Safe Injection Sites Canada Essay

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In 1990 drug consumption on Vancouver's east side hit crisis levels. In order to combat this serious issue a safe injection site was prescribed. The clinic labeled Insite provided a safe and clean environment for users to consumer their drugs with clean needles under medical supervision, thus helping to stop the spread of HIV, AIDS and Hepatitis C. To operate the clinic “required exemption from the prohibition of possession and trafficking of controlled substances under s.56 of the Controlled drug and substance act.” An exemption to sections of the Controlled Drugs and Substance Act in particular; “4 (1) Except as authorized under the regulations, no person shall possess a substance included in Schedule I, II or III” and “5 (1) No person shall traffic in a substance included in Schedule I, II, III or IV or in any substance represented or held out by that person to be such a substance.” An exemption can and was provided by the Minister of Health at his own discretion when it is for scientific and medical reasons. Shortly after being granted the exemption Insite opened its doors. After operating with success with no added damage or danger presented to the surrounding community for five years the Minister of Health decidedly rejected the site exemption. Shortly after the PHS Community Services Society filed an action requesting the continued exemption be provided by the minister arguing that the Minister of Health Violated their section 7 rights and that the Controlled Drug and Substance Act did not apply to Insite. In accordance with the Controlled Drug and Substance Act, a subsection of the Criminal Code Insite would need to be exempt in order to operate. This was because since the Criminal Code, a federal document trumped the provinces right to control health care. Insite argued that since the site only offers medically supervised administration of drugs but

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