metronews.ca, May 06, 2011

Discussion to shed insight on Insite

The man who penned the Four Pillars drug strategy says there are simply too many questions swirling around the government’s legal battle against Insite to predict what may happen.

Donald MacPherson, the former drug policy co-ordinator for the City of Vancouver, said all eyes will be on Ottawa next week when the federal government goes to the Supreme Court of Canada in an attempt to shut down the Vancouver supervised injection site.

No matter the outcome, MacPherson says the decision will have wide-ranging implications.

“If the courts become the battleground for innovative drug strategies then we’re in for a long haul,” he said. “In the case of Insite, it has come to this. (The decision) poses the future of Canadian drug policy.”

It could take the court up to a year to make a decision, according to Pivot Legal Society’s Darcie Bennett. In the meantime, she said, there is a lot of confusion surrounding the legal battle.

That’s why Pivot and SFU Woodward’s will be hosting a free discussion on Insite’s history, present and future May 17.

“We will discuss what a decision in this case, whether it’s positive or negative for Insite, means for the future of drug policy,” she said.

To reserve a ticket, visit drugpolicyforum.eventbrite.com

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