Canada: Calgary Police Question Legality of Provincial Program for Crack Addicts
August 10, 2011
Some council members and police are raising issues about the legality of a harm-reduction program that distributes crack cocaine kits in downtown Calgary. Alberta Health Services funds the three-year-old outreach, which is run out of the Safeworks mobile van. Its purpose is to reduce pipe-sharing and the risk of transmitting diseases such as hepatitis C and HIV. "If we don't pay any attention to these individuals, they continue on with their high-risk behavior," said AHS' Judy Macdonald. "To me it just seems illogical," countered council member Andre Chabot. "That somehow, a provincial agency would be promoting, in essence, illegal activity." "We understand why it's being done and the merits of doing it," said Calgary police spokesperson Kevin Brookwell. "But from a law enforcement perspective, we don't support or endorse ... anything that encourages drug use." Calgary police said they have sought the advice of federal officials as to whether the program violates a criminal statute by distributing drug paraphernalia.
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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