They'll stop at nothing

The Vancouver police are showing a video of a supposed "chronic offender" they claim turned himself in to them wanting to go to prison for a long time so he could get proper drug treatment.The police would have us believe that this shows that their request for stiffer sentences is backed up by this offenders claims that the courts are too soft and that it's too easy to get around probation and that short sentences are not enough.I don't know if this poor soul is really a thief that wants treatment and is so incapable of looking out for himself that he can't access it or if he's just crazy.He may even be a police officer pretending to be what he's not.That this could happen is not difficult to believe.I just can't believe that the police are so jaded that they think this in any way backs up their claims about the courts and the way they deal with crime.If treatment is so hard to access that a person has to commit a crime and turn himself in hoping for treatment the problem isn't with the courts but with the government.Where is all the treatment programs we've been promised.How can the cops be so stupid as to present someone so desperate for help that they will go this route and call it a stamp of approval for their throw away the key insanity?If anything it says just the opposite.It says that people want help but that it's not readily available.Throwing people into prison for treatment because it's unavailable in mainstream society is unconscionable.I have no faith in the current treatment programs for heroin addiction but feel just as strongly that for drugs like crack and speed that treatment is workable and should be available on demand.The issue gets muddied when people get drugs all together in one category and think the treatment and results are interchangeable.If there is truly no place that this guy could go to find the treatment he needs the police should be asking for more treatment facilities,not stiffer sentences.The real tragedy here is that they can't see that.Articles on this can be found in the 24hrs daily and metro daily giveaways in Vancouver.An article by the attorney General that's got a saner take can be found in The Province newspaper.I'll post the province article on Digg.
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a small point

I agree with the post, the small point is about the phrase "treatment on demand". I don't care for the phrase, I suspect it rubs some people the wrong way, nobody likes to have demands made on them. Maybe treatment upon need instead?

How about treatment upon request?

We already HAVE treatment upon need; the need is determined by being convicted of possessing illegal drugs. What we need is access to health care, physical and mental, combined with respect for individuals' sovereignty over their own bodies.

Any law that has to be justified with a pretense of "caring" about those it oppresses is a bad law.

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