Newsbrief: Canada to Look at Subsidized Housing for Junkies 10/24/03

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Canada Press reported Sunday that Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the federal government's housing agency, is looking into alternative residential programs for drug users who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Such housing would be based on harm reduction principles and could include safe injection sites, according to a CMHC spokesman.

The proposal is in stark contrast to the United States, where convicted drug users are barred from public housing and other benefits under federal law. "We want to look at that population and how people are already helping them, or the kinds of cutting-edge ideas on how we can best create long-term housing for this group," said Jim Zamprelli, a senior policy researcher at CMHC. "Harm reduction, at least theoretically, would create an environment which doesn't bar [substance users] and recognizes that at this point maybe complete abstinence is not the answer," he added. Housing for drug users based on harm reduction principles could well include the controversial but effective safe injection sites. "One could suggest building a living environment around a safe injection facility," said Zamprelli.

The proposal got a predictably cool reaction from Member of Parliament Randy White, the conservative Canadian Alliance's shadow minister for drug issues. "This idea of harm reduction is not reducing harm. It's keeping people on drugs," he said.

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Issue #308, 10/24/03 Bolivians Deal Blow to US Andean Drug Policy | University of Virginia Drug Bust Draws Complaints, Disbelief | Seattle's Sensible Marijuana Initiative Idea Catches On -- Eugene Next? | DRCNet Interview: Robert Rapplean of Parents and Educators for the Reform of Drug Laws | Press Release: Pain Coalition Seeks Relief Through Chronic Pain Treatment Act | Newsbrief: Hawaii to Prosecute Mother in Meth Baby Case | Newsbrief: Urine Sales Case Before South Carolina Supreme Court | Newsbrief: What Racist Drug War? Ask Maryland | Newsbrief: Latest Gallup Poll Finds Public Believes Drugs a Serious Problem But Not the Most Serious | Newsbrief: Glacial Movement on Ganja Decrim in Jamaica | Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cops Story | Newsbrief: Canada to Look at Subsidized Housing for Junkies | Perry Fund Accepting Applications for 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 School Years, Providing Scholarships for Students Losing Aid Because of Drug Convictions | The Reformer's Calendar
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