Drug Addiction: Sickness or Criminal Act

Where I live, rulings by the Supreme Court of Canada are the end of the road. The buck stops there. If you can’t get justice within the lower court system or through the vast array of Government legislation, the Supreme Court is where you should find it.

My concept of Supreme Courts is that they judge upon the more contentious issues in life; the kinds of issues that are the most important to the populace and thus, they ultimately reflect the current mood of the people they represent.

Last week, in what has been quoted by the Montreal Gazette as a “landmark decision”, the nine judges of the Canadian Supreme Court ruled unanimously on a matter which has been festering in the Canadian Consciousness for years. This is the matter of “Insite”, the safe drug injection site for intravenous drug users in Vancouver, which has been operating “illegally” for eight years now under the umbrella of the British Columbia health system as a health care facility.

The federal government, in its zeal to enforce the national criminal code and shut down the site which it considers to be a criminal operation, decided to push the issue all the way to the Supreme Court where their lawyers’ arguments have been “shot down in flames” in this unanimous decision.

So, at least in Vancouver, safe injection sites will fall under the watch of the Provincial health care system rather that the Federal criminal code which seems to consider addicted drug users as criminals rather that ill human beings who are in need of assistance.

When I read the news of this decision, it occurred to me that there is a complete disconnect between our current governments’ awareness and the mood of the people. If the Supreme Court reflects the current mood of the people and decides that this safe injection site is a health issue rather than a criminal issue, why didn’t the government recognize this years ago and take steps to change the legislation which would have negated the need to go to the Supreme Court?

The reason, in my opinion, is that Governments are addicted to increasing their legal control over the citizens. It’s what they do best. This is why we have more and more laws every year. The income tax act is an excellent example. It has become so complicated that the average person has to hire a professional just to fill out complicated forms that should be very simple.

The government could have changed legislation that would have effectively meant giving up Federal legal control over the operation of the Insite Facility to the Provincial Government but it chose not to. Giving up control is not what governments like to do so they left it up to the Supreme Court to do it for them all the while keeping their fingers crossed, hoping the ultimate decision would be in their favour.

Where would we be if we didn’t have our beloved Supreme Court and the nine judges who, hopefully, make their decisions based upon wisdom rather than partisan Politics?

Thank you Supreme Court of Canada for a very wise decision!

Link to the very well written and concise Montreal Gazette article on this Supreme Court decision: http://www.montrealgazette.com/health/Safe+injection+sites+Montreal+Plan+carefully/5503366/story.html.

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I’m Addicted – Please Help

Some say the supreme joy, in life, can be found through transcendence to the higher realms of consciousness. Some say the ultimate joy in life can be found through the accumulation of gobs of money. Some say the best in life can be found through a peaceful life of service to humanity.

I don’t know the truth of these, but what I do know is that my morning cup of espresso is so satisfying to me that I fear I may have a serious addiction.

Let me digress. I have been drinking coffee since I was 16 years old. I have gone through all the phases that coffee drinkers experience: homemade percolator coffee, restaurant coffee, Starbucks Americano, Canadiano, espresso . . . You name it – I’ve tried it.

At this stage in my life, I have settled for the ultimate cup of coffee: A long espresso made on my own at-home Starbucks Espresso machine with 1 spoon of sugar, cream and the one additional ingredient that is to die for – a very small taster shot of Amaretto. The sugar, cream and Amaretto must be preheated in a bowl of very hot water prior to adding the coffee from the machine. (don’t preheat in the microwave). I like my coffee HOT!

Throughout all these years one thing has remained constant: my constant need for sugar and cream in my coffee. I can handle it without the cream but the sugar . . .

Here is my problem. I’m at an age where I think I should take better care of my health to ensure a happy long life. It’s not that the coffee is so bad for me – it’s the sugar! Even the cream isn’t that bad for me and the Amaretto – well – a little once in a while won’t hurt you. I have given up coffee MANY times during my life: sometimes for up to six months. Imagine -6 months without coffee. Then, and it always happens like this, I think “Oh a little coffee would taste so good – think I’ll try it”. One sip and I’m hooked for a few more years. Isn’t this the sign of a serious addiction?

They say sugar is a killer.

So dear reader. do you have any suggestions for how to deal with my addiction to SUGAR. I’ve tried coffee without it – tastes awful to me. Should I just give up the coffee altogether or is there an alternative that will give me my morning HIT?

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