. h.o.)

  • 4 Gene The Bean // Nov 6, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    After reading your post the first thing I thought of was how many of your posters will say “screw them, they deserve it” … “don’t care how many low-lifes die” ….. didn’t have to wait long.

    Post #1.

    Thanks diverdarren for once again proving the points I make here. Karma has special offers for people like you.

  • 5 e.a.f. // Nov 6, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    longer jail sentences will not stop any of this. It didn’t work in the past and it won’t work now. It will however give private prisons a nice boost in the profit margin. Obama had the DOJ cease using private prisons. Sessions advised months ago, he wanted them opened again. Long prison sentences work wonders for corporate profits. The majority who go to jail for drugs will be people of colour, just like last time.

    I do wonder how many Florida politicians have stock in the private prison corporations? We’ve seen American judges have stock in them, why not politicians? Change a few rules and viola, there is an improvement in the old portfolio.

    Scott may have genuine concerns, however, no one has put a stop to the production of these opioids by the legitimate drug corporations. Restricting opioids to a 3 day supply places an onerous burden on legitimate patients. Every 3 days they need to go to a pharmacy and pay not only for the drugs but for the dispensing fees. Nice deal for the pharmacies.

    Once again the laws are targeted at small time dealers instead of the producers, doctors, pharmacies who profit along with large well funded gangs. Scott will be able to go to the next election saying he arrested and imprisoned a thousand dealers or more. All he really imprisoned was an addict trying to get by while the “big boys and girls” just got a pass.

    The rules Scott has implemented won’t do anything to reduce the crisis. Opioids were introduced by big pharma and peddled by the medical profession, who didn’t, in many cases, have enough knowledge about the drugs and its impact. Now its fent. and that is just imported from China or made in a local lab. There is no way to stop that.

    Scott may be well intentioned, but he’s several years late and a few billion short. They ought to have had a better health care system. Come to think of it a few years ago, in an attempt to cut back on health care costs people who had been receiving “free” insulin from the state had it revoked. they had to go into coma and in a hospital to get it. Had Florida had a decent health care system it is doubtful they would have had as many dead as they do.

    You reap what you sow. Florida politicians and citizens created this problem. Now they can live or die with it. Its not going away.

    Hope you had a good holiday. Welcome back to writing.

    (Response: Agree…jail sentences for those addicted are not the answer: they are medically ill and need treatment…they need help/resources, not punishment. BUT longer jail sentences for DEALERS will at least get them out of circulation for considerable time…and make the “business” less attractive to many. h.o.)

  • 6 Ron // Nov 6, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    It will never be legalized as where are all those police resources the cops so depend on will go, not into their pockets and they know. Along with the $1 million per day into continuing the Main and Hastings-poor criminal network that preys upon these ppl., including the so-called charities that have been proven to rip-off the taxpayers including the the now MP Jemmy Kwan was involved in.
    And what ever happened to the RCMP saying organized crime had infiltrated the ledge and when they got their new building and 20 year contract from the Lieberal gov’t, not a whimper. Isn’t that a criminal offence? I think it’s called aiding and abetting.

  • 7 Harry lawson // Nov 6, 2017 at 6:16 pm


    A friend said I was criminalizing addiction . No if a person goes thru a successful rehab ,their drug record is esponged.

  • 8 13.. // Nov 6, 2017 at 8:07 pm

    Welcome back Harvey

    After listening to CKNDP and in particular Mcomb and Sara There can not possibly be a fent crisis anywhere else besides British Columbia. After all those two DJs have been beating a drum that the fent crisis in BC was totaly the fault of the heartless uncaring BC Liberal government . Led by the incredibly evil Christie Clark. Seems that just perhaps as Ms Sara pointed out on Oct 31 2017 Gee whiz the fent crisis isnt just a problem in BC golly gosh its all over the planet. I wonder how Clark and company managed to pull that off?
    Maybe its the Chinese getting even with us for the opium wars.
    GTB thanks for your clarity and your karma distribution.

  • 9 Marge // Nov 6, 2017 at 8:31 pm

    As someone who has watched a close relative die from addictions, I can honestly say the solution is not giving them more drugs, more deals. It doesn’t always work.
    My brother died of alcoholism at the ripe old age of forty, having destroyed everything in his life. He lost his family (wife and son), his job and everything to his addiction. He worked for the government and was given many chances at rehab. They all failed. He lost his driving license many times and finally it was taken away from him – thank goodness before he killed someone.
    My mom was one of those “goody two shoes” that continued to support his habit. If he needed money and he knew how to con it out of her (like most addicts do) there was money handed over. It always went on the booze. He would call us late at night going through the DTs. We were just as much affected by his addiction as he was. It never ended until in a drunken stupor he hit his head on a fireplace at his home (paid for by mom) and was discovered by my mother who wondered why he wasn’t calling. She was never the same after as you can well imagine. It’s a horrible, horrible story – I would not wish this on anyone.
    What the cause of his addiction was I don’t know. Our dad was killed in a horrific sawmill accident when I was three and he 11. He was spoiled rotten by our grandparents and mothers and given whatever he wanted after that. We were just the “girls”. Maybe that’s what saved us but none of my sisters or I have addictions and none of the grandchildren – maybe because we know the signs. My mom always said it was because he had no dad. I didn’t either but I am not an addict, but do have serious scars from all of this.
    I know people who volunteer with good intentions in the DES. None of them has achieved any success with the people there. I spent one evening with a friend touring the area on a welfare pay day. It was totally insane and off the wall. People were shooting up in diners (if you could call those dives that), lying in the street and screaming at the devils consuming them. I have never forgotten that night but know only too well that there isn’t one size fits all for addicts.
    I often go to functions in Vancouver and see street after street of druggies. It’s not a pleasant sight. But throwing dollar after dollar at programs that only benefit those running them is not the solution. Putting them in rehab – didn’t work for my brother, won’t work for them unless they really want to change. Many are too far gone to change. Maybe a facility like Riverview would work – at least keeping them safe and dry and fed. Don’t know what would have worked with my brother – I suspect nothing but I sure would try again if I had the chance – just don’t know what.

    (Response: Sad story … but one no doubt repeated in many, many families. I agree … addicts must WANT to change before they can be helped. But the impression I gert is there are not enough spaces in facilities to help those who want treatment. Fentanyl adds a whole new dimension …in that is not just harming but killing…and that requires an increased rapid response from agencies at all levels to attack those who are profiting BIG TIME from importing and distributing it. h.o.)

  • 10 Rocker Rich // Nov 6, 2017 at 9:16 pm

    Here in BC, the untold story of the opioid crisis is how medical authorities are exploiting the situation to make life hell for thousands of chronic-pain sufferers. We’re not talking painkiller addicts but, rather, functional survivors of accidents, disabling autoimmune diseases etc. Last year, with very little fanfare, the College of Physicians and Surgeons updated prescription guidelines on opioids to now include even Tylenol 3, which is a peashooter compared to heavier RX meds such as Percocet and Vicodin which already were well regulated.

    Unlike other provinces’ medical regulators, the College gave itself authority to barge into doctors’ offices to seize records and do audits. Not surprisingly, most docs cut back on patients’ meds. A Surrey physician has spoken out and there’s been one or two media profiles of law-abiding citizens who are so severely compromised in their ability to work and function that they’re considering buying illegal synthetic street opioids.

    I think the College busybodies have followed the old political axiom: Never let a crisis go to waste. This way, they look as if they’re doing something. Meanwhile, the issue in BC has oodles more to do with users buying illicit, non-pharmaceutical synthetics than overly-prescribed Big Pharma drugs.

    The public and, in my opinion, much of the media conflate the two and the College is not facing much scrutiny for its arbitrary actions.

    As for Florida Governor Rick Scott, I still can’t believe a man who presided over a company that committed one of the largest Medicare frauds in US history, managed to get elected and then returned to office four years later. Maybe his electoral success was one of the first signs moral character no longer matters in big-league politics. He was the canary in the coal mine presaging Trump.

    (Response: You are correct about Scott’s background: if I recall correctly his medical companies paid out $800 million in FINES for falsely making medicare/Medicaid/health billings … and yet, Floridians elected him Governor! But have to hand it to him for agreeing and proposing a major effort to take on the opioid crisis .. and hope he succeeds, maybe providing a blueprint other sates and provinces, that are doing much less, could follow. h.o.

  • 11 e.a.f. // Nov 6, 2017 at 10:52 pm

    most small time dealers are simply addicts trying to pay for their habit, therefore jailing them will not help. one dealer goes to jail another takes their place. What we need to do is arrest those who import, manufacture and distribute at a large volume level, but it is doubtful that will happen. takes work, time, money, and might step on more than a few toes.
    A lot of that imported Fent. comes from China and they don’t give a dam what it does to our society.

    (Response: Illicit drugs are BIG business …worth BILLIONS to those at the top of the chain … and the lack of success in law enforcement/courts going after them is indeed troubling. BUT fentanyl has added a whole new ugly dimension to the drug trade … death for so many consumers … police, the courts and governments MUST step up their ACTIONS .. to track down the top villains, imprison them for long terms and increase treatment offerings and options for addicts …. not just express concerns. h.o.)

  • 12 elle // Nov 7, 2017 at 7:43 am

    This thing is very troubling. Does anyone wonder why these dealers are killing off their customers? It makes no sense.

    Marge’s story is very sad, but is true to so many families. Something has to be done.

    (Response:They don’t intend to kill…just make lots of money. And clearly they don’t take too much care with what/how they cut their drugs to increase highs and profits. h.o.)

  • 13 RIsaak // Nov 7, 2017 at 10:06 am

    This scourge requires a stern look at the nations of origin of this poison. There apparently is next to no resolve by our federal government to attempt to curtail the importation of this stuff and the precursor ingredients used in refining it to it’s deadly strength. If one is to look at this issue and wishes to do something positive, curtailing the importation of the substance should be the primary focus, not increasing trade and easing some of the scrutiny it should receive. Far more vigilance is required on our waterfront for all shipments from the PRC (which I understand is the main source of this poison). Just my thoughts, which seem to be contrary to the actions of our government.

    Welcome back Harvey.

    (Response: Absolutely true. The source countries ..esp China…are not doing a good enough job at stopping the manufacture and export of HUGE amounts of fentanyl worldwide. Maybe they’d get more involved if ALL their other exports were held up for extra days or weeks at our ports so EVERY container could be x-rayed and even searched. h.o)

  • 14 BMCQ // Nov 7, 2017 at 10:43 am

    Welcome back Harvey, I hope your re-positioning went well!

    As anyone that has a pulse is well aware the Drug/Fentanyl crisis/catastrophe is out of control and there is NO Quick Fix!

    Unfortunately like most everything else in society there are many that claim to have the answer but the appeasement, enabling, tolerance , and social engineering of the Drug Addicted, Drug Pushers/Importers, by Pandering Politicians and Poverty Pimps of many varieties have done nothing but exacerbate and compound the problem and people are dropping dead quicker than ever before.

    I grew up in the Drug/Drink Culture of Downtown Vancouver and unfortunately lost a Sister and many Friends to Drugs. My Wifes Sister is a life long Drug Addict/Heroin and yet somehow she survives. Many of you will know what I mean when I say we are always “Waiting for that Call”!

    WE must understand that MOST that use Drugs actually seek out Stronger Drugs for the Higher High, and that includes Fentanyl!! Get it?!!

    Contrary to what almost all Pandering Politicians and the Poverty Pimps and other Social Engineering Genius’s on the peripheries of the Drug Industry I am convinced that our Tolerance and Enabling of the Drug Addicted and those that Peddle/Distribute the Drugs has actually contributed to our problem today.

    Those that say the “War on Drugs” does not work are wrong, we have no choice we cannot go on allowing those that are Drug Addicted to continue down that road and we cannot allow those that are not as yet addicted to take that first chance to get High!.

    Please understand that the Jean Swansons, Mayor Gregor, Kwan, Davies, and ALL of the REST make their Living off of the Drug Addled and they would have NO Income if it was not for their Dishonest use of the Drug ADdled to further their cause.

    Instead of encouraging Drug Addled and Addicted Criminals to come to B.C. from other Canadian cities why are we not putting our efforts into Housing Seniors that contributed to Society and others like Single Moms with Children attempting to escape a bad marriage. Now that would be a Just Cause and that would benefit the whole Province!!

    We can begin by stopping the importation of Drugs by Legislation Mandatory Minimum Sentences for those Convicted of selling ANY AMOUNT Drugs that contain ANY Amount of Fentanyl whether that Dealer/Pusher/Distributor is aware of the content or not. We MUST Create a Deterrent or we will never win this battle.

    Contrary to popular believe Judges ARE NOT Capable of dealing with this current Drug Crisis and we must take the Sentencing out of their hands and every single Drug Dealer in Canada needs to be aware of the consequences.

    We need to enact Legislation that has more teeth than the Florida Baker Act so Drug Addicted People get Treatment they require and it must be mandatory with apprehension.

    If we wish to control (not stop that is a long way off) we need to apprehend Drug Addicted People and administer Drug Detox and Treatment of they will have no chance of survival let alone lead a productive future life. Yes I know, draconian but has pouring $ 1 Million Dollars of Tax Payer Money into the DES helped over the past 25 years? NO, in fact the problem has become far far worse and it is not getting better any time soon, we need to try something else.

    And that Idiot just elected Leader of the Federal NDP that proposes Legalizing ALL Drugs? Yeah, sure, lets make him PM!! Hey I know we can form a Two Headed Monster with PM Justin and they can Fix everything that is currently wrong with Canada by Legalizing ALL Drugs and then Taxing anyone that earns over $ 40 K each year 65% of their income so we can house Addicts and provide them unlimited Safe Free Drugs!! Now that would be a great solution! Genius!

    We in fact DO need a Wall between Mexico and the U.S., Drugs enter from the Mexican Border and those Drugs also make their way to Canada.

    We need Western Leaders like Trump, PM Justin, Merkel, Juncker, Lofven, and the rest to demand MORE from China on Fentanyl and other Illicit Drugs from being EXPORTED into Western Nations and we need China to do something NOW. Silly PM Justin was given a bit of Lip Service by Chinese Leadership oj this File but truthfully the Chinese do not care one little bit about Canadian or American Drug Addicts and as a matter of fact they may even be happy we are facing the crisis.

    We need to work with other Western Nations to hold Chinese Leadership Accountable, they are literally getting away with Murder!!

    I do not understand why Politicians and the “Great Unwashed” are taken in by Poverty Pimps, Educators and others that keep telling us that we3 need to provie more Drugs and enable the drug Addicted to get them off Drugs and back onto a productive path in life.

    How has that worked so far? How is it working now?

    I find it sort of interesting how many on this Blog blamed the Christy Clark B.C. Liberal Government for everything from the the Opioid Crisis to the Death of Children in Government Care and anything else that was wrong. Seems to me that matters are only getting worse!!

    How do we square that circle?

    Most that Cut/Distribute Drugs DO NOT know what they are doing so why would we be surprised that People are getting Bad Drugs?

    Also keep in mind that many Drug Dealers Lace Marijuana with other more Addictive and Potent Drugs to create a Higher High and literally Cultivate their Buyer into wanting that Higher High and that same user graduates to stronger more addictive Drugs.

    Next time you get the chance to talk to PM Justin or that Genius Singh why not ask them if they want their own Children to use those soon to be Legal Drugs. Then watch at the look on their faces.


    I could go on but I would not want to risk any “Bad Karma” coming my way.

    (Response: Simply not practical or financially possible to imprison EVERY dealer … even the addict selling a couple of hits a day to support their own habits…who sells any drug that tests positive for fentanyl. We have to do much better at going after those ABOVE them know, the importers, the gangsters…those with expensive lawyers …and our courts have to do much better at doing their job once the police and Crown have done theirs. h.o)

  • 15 JOhn // Nov 7, 2017 at 10:50 am

    Here’s a novel idea. How about forcing the dealers to take some of their own ‘medicine’ Kill off the dealers and some of the problem goes away.

  • 16 Diverdarren // Nov 7, 2017 at 11:42 am

    Bean, once again thank you for your predictable contribution. If Karma is at play, then one has to ask; what did the people on the DTES do in the past to their karma to deserve their lot in life. And should us mere mortals even interfere in their cosmic punishment?

    Putting Eastern spiritualism aside for the moment, lets look at more tangible causes.

    Every problem person involved with drug addiction can fall into three categories.

    The addicted, but wanting treatment and their lives back. The province has programs for these people. In Vancouver we have de facto decriminalized drug possession. We have safe injection sights and free supplies. We have drug substitutes. If someone wants help, we give them help. And rightly so.

    There is, (lets keep in real) the low-life petty criminal types that also uses drugs. They’re not looking for help. They want to use drugs, and they supply their need with crime and anti-social behavior. (car window breaking, street begging, window squeegee types) These types are why we have jails. We’re pretty soft on these types. More worried about how society has done them wrong, or their poor family upbringing, or whatever excuse we use for them to justify their general scumbagery. We could “three-strikes-you’re-out” punish these types, but we wont. We don’t really punish people anymore. Maybe we should rethink our soft on crime approach?

    The third group are the ones we all mention constantly in our responses… the mentally ill. We caused that problem with the push to de-institutionalize the mentally sick starting in 1964-65 with the Royal Commission on Health Services and Psychiatric Care in Canada. And away we went, (Thanks Pearson and Trudeau) down a road of normalization and integration of the mentally ill. And boy, should we be proud of what we have accomplished in the name of social justice for the mentally ill.

    Liberal mentality thought it was cruel to put them in institutions and their rightful place was in society. Pure genius… now the sick can be drug addicted and on the street. Jailed for crimes, and we all know how well the mentally ill do in jail. They can get shot by police at a disproportionately higher rate. They’re just like the rest of us and have to right to a place in society without the stigma of mental sickness on them. Of course every now and again they behead a bus passenger and eat the body, but who are we to judge.

    If we want to help the sick we need to reconsider institutionalization.

  • 17 BMCQ // Nov 7, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    Harvey – 14 – response

    There is not a week that goes by either on this Blog, Media or some other source that we do not hear the “We must get Touch on the Big Importers etc. etc.”

    Again, That has very very obviously NOT Worked or we would have solved the Drug Problem years ago.

    Whether it be Wealthy Criminals with good Lawyers, Liberal Judges, a basically FAILED Justice System we have failed miserably at controlling Drug Importation, Distribution, and Crime due to Drugs. It is time to get touch with Drug related Crime and Criminals.

    Vancouver Police tell us that about 80% of Crime in Van Proper is committed by about the same 350 mostly Drug Addicted Criminals, let’s start by sentencing them to Federal Prison Terms of over 2 Years where they actually get Drug Detox and Rehab mandated by Law. At last that is a start and we would soon see if there is any success.

    By removing those same 350 from the streets we may get them off of Drugs save a few lives and we would also clear the Courts from their Revolving Door Policies that DO NOT Work!

    We then would not need more Judges, more Sheriffs, Tax Payer Funded Legal Aid Lawyers, Police, larger Court Houses, and we would not require More Judges.

    We could then use the funding for more meaningful Rehab and Treatment of the Criminals and other Drug Addled individuals apprehended.

    Also please understand that when Poverty Pimps like Mayor Gregor and the rest attempt to convince you that the Mentally Ill on the DES are there because of the closing of River View and they become Addicted they are actually lying to you.

    MOST, the vast majority are Mentally Ill because of the use of Hard Drugs that Triggers the Psychosis in the brain and it causes the Mental Illness. Any Honest Doctor with nothing invested in the Poverty Industry will confirm that.

    Any of us would eventually experience Mental Illness/Psychosis if we used Drugs often enough and or Long enough!!

    We need more Honesty and we need more Transparency in what is going on in the Poverty/Drug Industry and we will not get that from the current group of Politicians and others that make their living in the Poverty Industry.

    We CAN and SHOULD invest in more Drug Rehab Treatment and at the same time invest in Prisons for those that sell the Drugs at any level. Nothing else has worked and we are on a much more slippery Slope than ever before.

    We need Apprehension and Institutionalization for those in need, you may be saving a family member.

    It is too late for Marge, my Wife, and myself but……

  • 18 RIsaak // Nov 7, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    Just another small question. If we legalize pot, how many who currently survive by selling pot will then shift to selling much worse like Fentanyl? I think the legalization in it’s current incarnation is nowhere near the all encompassing remedy many wish it to be. The easiest path is often the one laden with the most unforeseen consequences, it really does suck to find out once one has chosen the easiest path of least resistance. I think our legalization of soft drugs is just choosing the path of least resistance and as often takes place the real monsters (dealers & manufacturers) will only shift to other items to continue their pursuit of ill gotten gains.

  • 19 ellbee // Nov 7, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    Well, in keeping with the insanity going on South of us I recommend that more opioids will solve the opioid epidemic.

  • 20 BMCQ // Nov 7, 2017 at 1:09 pm


    I find it interesting that those that work and benefit in/from the Poverty Drug Industry and Media never discusses what is the TRUE cause of Psychosis in the VAST Majority of Drug Addicted People.

    Then of course there is this.

    Sure PM Justin and Mr. Sing, let’s Legalize ALL Drugs, what do we have to lose?

  • 21 Gene The Bean // Nov 7, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    Harvey, you have poignantly brought up a very serious topic with “death’ around every corner for tens of thousands of people and then you (we) are subjected to some of these thoughtless and soulless comments here. Unfortunately, as my first post indicated, I expected it but it still hurts as we are supposed to be better than this.

    People complaining that Christy Clark and the Liberals are being unfairly held publicly accountable for their record and others worrying about someone “raising their taxes” – are some of you not well? Did you miss the part about thousands of people are dying…?

    Yet you want to bang the right wing political drum and about this?


    I apologize Harvey. You tried and I know that you care.

    I have looked back at a lot of your previous posts and they get hijacked time after time with this same agenda.

    Yet these people look at themselves in the mirror each day …. and continue to live morally bankrupt lives … amazing.

  • 22 John's Aghast // Nov 7, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    Diverdarren: Four categories. Believe it or not, there are some that must think they’re invincible! They’re the recreational users, the ‘social’, once in awhile lets celebrate types. What a way to celebrate – waking up dead.
    And BMW, don’t you ever rest? Don’t believe EVERYTHING Chrispy blathered. In spite of her insistence, there have been no reported instances of spiked weed.

  • 23 Harry lawson // Nov 7, 2017 at 5:43 pm


    Thank you for calling it as it is,

    Why would the poverty pimps fix the addiction problem ? It is such a great form of job security.

    I am a real hard ass on this subject , mandatory rehab, serious jail for dealers, I could go on . If we were to take halve of the daily funds that goe in to the dtes on a daily basis and put towards housing, senior care , or any other community service. Think what our society would be like.

    Our society is being held hostage by the drug crisis and no one has the balls to shut it down. If there truly is a war on drugs bring in the war measures act. Shut it down make society whole again.

  • 24 13.. // Nov 7, 2017 at 8:13 pm

    Well Harvey, you kicked the door open so I say lets go inside and have a look.
    Drugs from China arriving in shipping containers?
    You bet they do! Criminal elements on the Port of Vancouver? You bet there are! H.A. and perhaps a few other motorcycle enthusiasts.
    Does the Port give a damn? Well the port decided that they didnt want the Harbor Police. To costly. Now its security guards that wear bright yellow jackets. One of them even fell asleep and drove off the pier in his security van and perished. Have you ever seen the curbs that a minivan would need to breach in order to go for a swim?
    No Harvey , if the fent arrives in a shipping container and gets discovered , then the other 500 containers that dont get searched will likely make up the difference.
    Ive said it before and Ill say it again, the Port spins a green agenda. They make sure trucks are up to date. Some of their gantries are as old as I am. But dont worry the port will make ships go slower and quieter so as not to disturb the whales.
    I think the port could stand a bit of the old GTB karma.

    (Response: If so much fentanyl is getting in through the port, the port is clearly not doing its job properly. And the police, the city, and the province should be calling out PORT and FEDERAL authorities EVERY DAY for their failings. h.o.)

  • 25 13.. // Nov 7, 2017 at 8:24 pm

    Did it ever occur to you that the governments that fought the war on drugs only pretended because when you look inside the rotting onion you see the big Pharma and other interests that want a drug addled society. Do you honestly believe that the various governments couldnt stop drugs coming from China if they really wanted to.
    Save your tears

  • 26 BMCQ // Nov 8, 2017 at 7:38 am

    I have never heard ANY Claims by any former B.C. Liberal Politician regarding the Lacing of Marijuana, I know of the Lacing through various other events.

    I happened to grow up with two great Childhood Pals that I spent years with playing Sports in the Sir William Van Horne School Yard who in their early 20’s became the two Biggest Drug Dealers in Vancouver.

    They were Great Boys but they ended up following a Criminal Oath in Life, one of them went to Prison as a Dangerous Offender about 30 years ago and is still in Prison. Drugs changed their Life and Drugs ruined their Life. They also contributed to the downfall of too many others. They deserved to go to Prison.

    They Laced their Drugs on a regular Basis. Many other Drugs were cut with everything from Baby Powder to Horse Tranquilizers, it is even worse today. When purchasing Drugs a purchaser knows nothing about the content.

    It makes me Laugh when Police and other Authorities advise Users to “Know their Dealer”, What a Crock!! You can trust No One!!

    I should state here that I DID Not use any Hard Drugs as I saw what it did to people in my own Family and I was afraid of them. I used very litle Marijuana as I did not Smoke and I could not inhale without coughing. No, Not Like Bill Clinton, I did partake on the odd occasion.

    Trust me Drug Dealers DO Lace their Drugs with other substances, even Marijuana gets the treatment from time to time. Care to take a chance on that?

    “Who needs the FACTS when you Have Ideology”, correct Aghast?

    Harry – 23

    Thanks for the comments Harry!

    I look at this whole Drug/Poverty/Homeless Industry Issue that happens to attract Elite Liberal Social Engineering Empire Builders that in most cases make a very good living plying their trade.

    They NEVER FIX anything, the Homelessness, Drug Problem, Poverty continues to grow and those same Social Engineering Genius’s like to lay the Blame at the Feet of those in Society that are Successful or happen to be Conservative Thinkers.

    As you point out we have tried the Social Engineering thing for literally 50 years and Society has nothing bit Failure to show for it.

    We literally have NO Success Stories in any Western City regardless of Country.

    Some here may claim success because some jurisdictions have managed to Wharehouse Drug Addled Individuals mostly with Criminal Convictions, is that success?

    We have a Mayor in Vancouver that bends over backwards inviting Drug Addled Repeat Prolific Convicted Offenders to come to Vancouver to Seek Salvation, ALL on the Tax Payers Dime!

    He then wonders why Property Crime Rates go up, why Drug use increases, why Homelessness and Poverty continues to grow.

    We need to start by sending ALL of those Offenders here on Non Returnable Warrants back to the Jurisdictions where they are wanted and have them face Court Time there hopefully resulting in Convictions and Incarceration.

    We then need to start filling Newly Conditioned Social Housing with Seniors and Young Mothers with Children attempting to escape a Bad Marriage.

    We need to invest in those that Built this Province and we need to invest in Young Mothers and their Children that deserve a chance in life.

    The Enabling of and Pandering to Drug Addled Repeat Prolific Convicted Offenders needs to cease and we need to speak out now.

    Those that Sell/Distribute Drugs of any kind especially Fentanyl need to receive Mandatory Minimum Sentences as soon as possible or we will start losing literally thousands to Drug Addiction and Death each and every year.

    We have not seen anything yet, next thing you know North American Drug Users will discover Krokodil and that is a Torture No One should endure.

    We need to demand more from our Politicians and the Judiciary, that is where the answer for this problem can be found.

    We need the Political Will and we need the Judiciary to respond with realistic Sentencing.

    Withoout the Politicians demanding MORE from Judges we are Doomed to Fail!

    I honestly cannot believe that there are not protests at Vancouver City Hall over the outright abuse of Tax Payers Dollars.

    Look around People, what our Politicians are currently doing about Homelessness and Drug addiction is obviously not working!

    We could pour $ 2 Million Dollars Each Day of Tax Payers Money into the DES and it would still not do anything but make things worse!!

  • 27 13 // Nov 8, 2017 at 11:07 am

    Harvey my point was the port (or the federal gov) is complicate. By cutting costs to make our ports competitive we allow illegal drugs to easily enterm Canada.
    Even more troubling the lack of proper security allows a terrorist organization to place a device in a container in any country and when the ship docks at centerm the terrorist organization can then detonate the device.
    Or locally a truck can enter the port without any real inspection other than a port pass. The sleeper compartment of the truck could be cramped full of jihad it’s.
    The fent crisis is define try sanctioned by the port and the federal gov.

  • 28 e.a.f. // Nov 8, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    At one time all ports in Canada had their own police force. then some P.M. decided that was too expensive and eliminated all the Port Police in one stroke of the pen and down loaded the responsibilities to the police forces of the cities in which they were located. It saved money I am sure in the short term. You know for the next election cycle.

    the federal government might want to look at re instituting a Port police force across Canada. Inspections of containers is a costly and time consuming business and big business will scream so loudly we will all go deaf and the political parties funding will dry up. That isn’t to even mention what exporting countries will have to say.

    Its all about the money and in the big picture the deaths of 10K citizens a year isn’t a big price to pay for commercial efficiency. Just ask the corporations, financial elites, police, and politicians. O.K. perhaps they won’t agree, but their actions say all their needs to be said.

    We have to only look at L.A.s port approx. 5 years go. Some fed decided it might be in the American’s best interest to more closely examine all shipping containers. Wal-Mart went ballistic. it would increase their costs of imports from Asia. The plan did not go ahead. It won’t be much different in Canada.

    John, 15, killing off the dealers won’t solve the problem. some poor person will take over the route in less than 15 minutes.

    BMCQ does have a point regarding drug treatment for those repeat offenders, however, in my opinion it ought not to be done in the regular prisons we currently have. That only makes people sicker. People who are mentally ill get killed in prisons. We saw this week how guards treat their own for being female.

    In my opinion, there needs to be prisons which are more like hospitals. Those are expensive and society isn’t going to want to pay for that.

    Those 350 individuals do create a lot of havoc in our society and how to deal with them within the confines of our current laws is an issue we need to address. However, any changes to the current laws may result in constitutional challenges.

    The chemicals used to make fent and other drugs are imported. We ought to as a min. secure our borders for no other reason than the health of our nation. those 350 need to be “taken” into custody and made an offer, but there will have to be a law in place to make that offer “attractive”. the American 3 strikes and you’re out will not work, but something along that line, with a lot more strikes might work if it were combined with medical treatment.

    I do not know where this will end or at what cost to our society. Perhaps we need to have a look at why people take drugs? what makes a child want to take a drug to avoid dealing with the realities of their lives? But that would be a lot of hard work and money and I don’t know if society wants to go down that road. It might also require a lot of adults to look at how they raise their children.

  • 29 E. Johnson // Nov 8, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    Seriously Gene the Bean? Lighten up. Everyone who posts on this blog has an opinion and we are all free to agree or disagree. No need to condescend, mock, moralize or preach to others from a ” holier than thou” perspective. The ongoing drug problem in society is extremely complex and it will take massive amounts of resolve on the part of governments and citizens to find solutions. There are no quick fixes. Those of us whose lives have been impacted by addiction ( either our own or a loved one’s ) can attest to that.

  • 30 Keith // Nov 8, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    Welcome back Harvey.

    I do agree with the sentences that Florida have brought in and would like to see at least the same in Canada. I would go a bit further and have a defined charge for a dealer in possession of a lethal dose of any drug, not just selling one, which could be harder to prove.

    In agreement with the reinstatement of the Ports Police. I knew one of the guys that got the axe in the nineties who predicted a much easier time for organised crime to infiltrate.

    Vancouver Sun. May 8 2015.

    CBC June 1998

    Addicts I believe should get the help they need in whatever form works best, but should be a real process, not a revolving door of funding for the poverty pimp crowd that come out of the woodwork in times like this.

    One of the things that I find troubling about the coverage of the drug issue is the display by the police of the drugs, guns and usually and especially the piles of money for the media.

    The amount of money should not be on display, nor commented on by the almost drooling commentary from some of the news readers, “onnne — hunnn—dddrred —thous—aaaaa—-nd doll—la–rrrrs was seized” etc.

    I can see how someone who may be so inclined takes a look at the pile of cash and gets in the business, especially with the lax laws and justice system we have at present. Risk vs reward.

    (Response: You’re quite correct about our courts: I believe they … and some very good, very expensive lawyers … have contributed to the crisis and the deterioration of our society in general. How? By replacing the former requirement police/Crown prove guilt “beyond reasonable doubt” to requiring de fact these days EXCEPTIONAL PROOF to get a conviction … and then, also allowing EXTREME DELAYS (YEARS!!!!) even until cases finally get thrown out, also causing HUGE costs for the system ensuring many prosecutions do not take place and even after that, when a conviction finally occurs, operating revolving door sentencing system that makes a mockery of “justice”. h.o)

  • 31 BMCQ // Nov 9, 2017 at 6:50 am

    Keith – 30

    A Great Post! I start my day very early and your Post really helped my morning get off to a Great Start!

    Somehow the “Great Unwashed”/General Public must finally get the facts that it is IN FACT the Judiciary, the Court System, the PET Constitution, and the Elite Liberal/NDP Social Engineering Politicians and Social Justice Warriors that are making a Mockery out of our Court/Sentencing/Addiction Treatment System and costing the Hard Working Tax Payer $ Hundreds of Millions of Dollars, Exposure to Crime and Violent Crime, Exposing their Children playing in a Park to Needles and all of the other Social Problems that come with those I just mentioned.

    You make an excellent point about the Displays of large sums of Confiscated Cash, some real common sense in that observation. I hope Police Administrators are following Harvey’s Blog!

    Just think of it, fewer than 400 Criminal Drug Addicted Convicted Felons in Vancouver Proper and probably less than another 500 in the rest of YVR are Holding the rest of the Law Abiding Population and their Children to potential Untold Horrors and Exposure to Danger each and every time they walk out the Door!

    The Police for their part do a fine job given that Social Engineering Social Justice Warriors make Policing a very tough job.

    There is NO need or reason to hire more Judges, more Tax Payer Funded Legal Aid Lawyers, Sheriffs, Court Staff, Larger Court Houses, or more Judges.

    We need the Politicians and Judiciary to deal with the relatively few number of Drug Addled Criminals in the “Revolving Court System” and we need them held to account.

    Productive Innocent Law Abiding Citizens/Tax Payers and their Children DESERVE BETTER from their Elected Officials and the Judiciary.

  • 32 Gene The Bean // Nov 9, 2017 at 9:04 am

    Lighten up with hundreds dying every month – ya, that’ll work…….

    Showing peoples complicity, making things “uncomfortable”, making people look in the mirror – THAT is what will work.Too many of us are settled, lazy and just want tomorrow to be just like yesterday.

    Blubbering weasel words like “extremely complex” and “massive amounts of resolve” and my all time ‘do nothing’ favourite “There are no quick fixes”. You might as well have been talking about the BC LIEberals 16 year attack on public education.

    So exactly how do those words do anything except make most of you feel better about yourselves?

    Addiction and death has touched either all of you or someone within your circle – so ….. what have you done about it? Probably absolutely nothing. THAT is my point.

    So many karma candidates……

  • 33 e.a.f. // Nov 9, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    ah, the delays in the court system. In B.C. we can thank Gordon Campbell for that. Once he came into office, he closed Court Houses all over the province. there weren’t enough Crown Prosecutors or Sheriffs in the Province. All in the name of “balanced budgets” or shovelling money off the back end of trucks to the resource industry and friends. we elected him and Christy and now we can reap the “benefits” of the cuts to the judicial system.

    As to exceptional proof, well again, its us as a society who got us there. Its beyond a reasonable doubt and perhaps judges might want to issue instructions to juries and themselves about what that means. It also could be that many not wanting to have their rulings over turned by a higher court just do what is easy. Then Crown Proscecutors, who aren’t exactly well staffed, don’t appeal. Criminal, lawyers, politicians rely on this.

    In my opinion, the judicial system has not kept up to changes or the cost of doing business. For the latter we can “blame” the politicians and ourselves. had this been dealt with when it first came into the market who knows. But the political party of the day, did nothing. Wouldn’t even ban pill presses, when Alberta did. It may not have helped that much to ban the pill presses, but it sends a message that the government was taking the problem seriously.

    Tossing people in jail for longer sentences is not going to work. Just look at the U.S.A. People in jail for 25 years for being a small time dealer. What did they get, a couple of million in jail at least 1 million of those people of colour. The poor cant afford first class lawyers so they go to jail for longer times.

    The drug problem is not going to go away. Politicians aren’t going to do much about it until the death rate increases substantially and its their friends and family who are effected. Tax payers aren’t going to be willing to pay more taxes for better rehab services for addicts, e. g. a min. of 3 months in a closed facility with support and follow up. Most tax payers don’t care until it hits their family. I am not hopeful about any of this regardless of any political party in office because all of them will have to go to the voters at some time. Can you see it now: taxes up a thousand a year to deal with fent/drug crisis. Unless some one you loved has died due to the drug crisis, you won’t want to pay.

  • 34 13 // Nov 9, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    Gene you seem to be able to judge with impunity. You case insults and deride the community that takes time to read and particpate on HOS blog.
    Oddly I don’t see any solutions homing from your position high above the rest.
    Personally I don’t feel the need to outline my connection to the dtes and I have likely done so in the past.
    In closing Ius say that you are obviously without flaws. Thank you for sharing your wosdom

  • 35 DonGar // Nov 9, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    The medical profession has and is a large part of the problem and they have declared 2017 Global Year Against Pain after surgery. How many more opioid additions will this create?

  • 36 Gene The Bean // Nov 9, 2017 at 4:38 pm

    13- let me make this easy for you, I advocate for what is good and just for everyone, even you.

    I do that by pointing out the flaws and challenge people to be better, to look at themselves and make better decisions. Decisions that better society and everyone in it. Think of me as that little rock in your shoe.

    How do you think we finally got rid of those sleazy useless BC Liberals? It was people like me, pounding away at the dullards and selfish people that kept voting for them until some of them finally realized what they were doing was wrong.

    Some of you couldn’t give a rats petunia about some drug addled abused person laying on a sidewalk dying – you’d avert your gaze and just uncaringly step over them, right diverdarren?

    That is wrong and I will continually, with justifiable prejudice, natter away at you so maybe, one day, you – or someone else, will become a better person.

    People like you don’t like it. I don’t expect you too. I know that I sometimes make people think about themselves and the choices they make and that is a good thing. But for some, going to that self-reflective place is uncomfortable. Again, that is the whole point.

    Getting just one person to realize being a selfish morally bankrupt “societal taker” is wrong makes every word I have ever spoken worthwhile.

    PS: My politics are obvious (I have to go somewhere…) but you all should know, I was banned from the The Tyee site as I also held the regular “leftards” there to account – and they didn’t like it either. There are a lot of morally bankrupt people “on the left” – not anywhere near as on “the right” – but wherever you are – if I get the chance, I will challenge you.

  • 37 13.. // Nov 9, 2017 at 8:14 pm

    Gene Ive typed this response three times and deleted all three. To say that I am shocked at your perception of your virtues vs other peoples flaws would be an understatement.
    From now on when you point out how flawed I am I will know that you are trying to make me a better person. Aside from pointing out peoples flaws does GTB actually offer any solutions to problems.

  • 38 e.a.f. // Nov 9, 2017 at 8:28 pm

    DonGar 35, perhaps in the past doctors were part of the problem, however, it is doubtful that they are now. there has been an increase in education on the problems with opioids. Many doctors relied on the misinformation given to them by the pharmacy. corporations who wanted big profits.

    Pain is a big issue for some people. They have permanent pain issues and they do need opioids. it would be cruel to cut those people off of their drugs. the college of Physicians and Surgeons seems to think that is o.k. these days.

    I would suggest doctors don’t have much to do with the opioid crisis we have because it isn’t an opioid crisis so much as a fent. crisis. Greedy drug dealers started mixing fent. in with heroin and other drugs to extend their product and make more money. Perhaps it might be in the best interest of society if the RCMP or some police organization had a chat with the Hell’s Angels who allegedly are the major players in the trafficking of drugs. Once the “allegedly” down loaded local sales to smaller gangs product quality declined and hence the fent. crisis. Its not as if the police in B.C. don’t know who the big players are. Its time to put them out of business and for people who qualify as “certified” addicts, just give them the drugs. should the government ever get to free distribution they also need to put the clinics all over the lower mainland so there is no one area which takes the brunt of the problem.

  • 39 jay // Nov 9, 2017 at 11:42 pm

    As a paramedic, who has dealt with hundreds of these overdoses, i can tell you a couple things. First most of the people who OD are people who admit their addiction and tr to avoid the laced drugs. They know their limits and unfortunately for them end up getting something they didn’t want. Second, lately most of the people who OD do so in shelters where they know that they will be found and treated if it happens. Almost every shelter has rapid response teams for OD now. This can be considered a crutch by some but I tend to look at it as a benefit. These people would probably OD out of the shelter or if no help was available in the shelter.
    The real issue here is that there are drugs out there that are not meant to be there. Dealers are cutting higher potency stuff to extend their supply or because they simply don’t know better.
    Users are taking the risk because they have to. There is no other option for most. The addiction is just too strong.
    And now that everyone is carrying narcan they think they are safe, but there are now drugs out there that narcan has no effect on.
    Many of the new drugs are so potent that 1 dose will alter the brain chemistry so much that addiction is immediate. The user will have no choice but to use unless they want to suffer major withdrawls.
    As i have said before, the only way to mitigate this is to get the users into programs that will allow them to use tested and verified drug rather then junkoftheday. Yes this seems like public dollars going to drug users, but every OD on the street leads to 2 ambulances, a fire department unit with up to 5 members, police and in the event of a death a coroner and a number of others. The cost is high vs letting them come to a clinic and getting a dose they can know wont OD them and even if it does a medical team is there.
    I know this sounds radical but treatment sometimes means doing whats best for the patient but not what everyone thinks is best.

    (Response: Really thought-provoking ideas … but coming from someone who is out there on the front line, well worth our “leaders” looking at this the way I believe some other countries in Europe already do … providing drugs to prolonged addicts as a bold way to stem the carnage. I believe it is already done in a very limited way…but well worth getting a lot more consideration and experimentation. h.o.)

  • 40 DBW // Nov 10, 2017 at 8:07 am

    Jay #39

    Thank you for your post AND the work that you do.

  • 41 BMCQ // Nov 10, 2017 at 8:42 am

    I may disagree with DBW, e.a.f., who I respect very much or any other number of serious thoughtful contributors on this Blog that Harvey provides as a most important Public Service, I may be of the opinion that those mentioned and others are Blinded by Ideology, Ill Informed, Misguided, or simply Wrong Minded but NEVER EVER does it cross my mind that simply because I do not agree with them that they are LESSER People, Inferior, Morally Bankrupt, Evil, Eaters of Little Lambs, or Idiots.

    They have different opinions, Simple!

    Sometimes it turns out they are correct and I am wrong. Sometimes contributors like NoNeck, DBW, Lew, or others hae convinced me I must modify my thinking and perhaps Evolve on any given Subject. I consider that a good thing and in fact I sometimes congratulate myself on being open minded and learning from other Contributors on this Blog. I also learn from virtually each and every Post/Analysis/Essay that Harvey provides us.

    I always have enjoyed what Lew contributes and we did not agree a lot. the Fact is each and every day I open up the Harvey Blog I hope to see a new Post from Lew, I miss him and every time he Posts I learn something.

    My only Beef with Harvey is the fact that he writes so much better than I do.

    Believe it or not we can ALL Learn from opinions and information Posted on this Blog by anyone that takes the time and effort to put their ideas and opinions on this Blog.

    Bitterness, Bullying, and Demagoguery, do not do anyone any good, especially you!

    People are different and we should all embrace the fact that they are willing to share ideas, facts, and opinions with the rest of us here.

    If we all agreed, why would we have a Blog in the First Place?

    Hey, that sounds a lot like Myanmar, perhaps you would appreciate Government Rule like that!

    Jay – 39

    I DO Not want to Warehouse People and Feed their Problem as is happening in so many EU Jurisdictions.

    Tell me, is there ANY Jurisdiction that Decriminalizes Hard Drugs where Drug Use actually decreases? No is the answer.

    The fact is Jurisdictions that see Decriminalisation of Drugs actually see an increase of Users of MANY different Drugs.

    What kind of a solution/fix is that?

    DO YOU want your loved ones to exist on a Dose of whatever Drug living in a Warehouse for the Drug Addled the rest of their life?

    Now we in B.C. have a Goofy Addiction Minister that is advocating to decriminalize Drugs and she is proposing Drug Checking by Authorities?

    The first time Authorities do not get it correct the family of the O.S. Victim that Dies will be launching a Law Suit for $ 10 Million Dollars against the Province for Wrongful death! WTF!

    Then she proposes an “Anti Stigma” Campaign!
    Yes, sure let’s have BCTF Members convince ALL Students in the Public School System that using Drugs is a Normal and Acceptable idea. And if you become Addicted tell Mum and Dad not to worry because we will warehouse you and actually provide you Free Safe DRUGS!!

    Contrary to the opinion of some on this Blog Sept. 17 has seen Drug O.D. Deaths increases of over 30% compared to 2016!

    I was away for most of October travelling to PSP, SAN, LAX, SFO, OAK, SEA, YYZ ZRH, TLV, Jerusalem, ATH, Prokopi, Frankfurt, SEA, and back to YVR, spending a few days in each city.

    Believe it or not each and every one of those Cities except PSP and Prokopi has a much more serious Drug/Fentanyl O.D. problem than Vancouver. Harvey has already informed you about FLL and MIA.

    We will not have that Goofy new Federal NDP Leader and your PM Justin tripping over each other in a “Race to the Bottom of the Sewer” on Facebook and Twitter promising to Decriminalize Dangerous Drugs and they will get a large percentage of the Votes from those under 35.

    I can only Hope and Pray (if I am allowed) that the Vote is Split and the somewhat Weak and Anemic Conservative Party and their New Leader can come up the Middle regain Office and get back to looking after Canadians the way they deserve.

    Your Children and grand Children deserve better from our Law Makers and the Judiciary!

    My apologies for any errors I am a bit of a rush.

  • 42 Keith // Nov 10, 2017 at 8:52 am

    Announcement from Judy Darcy today on the O.D. crisis. This report touches all the bases, but nothing on stopping the inbound flow of the drugs. Hopefully that aspect gets covered or it’s just a revolving door.

    (Response: Thanks for this. Hopefully SOMETHING will be done better than we have now! h.o)

  • 43 Gene The Bean // Nov 10, 2017 at 9:02 am

    13 – please point out, anywhere, where I have spoken about “my virtues”……

    I haven’t, I don’t and I won’t.

    But I’ve spoken many times about yours…….

  • 44 ellbee // Nov 10, 2017 at 11:16 am

    Well I just can’t resist. Flawida. Rick Scott. The guy who came up with the worn out idea to have ANYONE who receives State $ to have to pee in a cup before getting said $. When he was asked if he would pee in a cup as he’s paid by State $ he refused to answer. BTW, the program caught less than a handful and all that testing cost the State a fortune. Now we are back to the get tough business and the war on drugs. It’s worked so well hasn’t it? The “war” on drugs, the “war” on poverty, the phony “war” on Christmas and the list of wars go on and on. Florida is a joke, and a bad one at that.

  • 45 Diverdarren // Nov 10, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    Gene the Bean, thank you for your honest appraisal of your purpose in society. Not enough openly fess up to being an internet troll. Usually one has to waste time calling trolls out. At least you’ve made the process efficient for everyone.

    Here’s the Merriam-Webster definition:
    Definition of troll,
    transitive verb
    2c :to harass, criticize, or antagonize (someone) especially by provocatively disparaging or mocking public statements, postings, or acts.

    When you say you’re as useful as “that little rock in your shoe”, I agree.

    (Response: This is very frustrating for me. WHY do I spend my time/effort on this blog when more and more are descending into personal trivialities? Can EVERYONE please get back and confine remarks to the topic(s) up for discussion. h.o)

  • 46 Harry lawson // Nov 10, 2017 at 7:44 pm


    What we need is a unified national drug policy, as it stands now everything from enforcement to rehab is done on a localized basis . Enforcement is multi level yet not consistent. We really need a nationalized standard. Why should a addict in Regina not have the same standard of care as a addict on Hastings street.? Why is there not adequet mental health and addictions programs within all levels of corrections.?

    We need a national standard of care , a national standard of enforcement ., we need a modern day Elliot Ness with the tools to be effective.

    (Response: A national drug care/treatment policy would be ideal ..if properly funded. However not likely to happen, since provinces, as you know, are in charge of running healthcare … and jealously guard that right .. and how they spend those dollars. However, maybe they would accept a SEPARATE special national drug program … organized, run and paid for by Ottawa with SEPARATE funds … but I see no move or caring from them to head in that direction. h.o.)

  • 47 13.. // Nov 10, 2017 at 8:00 pm

    Sure , once we remove the stigma the addicts will not feel shame and will allow the government to set up safe injection sites, and drug testing machines on the enclaves along Point Grey Road.Every skytrain station should be set up with safe injection custodians. (The fact that they dont have any bathrooms might be a problem).

    Personally I am no stranger to addiction. I was an alcoholic . I quit drinking about 28 years ago. Ive lost 5 relatives to drug overdose deaths. The fact that they have legalized pot, and are now talking about supplying hard drugs to addicts makes me physically sick. Ive been to counselling to learn how to deal with other peoples addictions. Every time I read about drug dealers being put out of business by legalizing drugs I laugh. The government wants to tax pot at $1.00 per gram plus GST. This will add about $35 to a bag of weed. I wonder if the drug dealers will be able to compete.
    Riverview, detox, UGM, Salvation Army, AA, all wothwhile endevours. Gregor and Trudeau, and Singh and most of the left wing media are all a waste or time and effort. Theres a lot of money to be made by allowing drug and alcohol abuse to continue. Plenty of public sector jobs depend on the misery continuing. I doubt it will ever get any better. Likely it will descend into ghettos that make the DTES look like paradise.

  • 48 jay // Nov 11, 2017 at 2:24 am

    BCMQ #41

    I’m sorry but you don’t seem to realize the issues at hand.
    You will never stop the drug problem. There are so many known users and I’m quite sure a huge number or unknown users that to stop the problem would cost more than to treat the problem.
    In my experience no one goes out once a drug is decriminalized and tries it just for the sake of it. ANd even if they did, they would be getting a drug that is what it says it is. Someone looking for a point of heroin will get that and not a dose of fentanyl or whatever. You don’t go into dispensaries in countries that have legal sales and find laced drugs. Legalization usually also means regulation. You can’t just get your drugs from anywhere. You deal with licensed growers etc.
    Look I’m not advocating that user should get free drugs and anyone who wants to get high on a lark should get to do so. I am saying that there is plenty of evidence that getting addicts into clinics where they can get tested and reliable drugs will reduce deaths. It will also perhaps allow for increase in rehab since these people will be dealing with medical professionals who will try to steer them toward treatment.
    It’s a very hard road as anyone who has tried to stop smoking can tell you. These drugs alter brain chemistry and lead to serious withdrawls with just 1 dose.
    This OD crisis was not even talked about until the fentanyl was introduced and deaths became more common.
    We (the paramedics) saw many ODs and knew when new dealers were trying to get in because the ODs went up due to stronger batches on the street that people didn’t know to cut down better. But now with Fentanyl and carfentnil and all this other crap mixed in…its russian roulette and the people who have managed their addiction for years are no becoming our patients when before they never saw us.
    Addiction is hard, learn what is really going on before you judge.

  • 49 BMCQ // Nov 11, 2017 at 7:09 am

    Jay – 48

    My Sister died if a Drug O.D., i grew up Downtown, much of it between the Waldorf Hotel the Old Eatons and various Nightclubs and Bars from the Fraser /Arms, Stratford Hotel, the Kubla Khan, The Body Shop, Pharos, and many Dive Bars where I saw Someone inject Heroin for the first time when I was 14,

    Unfortunately still have 3 Childhood Friends that live On HASTINGS in the DES all Drug Addicted and barely alive, I assist them on a regular basis. My Wife’s /Sister is a Life Long mostly Heroin Addict but she has had them all.

    I have a friend that is a Paramedic and 5 Friends and Family Members that have been or Are currently Captains on the VFD and they have ALL worked at The foot of Main St. I also have Friends on the VPD one who was on the Gang Squad. I also have a Friend that is an ER Dr. To a person they disagree with you!

    My own Father Died as the result of an altercation during a Burglary that was carried out in an Apt. I owned in Yaletown at David and Pacific by an Addicted Repeat Prolific Offender.

    I DID NOT say people should not get Treatment, I said there should be Treatment available on Demand and if possible we need to enact something similar to the Baker Act in FLA where Apprension becomes part of that Treatment.

    At the same time Society needs to invest in serious Incarceration for those Selling Drugs. We must create Deterrent! Even YOU can see that what we are currently doing is not working!

    O.D. Are up over 35% this past Sept. Over Sept. 16, don’t you think we might need another approach?

    Frankly I am sick and tired of Elite Liberal SJW and people like YOU telling Others not to be Judgemental, I say why not, it is time we stopped attempting to Normalize Drug Addiction and time we took serious steps both with Law Enforcement and Drug Treatment.

    And one last thing here Jay before YOU Judge me or others like me you should first experience the loss of a Sister
    To an O.D., a loved Family Member Turning 5 or 6 $ 20 Dollar Tricks a Day, a Father That Died because of an altercation in a Burglary, many other Friends that Died because of Drugs or are still on the DES at 6o years old living like a Dog with NO Teeth, then you Judge Me!

    I want more than Legalized Drugs and Warehousing for My Family Members and Friends and others in The coming Generations, they deserve much more from us and if we do not immediately take serious action we will lose a generation of young people and it will be the fault of Elite Liberal Politicians and other SJW that think like you.

    We cannot Normalize Drug Abuse or Addiction or we will fail the sad individuals that become involved in that lifestyle for whatever reason.

    BTW, I did not come close to suggesting that Government controlled And Dispenced Drugs would be contaminated, please do not put words into my Mouth!

    One last quick point, Addicted Drug Users will STILL Seek out Street Drugs as Government regulated And Dispenced Drugs will not provide MOST USERS the result they desire.

    Yeah, sure Jay what do I know?

  • 50 13.. // Nov 11, 2017 at 7:54 am

    Interesting blog for sure. If you eliminate the 10 posts that deal with karma the remaining 38 posts seem to all (except for jay) see some value in secure boarders. Value in treatment. Value in punishment. Value in enforcement. All of these value systems currently exist and all that is needed is public pressure on the three levels of government to act accordingly.
    Seems almost all (except jay) see a lack of value in many of the social engineered poverty groups that “fight” the good fight.

    (Response: The main reason I do these blogs is to express my own views/ideas/pet peeves on topic I find compelling … and to get good discussions going on them, because I know many politicians, party strategists and even bureaucrats are among the thousands who keep an eye on what is being said here. It hurts ALL of us when some cheapen the discussion with juvenile personal remarks… so I always try/hope to get them back to the topic at hand. h.o.)

  • 51 BMCQ // Nov 11, 2017 at 8:45 am


    Contrary to what you claim Drug O.D. Deaths have plagued B.C. For many many years.

    The B.C. Coroner has documented that since 2007 and 2015 there has been between 200 and 500 O.D. Deaths each of those years and there WAS an ongoing discussion about those alarming number of those Deaths.

    I do not understand why you claim that O.D. Deaths were “Not even talked about until Fentanyl came along” that is a false claim!

    The Facts are that O.D. Deaths have been discussed for many years, why do you think the Philip Owen initiated Injection Site was launched all those many years ago!

    Please explain why you would make that obviously FALSE Claim.

  • 52 BMCQ // Nov 11, 2017 at 9:58 am

    I am not claiming to endorse, agree, or oppose what I have attached here.

    I simply believe that the attached present some thought provoking ideas and opinions that we can all find of interest.

    Diver – Great Posts!

    Harry – 46

    I hope some Politicians are listening to what you are saying!

    13 – 47

    Obviously you get it, but then again you do not appear to be “Bound by a Straight Jacket of ideology”!!

  • 53 Hawgwash // Nov 11, 2017 at 10:43 am

    Harvey, I echo your response at 45; “This is very frustrating for me.”

    This entire thread can be reduced to your initial piece plus Jay & Jay.

    Hardly worth the time to click the shortcut any more.

  • 54 jay // Nov 11, 2017 at 1:43 pm


    I have been a paramedic for 18 years.
    I worked in downtown vancouver and victoria.
    I can tell you first hand that up until the fentanyl came into the supply the number of ODs was far lower.
    Most of those ODs were due to dealers putting out stronger product to hook people on thier stuff.
    In the past we could use 1 dose of narcan to reverse most ODs, now it take up to 10 doses.
    Many of the deaths that the coroners dealt with in the past were due to people shooting up alone. Nowadays every shelter has narcan available, most police and fire carry it while the didn’t in the past, yet the death toll keeps rising.

    Enforcement and apprehension does not work. We have people who are chronic alcoholics and drug users who went through rehab 10 times. They were apprehended and forced into treatment but once they are sober and have met the guidelines they return to the same thing.
    So whats the option? lock them up and throw away the key? Does that not go against the basic tenant that criminals should be given the chance at rehabilitation and reintigration into society?
    Again, I am not advocating a drug free for all and I am all for dealers being jailed, but the drug war has been going on for decades and its only getting worse. New formulas of these drugs are coming out all the time, faster than they can be discovered and banned.
    Stopping them getting into the country is nearly impossible now since 1 pill could be cut up and mixed in with pounds of product and still kill. All it takes with much of this stuff is a grain of salt sized amount to OD someone. How do you stop 1 pill from getting in? They can’t even stop bags full of pills.
    Enforcement has its limits and there will always be those who will take the risk.

  • 55 13.. // Nov 11, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    @Hawg 53
    I also agree that much time is wasted. (Harveys time in particular) When I eliminated 10 posts I included my own rebuttal posts . But to called some of those appalling names and to not be allowed to respond is just not fair. I think that if someones ethics are challenged and the post stands then a rebuttal is only fair. Furthermore Hawg I disagree with your “initial piece plus Jay &Jay” BMCQ eaf Diver and other have added to the conversation.

  • 56 13.. // Nov 11, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    @eaf #38
    If the government ever gets to the point of free drugs the distribution should be spread to all communities? Yes under that horrific scenario your right. Imagine the clinics on the cities West side. NOT LIKELY! Maybe they would allow a mobile dope dispensary to cruise Point Grey Road on its way to UBC where it could dish out heroin cocaine etc to the student body.
    This isnt to far from the truth. When methadone first was used to help heroin addicts it was available in the Fraser Valley. Two of my dead relatives moved to the valley to be closer to the dispensary. They used methadone as a way to get off of heroin. It didnt work, they died of overdoses. All of the social engineering that has been tried has failed. The successful treatments require two things abstinence and help in the form of counselling and facilities to detox in. Okay 3 things. David Berner who used to blog much like Harvey ran successful clinics for detox of drugs and alcohol. Old school remedies for old school problems that worked.

  • 57 13.. // Nov 11, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    @BMCQ #52
    Anyone that doesnt read the link to tristan in the National Post is truly not understanding the plain simple facts. What a great article. Well worth the read. Thanks for the research

  • 58 Hawgwash // Nov 11, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    13@ 55;
    Perhaps your are right because while I still read foster, I don’t bother with most of the others Obvious I still read you, even though I just can’t quite read you.

    As soon as I am of the couch from this nasty, daycare disease, I’ll likely move on.

  • 59 BMCQ // Nov 11, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    Jay – 54

    You are deflecting and avoiding my point and question.

    A very high number of Drug Overdose Deaths have been a reality in Vancouver, B.C., and Canada for many many years and they CONTRARY to your claim have been a “Hot” Topic of discussion going back long before the Owen Initiated Injection Site opened under Larry Campbell. Please read the attachments!

    The Insite was originally proposed to fight against AIDS, Drug Overdoses, Deaths, and other related problems related to the use of Dangerous Street Drugs long before Fentanyl! You stated otherwise.

    I provided Govt Stats that pointed out Desths were in fact lower previous to Fentanyl but somewhere over say 200 up to 500 before Fentanyl was still an acceptable number and again, contrary to your claim it WAS discussed.

    If you really were a Paramedic back then you should be aware of those many deaths long before Fentanyl.

    Enforcement does in fact work! Believe it or not things would be far worse if it was not for Enforcement. Again, we need more from the Judiciary, you should be aware that it is more or less the same People Selling/Distributing Drugs most of who are in the “Revolving Door” Justice System. Let’s get them off the Streets with realistic Sentences for many years, I know not one Tax Payer opposed to Paying for the Incarceration of Drug Dealers for long terms.

    You made the point that the Drug Problem is in fact getting worse here every day, it is far worse in other Jurisdictions.

    Why would we not want Tougher more Realistic Sentences for Dealers, Apprehensiob and Rehab for Users, and a hope for Families with Drug Addicted People, or those that worry about Potential Victims in their Family.

    The problem is getting worse daily and people like you, Mayor Mumbles, Kwan, Swanson, and the rest involved in the Drug/Poverty Industry will still just be telling us Enforcement, Apprehension, and Rehab does not work when we eventually hit Five Thousand O.D. Deaths a year three or four years from now.

    “Stress Leave”, anyone?

  • 60 13.. // Nov 11, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    Another attachment that all should read. I wont even belabor the fact that this health care initiative started under the BC Liberal administration. Its odd that it ran in the Globe and Mail and not front page of the Sun and Province. I guess that this story doesnt fit the narrative that all of Vancouvers poverty pimps want us to see.
    To much money might be lost if people were actually treated properly instead of simply given clean needles.

  • 61 Gene The Bean // Nov 11, 2017 at 6:54 pm

    Harvey – good post topic but as usual, and as I mentioned above, it gets degraded into us v/s them.

    As individuals we all struggle with “what can I do” – that is valid.

    The only solution lies with the agencies, law enforcement, the court system and government.

    So does that mean we cant do anything – no, it does not.

    We need to be better human beings and not throw the disabled, the disadvantaged, those different from us and the addicted under the bus. Surprised at how many here have had first hand experience yet still demonize the user. Yikes.

    When someone within your circle says “I don’t care about the opioid crisis, sooner they all die the better” you need to stand up. You need to say, at the very least “that is a horrible thing to say” and then walk away in disgust. I would say much more, but that is me. It is like calling out racists, until it becomes commonplace, nothing will change.

    So folks, that is what YOU can do. And the more we do it, the closer we will be to some kind of workable solution.

    (Response: I think most people do care … but are so caught up in their own daily lives, kids, work, bills etc. that they have neither the time nor inclination to get involved in trying to help on dealing with such a HUGE, tiring, exhausting problem as addiction… drug or alcohol. But Id bet most would support a major increase in resources/spending/laws and sentences for major dealers/importers to get a grip on it. h.o.)

  • 62 Harry lawson // Nov 11, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    as our political leaders play politics, service providers search for profitable buzz words , millions are spent, with nothing to show for it . We have modern social housing many were supposed to come with supports. Yet people are still dying many in these supported housing units. Addiction is spreading like a cancer . I ask why.?

    Currently mental Health care and addiction treatment being a provincial matter administered thru health boards . This I believe is not the most effective form of administration . Treatment varies from board to board. This needs to change we are truly losing a generation to addictions while politicians and service provider empire build.

    The approach taken since the 70’s has failed maybe it really is time to get back to the basics and look at what worked, Enabling is disabling.

    (Response: I’m a fan of local health boards in some circumstances: they can often more easily identify local issues/problems and sometimes deliver solutions more efficiently. But the opioid crisis is now far too large to be handled that way: needs not only local community or municipal input but a lot more provincial and even federal actions to stem it … and even curb it substantially. ho)

  • 63 Eldon // Nov 11, 2017 at 11:20 pm

    Harvey, you have the patience of Job. Whether editing off-topic diatribes, or refereeing your regular contributors, or debating thoughtful responses, I appreciate this blog and the thoughts I take away. Even the rare time I disagree I’m glad you opened a new perspective for me. Know that you are making a difference and this matters.

    (Response: Thanks. It IS very depressing … esp after relaxing, travelling…to get back blogging and then have supposedly adult contributors descend into personal criticisms even insults when we try to broach a serious topic really hurting so many individuals and families in our society. h.o.)

  • 64 Crankypants // Nov 12, 2017 at 12:34 am

    It’s hard to think that our governing bodies are really serious about putting a dent on the current drug problem when neither our federal nor provincial governments have not made it illegal for anyone to purchase pill pressers. Only Alberta and Ontario have taken this measure. I guess a measure such as this lacks the photo-op our politicians seem to crave whenever they come out of their bunkers.

  • 65 r // Nov 12, 2017 at 8:49 am

    More dogs at the post office might help.military?

  • 66 jay // Nov 12, 2017 at 10:07 am


    “A very high number of Drug Overdose Deaths have been a reality in Vancouver, B.C., and Canada for many many years and they CONTRARY to your claim have been a “Hot” Topic of discussion going back long before the Owen Initiated Injection Site opened under Larry Campbell. Please read the attachments! “

    I am aware of this, i worked there. I am speaking more outside the lower mainland. Ods were very rare in other communities and now they are not. And I think if you go back, you will find that the amount of news coverage regarding this issue has increased since the fentanyl problem.

    “The Insite was originally proposed to fight against AIDS, Drug Overdoses, Deaths, and other related problems related to the use of Dangerous Street Drugs long before Fentanyl! You stated otherwise.”

    No I didn’t

    “I provided Govt Stats that pointed out Desths were in fact lower previous to Fentanyl but somewhere over say 200 up to 500 before Fentanyl was still an acceptable number and again, contrary to your claim it WAS discussed. “

    Again the level of discussion you are refering to is local and I was speaking of a broader perspective.

    “If you really were a Paramedic back then you should be aware of those many deaths long before Fentanyl.”

    I was and am. I dealt with plenty of Ods in my time and again I can say first hand that the volume of Ods has increased many fold since the fentanyl came in.

    “Enforcement does in fact work! Believe it or not things would be far worse if it was not for Enforcement. Again, we need more from the Judiciary, you should be aware that it is more or less the same People Selling/Distributing Drugs most of who are in the “Revolving Door” Justice System. Let’s get them off the Streets with realistic Sentences for many years, I know not one Tax Payer opposed to Paying for the Incarceration of Drug Dealers for long terms.
    You made the point that the Drug Problem is in fact getting worse here every day, it is far worse in other Jurisdictions.
    Why would we not want Tougher more Realistic Sentences for Dealers, Apprehensiob and Rehab for Users, and a hope for Families with Drug Addicted People, or those that worry about Potential Victims in their Family.”

    Again I agree that dealers need harsh sentences, but as has been seen for decades, there will always be someone wating in the wings to continue the business. As for apprehension and rehab, this is being done all the time but as the National post article you linked says, rehab will get people sober but it then puts them right back into the same situation they were before. Back on the street or in the same community where their friends and sometime family are users. Then problem then is willpower vs the draw of the drugs. I have seen many success stories but it usually meant relocation. Simply locking users up isn’t a realistic solution at this time. There simply aren’t enough rehab bed or prision cells for such a step.

    I realize that this is a hot button topic for you, but we need solutions and sometimes solutions aren’t popular or cheap.

    Heres just a few ideas

  • 67 Hawgwash // Nov 12, 2017 at 10:47 am

    Indeed you have tackled a heavy topic and interestingly the angst over some of the comments stems from the same problem as the topic.


    There are still some good participants but, if you notice, there is a serious decline in the truly thought provoking, studied comments. I can immediately think of 3 highly intelligent individuals who elevated the discussion by their presence. I’ve seen nothing of them in months and that is a pity.

    Other bloggers don’t seem to have such a problem or, more likely, we just don’t see it.
    Norm Farrell makes “respectful” a criteria for comments being published and I know he has discarded a few.

    I also know there are a few here who, being rejected in other venues, come into your house as a last post in an unrestrained environment; to your angst and disadvantage.

    Only you can change that if the desire is there.
    Just like the drug issue.

    Tough love Harvey, tough love.

    (Response: I try to be very tolerant, but I too toss some that are just too personal, ignorant, insulting … amazingly below even my own generous standard. h.o.)

  • 68 BMCQ // Nov 12, 2017 at 11:38 am

    Cranky – 64

    Agree 100%.

    Once again, it appears to me that Contributors to this Blog and the Topics Posted and Analyzed by H.O. offer up more ideas than the “Kick the Can Down the Road for Another 10 Years” Politicians and Special Interest Groups have provided over the past 40 years or so.

    The B.C. NDP Opposition called for a Ban on Pill Pressed a year or two ago but in fact it is the Federal Government that should enact worthwhile meaningful Legislation Banning Pill Presses right across the country. those caught selling or in possession should face very serious Mandatory Sentences with no opportunity for Judicial Interference with Sentencing Conditions.

    It makes no real sense for B.C. now or before to Ban Pill Presses as they would just be moved from other Provinces to another.

    Having said that if Possession of a Pill Press was deemed a Crime Punishable of say 5 years in Prison with no Parole I am sure it would get the attention of some.

    Do our Elected Politicians have the Political Will?

    Yesterday I was remiss in not taking the opportunity to Salute those that Fought and Died for Canada and the Free World.

    My Respects and Thanks goes out to them all past and present for our Freedom and Quality of Life!

    My own Father lost a Brother during the Invasion of Sicily, he was 22 years old!

  • 69 DBW // Nov 12, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    I wrote something earlier today but it looks like it has gone missing. If a similar post to this shows up discard one of them.

    I have been silent on this topic because I just don’t know the answer. I may have an opinion but it means squat because I have nothing definitive with which to back it up.

    We all agree that there is a problem and something must be done. Unlike some political topics, there is no turf to defend or seats to be won. We are on the same side, yet there are still disagreements. So let’s look for common ground.

    Of the thousands of words written so far, I am going to use a paragraph from BMCQ

    Why would we not want Tougher more Realistic Sentences for Dealers, Apprehensiob and Rehab for Users, and a hope for Families with Drug Addicted People, or those that worry about Potential Victims in their Family.”

    I am not exactly sure what he means by apprehension of users but I won’t quibble. Seems like a good goal.

    And most would agree with you Harvey when you say

    “on dealing with such a HUGE, tiring, exhausting problem as addiction… drug or alcohol … Id bet most would support a major increase in resources/spending/laws and sentences for major dealers/importers to get a grip on it. h.o.)”

    and here

    “But the opioid crisis … needs not only local community or municipal input but a lot more provincial and even federal actions to stem it … and even curb it substantially. ho)”

    But the devil is in the details. As Jay has pointed out (and I really appreciate his frontline experience on this topic), it’s not all that simple.

    What is the best use of the resources we have? What is the best use of whatever extra monies we intend to use on this problem?

    Is there common ground there?

    Response; hard to get everyone to agree on such a complex problem But judging by the increases in deaths, we need something much more bold and targeted. h.o.)

  • 70 BMCQ // Nov 14, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    DBW – 69

    Of course without a Healthy Vibrant Job Creating and Tax Generating Economy we have nothing, we require all of those to provide Funds for Health, Educations, Infrastructure, Cultural Benefits and the rest, that goes without saying.

    However our Most Important Asset in any Society is our People, especially Younger People who are our reason for Living and Building for a Future.

    With what is now taking place with abuse of LEGAL and Illegal Drugs and what seems to be our inability to Arrest the Carnage the Deal with the Devastation we are now experiencing it appears to me that we will routinely see several thousand Deaths each year in B.C. Alone.

    Then on top of that let’s generate a guess at just how many other Thousands of Addicted and Damaged beyond any chance for Rehabilitation Poor Souls will live lives of misery because WeE did not do enough to address the Carnage and Destruction of life.

    We need to demand more from Pharma, Physicians, The Judiciry and Justice System, Educators, Parents, and any one else that can assist to Control Prescriptions of Opioids, Teach Responsibility, Accountability, and warn people of all ages about the danger of Drugs.

    We need to invest in Treatment on Demand and we need to send a message to ALL Drug Sellers/Importers at any level that they will receive Mandatory Sentences for their Crimes.

    We cannot continue to Enable Drug Addicted People and we must create Deterrents for Repeat Prolific Offenders that Sell and Carry out other Friminal Activities.

    Jay may be a Paramedic but he is wrong and there are a lot more First Responders that agree with me than him. I have been surrounded with them for my whole life and Jay is wrong and he has learned nothing from his so called Front Line Experience.

    Jay I am afraid is “Bound by a Straight Jacket of Ideology” and he is following the lead of Poverty Pimps like Mayor Gregor and the rest of his Ilk.

    When was the last time an Alcohol Addicted Individual you might know was provided an Alcohol Beverage to control his Addiction Problem?

    PLEASE let me know immediately when you meet one, I would love to meet them.

    Perhaps Your Friend Jay may feel a little different by the time we experience over 2,000 Drug Related Deaths sometime in 2018!

    Everything Society has tried to arrest Drug Addiction for the past 30 years has failed and we are now in the beginning of a Drug Induced Death Spiral that will and is changing our Society forever and if we do not make meaningful changes soon we will lose thousands more right across this Country.

  • 71 DBW // Nov 14, 2017 at 10:21 pm

    Well that didn’t work.

    I was looking for common ground.

    Common ground does not involve attacking people you disagree with. It involves looking for areas in which we can agree and work together.

    Looking for common ground on the use of our limited resources involves more than just demanding more from all those groups you listed.

    You did suggest treatment on demand which sound like a good idea. I am guessing most would agree with us. But maybe not. Maybe this is the only idea that can be implemented. With limited resources maybe we can’t do this AND increase policing. Maybe we can only do one. What is the priority?

    These ideas need to be discussed without throwing around insults (poverty pimps, straight jackets of ideology) and unequivocally saying somebody is wrong.

    There are plenty of places where we can agree. If we want.

  • 72 jay // Nov 14, 2017 at 11:42 pm


    I realize you think that you are all knowing on this topic, but you aren’t.
    As paramedics we deal with mental health, physicians, addiction specialists and numerous others on a regular basis. For you to imply that I have no idea what I am talking about or are somehow ignoring it is ridiculous.
    Of course there are going to be first responders who disagree with me and there will be those that agree.
    You make it sound like I am happy that people are dying. That is the most obnoxious and egregious statement I have ever heard in my life.
    Tell me, do you volunteer at the shelters to help drug users? Do you counsel them? Outside of your family, how many drug users have you saved in your life? DO you judge them all as terrible people who should be locked up?
    You seem to think that there is some magical solution which just isn’t the case. We need to find solutions that balance treatment and enforcement.
    Dealers should be treated harshly.
    Users need treatment and if that means clinically handing them the drugs in amount that will give them quality of life but not cause them OD, as has been done in many countries, then we need to start somewhere. The fact that you are against that and want to go straight to locking these people up is telling. It means you have no concept of treatment of addiction. Locking people up will never work since we don’t have the infrastructure for it. Even if we did, as has been shown, once you get people sober you HAVE TO keep them away from the temptations. That means relocation, getting them off the streets and giving them structure. This simply isn’t being done right now.
    There has to be a stop gap solution and quite frankly I would rather give the people the drugs at a level that keeps them from withdrawls and gives them quality of life and stops them from engaging in dangerous and illegal criminal behaviour then lock them up like animals just because they made a mistake or in some cases did what a doctor told them to do and ended up addicted.

  • 73 BMCQ // Nov 15, 2017 at 7:23 am

    DBW – 71

    Staging that someone does not know what they are talking about is not an insult. It is an opinion I have formed on what someone has put forward.

    Poverty Pimps and Straight Jacket? In fact those are Labels I believe are appropriate in certain circumstances. You may notice that many are beginning to use the term Poverty Pimp when describing Mayor Gregor and his Ilk. Probably because it is true.

    I do not see you coming to my defense when I am called Morally Bankrupt, Egotistical, Greedy or any of the rest that I have been called since I first began to participate on this Blog sometime in August 2014.

    What about the names used to describe Christy Clark, Stephen Harper and the rest used on this Blog? Where were you then? I happened to call Christy Clark a Selfish Egotistical Autocratic Bully myself when she ran a horrible 2017 Provincial Election Campaign and you did not come to her assistance then.

    We in B.C. are going to watch over what 1,500 Drug Addicted People and others that choose to take a chance and play Russian Roulette while wanting to experience some sort of Grotesque High and you are worried about me stating that someone does not know what they are talking about?

    People are Dropping Dead by the Dozens and as a Society we do not have the courage to do the right thing and that disgusts me.

    I hope Harvey let;s this stand as I am replying to a charge made by you.

    Jay – 72

    I have and continue to assist those with Drug problems a lot longer than 18 years.

    Interestingly enough I DO NOT get paid to do that, as a matter of fact I can more than likely document where I have given close to $ Four Hundred Thousand Dollars to assist those that need a hand up.

    I have sat with people for days helping them get through a bad period.

    My Wife and I have had People with Drug Problems live in our home where I spent a lot of time and effort to get them through Addictions.

    At one point I more or less imprisoned someone with an Addiction problem in my Basement taking him through Cold Turkey Treatment, getting him a Taxi Drivers License and supporting him for the over five months that took. He recovered nicely and today he is back at his once successful Real Estate Career earning a good income and being a Productive Citizen.

    You bring up Mental Health.

    I am going to challenge you to tell me I am wrong when I point out that MOST of the Mentally Ill People on the DES are there because it is the use of Drugs that actually creates the Psychosis and that is why they are there.

    MOST in the Poverty and Addiction Industry(is that better DBW) like to actually Lie to the general Public and paint the picture that the Mentally Ill arrive on the DES and then they begin to use Drugs. NOT True.

    Tell me I am incorrect about that.

    Each and every Person involved in the Poverty and Drug Addiction Industry attempt to tell “The Great Unwashed” (the general public) that it is the Mentally Ill that find themselves on the DES and they succumb to Drug Use.

    Ask yourself, why might that be?

    I am not “All Knowing” about Drugs and Drug Addiction but I know what Drug Addiction Carnage I have been witnessing since I was 14 years old and it is not getting better!

    As a Paramedic You should know at least as much about that as I do.

    Anywhere that Drugs have been Decriminalized has in fact seen an increase in Drug use, is that what you want?

    Please SHOW me where Drug Dependency has actually been reduced in ANY Jurisdiction where Drugs have been decriminalized.

    You and I simply want different things for the Drug Addicted and I hope you are comfortable with that.

    I would like to point out one last thing on this subject.

    I am ALWAYS in the Minority on most any Subject on this Blog. I usually am called names, told I am Morally Bankrupt, Greedy, a Neo Con, or any of the rest.

    I find it rather telling that other than DBW no other regular on this Blog has come out to criticize my commentary here.

    You should think about that.

  • 74 jay // Nov 15, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    Sorry but there are plenty of people who don’t agree with locking up users.
    There are plenty that agree that addiction is a medical issue and needs to be treated as such.
    Abusers need to be brought in for treatment in a controlled and safe environment where they can get the treatment they need under supervision but not be treated like a prisoner.
    Saying that you locked someone in your basement is tantamount to kidnapping and torture since I am sure they withdrawals this person went through were likely not treated with symptom relief medication.
    I’m glad you have taken the time to help out with addicted people. I must ask though why you are so hostile to any ideas other then cold turkey withdrawal.
    I personally speak from an evidence based medical perspective, not an emotional one.
    And again, I am not happy people are dying. I abhor it. I have no desire to pronounce another person dead. To imply that is just plain ignorant.
    As a medical professional I do everything i can to get people the treatment they need. I advocate very hard for my patients. Documentation is very important since it helps develop a picture and a paper trail so that those that do need to be put into an involuntary treatment can get that done.
    In the end though there is no “all or nothing” solution to this problem.

  • 75 DBW // Nov 15, 2017 at 5:20 pm

    Hey BMCQ

    Couple of points if Harvey doesn’t mind.

    “I do not see you coming to my defense when I am called Morally Bankrupt, Egotistical, Greedy or any of the rest that I have been called”

    I can think of at least two occasions. When the criticism of Liberal supporters was first raised, I said that the Liberal supporters I knew did not fit that general description . Another time, I specifically said that Gene was not doing his cause any good by making these comments.

    “I find it rather telling that other than DBW no other regular on this Blog has come out to criticize my commentary here.”

    Exactly when did I criticize your commentary? I used one of your paragraphs as a good summary of the goals. I supported your suggestion of treatment on demand.

    My only criticism was that you took my request for areas of common ground on solutions as an opportunity to once again attack people you disagree with.

    There are way more areas of agreement than disagreement on this topic. Saying this

    “Jay I am afraid is “Bound by a Straight Jacket of Ideology” and he is following the lead of Poverty Pimps like Mayor Gregor and the rest of his Ilk.”

    is not the best way to get to a point of agreement.

    I really have no idea what solution is best. That’s why I asked if there was common ground on how best to use the resources we have. I just find it sad that on one of the few topics where we all have a common goal, it still descends into a snipe war.

  • 76 BMCQ // Nov 15, 2017 at 9:46 pm

    Jay – 74

    Whenever you read where “Officials say/claim that decriminalization COULD” decrease etc.” you can very safely assume that is more than likely not going to be the case.

    Much like the CNN The NY Times, or the WaPo telling us that “Sources Say”, “It has been reported”, the only thing that really counts are Facts and the Truth.

    Special Interests of all types and far too many in the Media have Agendas and Care very little about the truth.

    The truth is and I am confident you are aware of that truth MOST Addicted Individuals that are actually fortunate enough to Recover require several tries at any kind of Rehabilation and unfortunately far too many lose that battle and their lives during a relapse.

    I will leave you and those that agree with you to continue the Body Count, please let me know how much things improve over the next five years by doing things your way.

    I can hardly wait for the Good News.

    Oh and BTW, do not forget that we in B.C., Vancouver, or the rest of YVR are not even close to the Catastrophic Level of Carnage and Deaths that Numbers show in many other Jurisdictions.

    DBW – 75

    I was mistaken you did make the point about Liberal Supporters etc., you are much more tolerant, and respectful of other Contributors viewpoints than most here including myself.

    My point to Jay was simply meant to show that in my opinion a good number of Contributors on this Blog would like to see a more aggressive approach to Treatment and Criminal Prosecution with the current and worsening Addiction And Drug O.D. Crisis.

    I am very afraid that we are only in the beginning stages of the crisis that we will experience over the next several years.

    None of us are Immune, unless we make serious changes very quickly we will all be touched by this Tsunami in one way or another.

  • 77 DBW // Nov 16, 2017 at 8:22 am


    “My point to Jay was simply meant to show that in my opinion a good number of Contributors on this Blog would like to see a more aggressive approach to Treatment and Criminal Prosecution with the current and worsening Addiction And Drug O.D. Crisis.”

    First of all, I am not arguing with you. And based solely on the paragraph above I don’t think anybody including Jay is arguing with you.

    The problem is what will that aggressive treatment or criminal prosecution look like. That’s the common ground I am seeking.

    Sadly, I don’t have an answer. But I am willing to listen to people like you who have personal (family) experiences AND certainly Jay who has frontline experience.

    My common ground suggestion was meant to find some solutions that people could agree should be implemented.

  • 78 BMCQ // Nov 16, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    DBW – 77

    I do not want to look like I am over reacting to this but let’s face it without Deterrent we really would have a Society that is in constant chaos.

    Why do you think we are Fined for Income Tax Evasion, Distracted Driving, or any of the other thousands of examples I could lost.

    Contrary to what Most Liberal/NDP Politicians would like you to believe longer Sentences in the U.S. actually have resulted in less frequent Violent Crime. It was not all that long ago I challenged Wally Opal on that very point when he was on CKNW and he begrudgingly admitted I was correct.

    As an example I am very confident in stating that if The U.S. Government offered Migrants Amnesty and a Path To Citizenship over say a 10 year period providing they did not end up with a Criminal Felony Crime within that Group would drop Dramatically.

    I do not need to tell you what is at stake here, if we continue to enable and assist those of us in society that are either unable to say no to Drug abuse or deal lightly with those actually become involved in Dealing or Distributing Drugs of any kind we will continue to lose mostly young citizens under 40 years old. Many of that same age group that do not Perish one way or another will be damaged either physically or psychologically or both and they will never be productive members of society.

    How much proof do we require?

    I have many friends and family that follow this Blog and not one of them has pushed back at me on this.

    Don’t ask Police Chiefs like Jim Chu or the new guy that are under the thumb of those in the Poverty Industry like Mayor Gregor or others, talk to retired Police Chiefs that have nothing to fear from those in the Poverty, Homelessness, or Drug Enabling Industries.

    I have two life long friends that have within the past 3 or 4 put their Under 25 year old Sons through very expensive ReHab. One twice and one just completed his third attempt. Those Wonderful Caring Parents are beside themselves and on several occasions they have been in tears when we talk of the situation. For some reason young Women do not seem to struggle with Drug Addiction as much as young men.

    From what I have seen it is not uncommon to see young men involved in the restaurant or evening entertainment become involved with certain Drug use after work later st night and it goes from there.

    If we do not get tough with Treatment and Sentencing for Dealers very soon we are doomed to fail.

    How many times do I need to state that the approach we are now taking is not working?

    I notice that Jay has not come back and disputed my claim that the vast majority of those Drug Addicted With Mental Illness on the DES are experiencing the Psychosis because of Drug Abuse, not because they were Mentally Ill and released from River View. That is a false claim from almost all that are employed in the Poverty, Homelessness, and Drug Industry.

    If we do not do something of consequence very quickly we will soon find ourselves asking Educators to Administer Narcan in School Hallways.

    As a Society we have a choice and I feel very strongly that if we do not change our strategy against Drug Abuse and Criminal Distribution of Drugs we will lose several thousand young people each and every year going forward.

  • 79 jay // Nov 16, 2017 at 8:57 pm


    I agree alot of those in the drug abuse/homeless world are that way due to the drugs, but there are those that are that way from mental illness.
    The unfortunate reality is that without a place to go that does not have the temptations and lack of dignity that the streets have, many who go through many rounds of rehab just relapse.
    I have dealth with many people over and over and when they are sober they are amazingly insightful and intelligent people. Unfortunately due to their circumstances, all they know is the street and they eventually fall back into old habits. They don’t want too, but it’s like locking a diabetic in a candy store. Eventually they will break.
    I will say that the lack of psych services also plays a big part. When I have to bring the same person into a hospital 5 time in a 24 hours period for the same thing, it beggars belief that this person isn’t pink slipped for at least 72 hours. But there just aren’t enough beds anymore. We routinely used to transfer people hundreds of kilometers to find a psych bed.
    Now, once an OD comes in that responded to narcan, they get a few hours of sitting in a hallway with a nurse keeping an eye out and they are released. Do I like that? Absolutely not because we will see them again. But again, we don’t have the infrastructure to hold them.
    In a perfect world we would take them into rehab, get them sober and relocate them somewhere with support and a job so that they can live with dignity again and not fall back into the same trap. Unfortunately that isn’t available.
    I still beleive that if you can’t immediately fix it, mitigate it but treatment programs that allow for titrated doses of the drug under direct supervision. Enough to let them function in normal society and give them quality of life. ANd most importantly make sure they are not getting the lethal laced drugs. Yes i know this isn’t the solution you and others may like but complete abolition hasn’t worked and it is that which is causing all these deaths. People who use are forced to get their drugs on the street and that is a game of russian roulette.
    Risk vs benefit
    PS: I am not here to try and rub you the wrong way BCMQ. I am simply looking at things from a different perspective. You may choose to disagree with me and that is fine, but attacking my character and experience is beneath you. I would invite you to come along on a shift or 2 to see what we deal with and why I believe what i believe but our rules don’t allow it. In the end, we both want this solved so lets work in that direction.

  • 80 BMCQ // Nov 17, 2017 at 7:27 am

    Jay – 79

    You may have missed the bit where I told you I spent a lot of my life on the DES.

    I had one Uncle pass away in the Hazlewood Hotel, another in the American Hotel.

    I spent much of my youth there, I still have friends that live down there and you more than likely know three of them. Oh I forgot one of them Passed Away April 5, 2017.

    I am encouraged that you are aware and admit that Many (most in fact) of the Mentally Ill on the DES have become Psychotic BECAUSE of the intake of various Drugs/Stimulants.

    You seemed to be avoiding that very important fact, or perhaps ignoring it.

    MOST, almost ALL in the Poverty Industry blame the Mental Illness Problem Exclusively on their claim that ALL People with Mental Illness arrive at the corner of Main and Hastings with Psychotic problems. Why would they do that?

    It is because that narrative fits very nicely into their Poverty Industry Strategies and I find that dishonest and disgusting.

    You may not quite realize this but if you would take a few minutes to go back to where our original discussion began you have EVOLVED in your opinion on this more than just a little bit.

    Thank you for the Ride Along Offer but as earlier mentioned I have Family and Friends on the VPD including the Gang Squad and boy do they differ in their opinions of Drugs, Crime, Punishment, Treatment and how the Poverty Pimps Lie and Manipulate Politicians and others that advocate for the less fortunate in society.

    I also have Family and Friends who currently and in the past were/are Captains on the VFD.

    I am well aware of what takes place on the DES and everywhere else we see the results of Drug Carnage.

    I will end off on this thread with one last comment.

    Perhaps we could revisit this this time at the end of the year 2019 which gives us about 2 years to see just how what you endorse and we are currently doing with Drug Treatment and other related problems in our fair City. ”

    Are you a Betting Man”?

    Thanks for the conversation, no offence meant and none taken!

    Sometimes when discussions become a little heated and we are not quite so polite a little passion actually adds to that discussion.

    DBW –

    I can guarantee you that there will be NO changes with Drugs, Treatment, and Punishment along the lines of what I have recommend so let’s see how things look at the end of 2019.

    I can hardly wait to hear your opinions on this very very Stomach Churning problem.

    By then this Devastating and Disastrous Drug O.D. Carnage, Death, and Criminal Activity surrounding it will have more than likely affected everyone you know including yourself one way or another.

    I am just one voice in the Wilderness.

    Some Great Exchanges and Passion expressed on this Thread.

    Thanks for this opportunity Harvey, you provide an important Public Service!