Justice Ian Pitfield of the BC Supreme Court, has granted Vancouver's controversial safe-injection site an exemption from federal drug laws until June 30, 2009, ruling that it would be unconstitutional for the federal government to shut it down at the end of June. CTV here.
Pitfield's ruling demonstrates an accurate and intuitive understanding of the purpose of INSITE, the desire of the community at large and the position put forth by the Federal government. And then rightly removed them from the decision making process, at least for a year.From the 60 page ruling:"Society cannot condone addiction, but in the face of its presence it cannot fail to manage it, hopefully with ultimate success reflected in the cure of the addicted individual and abstinence," says the ruling.
"While there is nothing to be said in favour of the injection of controlled substances that leads to addiction, there is much to be said against denying addicts health care services that will ameliorate the effects of their condition,'' he wrote.
"I cannot agree with the Canada's submission that an addict must feed his addiction in an unsafe environment when a safe environment that may lead to rehabilitation is the alternative."