Rantz: Vancouver councilor distributes heroin purchased on ‘dark web.’ Is Seattle next?

Jul 21, 2021, 6:36 PM | Updated: Jul 22, 2021, 5:20 am
Councilor Jean Swanson admits to distributing illicit substances to area groups to give to addicts. (Source: Swanson's Twitter)
(Source: Swanson's Twitter)

In Vancouver, British Columbia, a city council member handed out free heroin, cocaine, and meth purchased from the “dark web.” It may not be too long before it happens in Seattle.

Councilor Jean Swanson admits to distributing illicit substances to area groups to give to addicts. Though the stunt was illegal, she says it was to bring attention to the city’s growing fatal overdose crisis. But was it truly necessary? Vancouver is already slated to begin offering a “safe” drug supply to addicts.

In many ways, this was an inevitable next step after the city established the disastrous heroin injection sites. Government-provided drugs? It feels like that was always the end goal.

Councilor handed out illicit drugs

After embracing drug-permissive policies, including heroin-injection sites for addicts to shoot up consequence-free, British Columbia was hit hard with overdose deaths.

What started as a pilot program for a “safe” space to shoot up soon normalized in Vancouver. But it hasn’t fulfilled a promise of fewer overdose deaths as proponents claimed it would. There had been a surge in overdose emergencies and deaths pre-COVID. Between 2015 and 2019, “paramedic attended overdose events” increased by four times. Just this year, from January to May, Vancouver saw a record high of 851 overdose deaths.

This crisis prompted the councilor to hand out “safe” drugs in front of a police building. The heroin, meth, and cocaine — which Swanson says was purchased on “the dark web” — were screened for fentanyl and other substances often found in illicit substances sold on the streets. She said she connected with the Drug User Liberation Front (DULF) and the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU).

“[They] are working to get a safe supply of drugs so that the drugs that people use aren’t poisoning them, so they don’t die from them,” Swanson tells the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH.

This wasn’t the first time the groups have pulled this stunt.

“They’ve done it before, they’ve handed out free drugs before. But this time, they asked me if I would go and do it with them because they want to create pressure to have the safe supply. Vancouver has a long history of doing things like this,” Swanson told me.

While she knows what she did was illegal, she doesn’t plan on facing any legal consequences. She says there have been calls for her arrest, but there hasn’t been “any indication that that’s going to happen.”

But what will soon likely happen? More consequential drug distribution.

Government-distributed drugs

Swanson supports government-supplied illicit drugs to ensure they’re not tainted with “poison.” But at no point did she even mention treatment during our phone conversation this past Saturday.

“You don’t have a clue what you’re buying, basically, if you’re buying it on the street,” she continued. “There’s also a lot of health researchers who are working with the drug user groups who are saying we desperately need to have a safe supply of drugs.”

It looks like she’s about to get her way.

B.C. is slated to be the first Canadian province to offer access to a “safe” drug supply. They have over $22 million earmarked for the program. The Vancouver Sun reports that the province will first offer opioid replacement options, including fentanyl patches and tablets. Eventually, they will offer stimulants or prescribed heroin.

Proponents of this approach argue the government is acting too slowly.

Treatment is a lost cause?

There’s no such thing as “safe” heroin. When you’re an addict, even if the drug isn’t laced with fentanyl, you can still overdose. Unfortunately, there appears to be little discussion on actually treating the addict. Instead, the focus is on keeping them high.

And this can very easily become a reality in Seattle.

While local lawmakers have struggled to establish a heroin injection site, they’ve not given up. And they hand out needles by the boxes, including to children if they ask. In the interim, the entire state decriminalized illicit drugs, and in cities like Seattle, drug enforcement is rare.

It would be an error in judgment to think what happens in Vancouver won’t happen in Seattle, a city run by ideologues looking to be the wokest in the country. They’re already trying to adopt the heroin injection sites. Why would they stop there?

They find it problematic to judge addicts for their addiction and decry any law as “criminalizing addiction.” We should judge addicts insomuch as we acknowledge what they can’t: Their addiction will kill them. They need intervention, and that sometimes means they go to jail.

As much as I’d rather every addict get treatment, the reality is that many refuse it. At that point, the moral responsibility is to help them since they won’t help themselves.

Did you like this opinion piece? Then listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow @JasonRantz  on  Twitter,  Instagram, and Parler, and like me on Facebook

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Rantz: Vancouver councilor distributes heroin purchased on ‘dark web.’ Is Seattle next?