A group calling themselves the “Drug User Liberation Front” is handing out free, hard drugs on the streets of Vancouver with the help of a city council member. The city has long been an epicenter of Canada’s national struggle with drug abuse and was an early adopter of so-called “safe injection sites”, which are gaining popularity in U.S. cities. Vancouver is now moving to decriminalize the possession of hard drugs, including heroin and meth, despite a massive uptick in drug crime and overdoses in recent years.
The Drug User Liberation Front claims to purchase and test drugs like heroin and meth from “trusted” dark web dealers in an effort to keep tainted doses off the street. After what adoring reports from corporate media outlets have described as a “rigorous testing process”, the group redistributes what they say is a “safe supply” of the still highly lethal drugs on the streets to users for free. The group claims that it is an important harm reduction tactic in a city plagued by drug crime and abuse.
In addition to handing out the drugs on the streets, the group, which is illegal under Canadian law, is managing to supply their packaged and labeled drugs to addicts outside of the city. Just this month, a report stated that The Drug User Liberation Front, also known as DULF, distributed at least 17 grams of various hard to drugs to different “drug user groups” across British Columbia.
Despite the illegality of DULF’s scheme, police have reportedly looked the other way and at times denied they know about the group’s existence. DULF has even had the help of a sitting Vancouver City Council Member, Jean Swanson, of the openly socialist Coalition of Progressive Educators (COPE).
Swanson has even publicly worked with the group to hand out drugs on the streets of Vancouver and says that other members of the city council support offering hard drugs to addicts. These members wouldn’t go as far to be seen doing it publicly, however.
In addition, the Vancouver City Council recently passed a resolution that requested an exemption from federal drug laws. It was also among the first municipalities to adopt needle exchange programs in which IV drug users are given clean needles at local, often taxpayer-funded facilities. More recently has played a pioneering role in so-called “safe injection” and “consumption sites” where drug users can freely use drugs.
The safe injection and consumption sites have become a hot-button political issue in Canada as the spreads around the country. In the US, similar facilities have slowly rolled out over the last year, with New York City opening up the first American site this past September.
On-site overdoses ensued on the first day of operation.