Philadelphia, a city that once housed the Constitutional Convention and signing of the Declaration of Independence, is now making new strides throughout the nation as the first U.S. city to offer safe injection sites to heroin users.
Modeled after facilities in Europe and Canada, safe injection sites will combat opioid overdose by providing clean needles and medical supervision for on-location consumption of illegal drugs.
Now, you may be thinking that this article is merely an elaborate satire, artfully employing reductio ad absurdum to critique liberals’ often comically passive attitudes towards important social issues. But unfortunately, the only absurdum is coming from the mayor’s office. While some city and state officials have objected that this project might exacerbate the very problem it seeks to solve and questioned whether it originated as the pipe dream of a criminally insane person, others believe Philadelphia’s taxpayer dollars and doctors’ time would be best spent furnishing a dopefiend safe space. That’s right — grandpa’s cardiac arrest will have to wait in line, because Philadelphia’s medical professionals are going to be busy monitoring your local junkie’s vitals while he gets high as a kite on the public dime and discusses how the purple men from the sun have been conspiring with the spiders under his skin to leave him short on rent, but he swears he’ll get it to you next month.
This decision has left Philadelphians pondering whether their government is evil or just incompetent. Indeed, the city’s move raises a plethora of questions: Are these facilities even legal? Who came up with this idea, and was he or she high on opioids at the time? And will the city be providing the actual heroin, or just large syringes of anti-Hendrixing medication that the overworked nurse can carry around while she re-evaluates her career choice?
Nevertheless, Health Commissioner Thomas Farley defended the decision, stating “Extraordinary times require novel thinking.” And with liberal outside-the-box “novel thinking” like this, I can only imagine what creative new progressive developments the future has to offer, such as allowing convicts to sentence themselves or fighting fires with constructive criticism rather than aggression. But before the city council moves onto those, I would like to suggest seven projects that would be more effective at improving public health and safety than safe injection sites.
- Holding a city-wide open bar for recovering alcoholics. They’re working hard and deserve a treat.
- Treating the mental health crisis with cerebrectomy. (This directive has the added benefit of producing new Democrat voters.)
- Addressing childhood obesity by providing workshops on fat acceptance to bigoted mitochondria.
- Employing groups of student activists to march around city hall 24/7 shouting “Don’t do drugs; or if you do, don’t overdose on a public park bench right where I’m trying to eat my lunch. Sincerely, Mayor Kenney.”
- Sending all drug addicts to the magic tree from Pocahontas to seek inner spiritual guidance.
- Airing a public access children’s cartoon titled “Ollie the Oxycontin” that features the message, “when mommy and daddy are acting psychotic, it’s time to flush their stash of narcotics.”
- Assembling an interdisciplinary team of physicists and psychics to establish telepathic communication with Jupiter, whose alien societies have probably worked out a cure for all diseases long ago.
While potentially ineffective or nonsensical, these projects might at the very least divert the government’s efforts away from encouraging and facilitating an activity that ruins lives. City officials should instead focus on solutions that would actually help drug addicts. But then again, if they could, they probably wouldn’t be in the local government.
(Photo by Wellcome Images)