Canada - NFB Film Makes a Strong Case for Decriminalizing Drugs

Discussion in 'Drug Policy Reform & Narco Politics' started by Nargyle, Apr 28, 2007.

  1. Nargyle

    Nargyle Palladium Member

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    NFB FILM MAKES A STRONG CASE FOR DECRIMINALIZING DRUGS

    Regulation, Treatment More Effective, Police Lobby Group Argues

    DAMAGE DONE: THE DRUG WAR ODYSSEY


    VANCOUVER - It's a familiar scene on TV newscasts: wads of cash, rows of guns and bags full of drugs displayed neatly on a table by police officers seemingly posing by their latest set of trophies.

    One more drug bust, another haul and big-time traffickers facing the prospect of hefty jail time.

    But some former law enforcement officials in Canada and the U.S. who've spent years fighting the ongoing war on drugs say it's a losing battle.

    Their views about how prohibition has failed to make a dent in the drug supply while millions of dollars continue to be wasted on criminalizing recreational drug users are told in the National Film Board documentary Damage Done: The Drug War Odyssey.

    Most of the police officers featured in the film are part of a growing U.S.-based organization called LEAP -- Law Enforcement Against Prohibition -- which also includes corrections officers, retired and sitting judges and prosecutors.

    Mike Smithson, a spokesman for LEAP, said from Medford, Mass., that about 330 of the organization's 7,000 international members are Canadians.

    They include Senator Larry Campbell, a former RCMP drug squad officer and Vancouver mayor who ran on a platform of reducing harm from drug use. Campbell, whose views are featured in the film, said in an interview that drug laws need to be reformed so addiction is treated as a health issue that's exacerbated by other problems including poverty, homelessness and mental illness.

    He said his law-and-order stance about criminalizing junkies as a Mountie changed radically when he became Vancouver's chief coroner in 1996 and saw the devastating effects of drug overdoses in the city's seedy Downtown Eastside.

    "When I really took a hard look at it, I realized that what we were doing was not saving lives. In fact, we were seeing the deaths increase," he said.

    Campbell is a proponent of Vancouver's safe-injection site, which provides a harm-reduction approach to treating people who may otherwise overdose or pass on blood-borne diseases such as HIV from shared needles. At Insite, the only such facility in North America, addicts shoot up heroin in the presence of a nurse and are offered referrals for treatment.

    Campbell noted that various studies published in top international journals have hailed the positive effects of Insite, including reduced property crime by people desperate for a fix. The facility is operating as a pilot project until the end of the year, when the Conservative government is expected to decide its fate.

    "I will say this, I will not let it be shut down," Campbell said, adding the site saves taxpayers $250,000 a year for every addict who doesn't contract HIV. Like other members of LEAP, Campbell favours legalization of drugs so they can be controlled and regulated.
     
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  2. Euphoric

    Euphoric Platinum Member

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    Re: Canada: NFB Film Makes a Strong Case for Decriminalizing Drugs

    Hmmm, sounds interesting. Has anyone here seen this? If so, thoughts/reviews? And does anyone here know where/how one could see it?
     
  3. Nargyle

    Nargyle Palladium Member

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    Re: Canada: NFB Film Makes a Strong Case for Decriminalizing Drugs

    http://www.onf.ca/webextension/damage-done/home.php

    This is the adress to the documentary's official web page, there is a sales section in it, so it might be possible to buy a copy on dvd.
     
  4. Euphoric

    Euphoric Platinum Member

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    Re: Canada: NFB Film Makes a Strong Case for Decriminalizing Drugs

    Tried and no luck unfortunately. Perhaps at a later date. Hopefully. Thanks for the link though.
     
  5. QGdoxl

    QGdoxl Gold Member

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    Re: Canada: NFB Film Makes a Strong Case for Decriminalizing Drugs

    I watched this and thought it was awesome! But I would like to correct you one note. The documentary is not for the decriminalizing of drugs, it is for a total ban on the prohibition of all drugs. This is how I see the difference, I live in Canada where we had the decriminalization thing tried. It was that only larger offences were now illegal say fir instance trafficking or large quantity possession. So there still exists the illegal drug trade. With the prohibition ban proposal in the documentary, the government would control the sales (and tax very heavily) the drugs. What this does is controls the quality intern lowering risk of accidental overdose, and the knowledge that what you are taking is what you bought, not what the kid on the corner said it was. So this also means no more surprises, I know of a guy doing large amounts of coke one day and he ended up in a diabetic coma because the coke was cut with dextrose. Sorry back on topic, I watched the documentary on Global tv here in Canada and it is available on line here

    http://www.canada.com/globaltv/globa...one/index.html

    It’s not quite HD TV or anything but it is a very worthwhile watch I **highly recommend** it.

    Peace
    Q
     
  6. QGdoxl

    QGdoxl Gold Member

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    Re: Canada: NFB Film Makes a Strong Case for Decriminalizing Drugs

    Bump
    Anyone seen this yet? awe man would love to start a conversation on this one..
     
  7. goldec.

    goldec. Newbie

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    Re: Canada: NFB Film Makes a Strong Case for Decriminalizing Drugs

    The thing is.. the link you gave was only a short preview :(
    I'd really like to see it!
     
  8. QGdoxl

    QGdoxl Gold Member

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    Re: Canada: NFB Film Makes a Strong Case for Decriminalizing Drugs

    Sorry when I posted it the link did play the whole episode. now it seems that they are only playing the intro..
    I don't know why that is, you can choose other episodes to watch from a list but no longer this one.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2007
  9. grandbaby

    grandbaby Titanium Member

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  10. QGdoxl

    QGdoxl Gold Member

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    Re: Canada: NFB Film Makes a Strong Case for Decriminalizing Drugs

    oh cool I thought it was gone I tried to go back once and it was gone or so I thought!

    Really glad it is/was there availible to people I just wish more could have seen it! Totally worth my time! I was lucky enuf to be able to catch it on tv and the video was much better than the streaming version.