Is the Department of Justice playing Philadelphians dirty, as was claimed Wednesday afternoon? More on that in a moment.
Federal law prohibits places that sell or enable the use of illegal drugs.
That’s why, last year, an appeals court ruled against Philadelphia’s attempt to open a “supervised injection site.” You may recall these shooting galleries were once called “safe injection sites,”until it was pointed out, by Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro among others, that there is no such thing as a “safe” use of street drugs.
The shooting galleries also were once called “overdose prevention sites,” but that also was not true. They would reverse overdoses, not prevent them.
The appeals judges were on solid legal grounds, following the law.
“Judges Stephanos Bibas and Thomas L. Ambro called Safehouse’s motives ‘admirable.’ but said that while ‘the opioid crisis may call for innovative solutions, local innovations may not break federal law.’”
That was then, but now the (Democrat-led) Department of Justice is “evaluating” sticking to the law. Hate to say it, but that’s the consequences of Democratic leadership. When progressive see a law they don’t like, the first thing they do is yell “racist,” then they break out in hives, and then they break the law.
Breaking the law is seen in President Joe Biden’s border policy, and in Philadelphia’s status as a Sanctuary City, and even in its recent rule to ignore “low level” traffic violations.
The DOJ “evaluation” has permitted a
shooting gallery “supervised drug site” to open in New York, and led to the Wednesday afternoon demonstration outside the DOJ offices across the street from Independence Hall.
The unsafe injection sites, as I call them, have the approval of many big-city newspaper editorial boards, NPR, and the woke establishment, pointing to some successes in Canada.
There has been limited success, but there is another side to the story, which is seldom reported. But I will, here.
I have written about unsafe injection sites several times over the years. Here’s a long take from March 2020.
What’s the alternative?, I am asked.
Drug use is illegal. Arrest the dealers and send them to jail, arrest the zombie users and send them to rehab. Give them their lives back rather than enabling their suicidal habit.
Now to the skullduggery.
Councilman Mark Squilla said the DOJ was having (secret) negotiations with Safehouse, the nonprofit behind the scheme to enable drug addiction.
There are 25 community groups represented here, he said, looking over a crowd of about 100, and not one was invited to the meetings.
He also told a dirty little secret: If there is only one injection site, it will be a failure. There must be multiples of them.
When the city tried to sneak a shooting gallery into South Philly, it was thwarted by community activist Jody Della Barba, who spoke. “Since when does a mayor not listen to the law?,” she asked rhetorically. Officially, Mayor Jim Kenney says the city itself is not behind the push for the drug site.
Tell us another one, Jimmy boy.
When South Philly arose and stopped the drug den in its tracks, we learned a few details. Like it would only be open 4-5 hours a day.
You’ve heard of Appointment TV? Now we have Appointment Addiction.
Squilla said there could be as many as 20 drug dens around the city unless residents fight them.
And they will.
Councilman David Oh talked about “secret meetings” because “the city knows you don’t want them.”
And if you want to know how the city manages a drug problem, you just have to look to Kensington.
Bob Stewart, a Republican running for the state house in the Northeast, said he recognizes prosecutors have prosecutorial discretion, but they don’t get to write the laws. That is the job of the legislature.
Port Richmond’s Patty Pat said she didn’t want to see addicts dying. (A group of a half-dozen pro-Safehouse hecklers set up shop 20 feet away.) “We want treatment, not enabling,” she said, adding that crime comes before and after the addict shoots up.
You want injection sites, asked Anthony Giordano? “Put it on the ballot.”
But that won’t happen because those who think they are doing good know it will fail.