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Drug war declaration lauded

Some of the greatest minds in health science, as well as Nobellaureates and former world leaders are backing a declarationspearheaded by a Vancouver doctor to change the way the West fights itswar on drugs.

Some of the greatest minds in health science, as well as Nobel laureates and former world leaders are backing a declaration spearheaded by a Vancouver doctor to change the way the West fights its war on drugs.

Dr. Evan Wood, who is in Vienna for the International AIDS Conference, said current policy causes more harm than good because it does nothing to curb drug use and the spread of disease.

The Vienna Declaration calls for evidence-based policies that reduce harm — like needle exchanges and supervised injection sites — rather than tougher laws.

Signatories include the co-discoverer of HIV and the former president of Brazil. “There’s been ... a huge discordance between what some governments are trying to do (with policy) and the scientific evidence that exists in terms of the drug problem,” Wood told Metro.

“InSite has been shown to reduce the spread of HIV, prevent overdose deaths and get people into treatment,” he said.

The federal government is asking the Supreme Court to overturn a ruling that keeps InSite open.