Category Archives: crysis


When they called in the morning and I realized it was precisely because I am unaffiliated, and am doing gig work while I try to sort things out, and pursue my assorted interests, and tie up a few loose ends. I could give an unvarnished opinion on the Treatment Strategies report, and nobody (else) would be punished, no organization would lose funding or a research contract. #HarmReduction is widely applicable.

And a lot of the report was encouraging. Then words started to jump out at me. The tone  became ominous. Then–


So, I am against every drug user in my neighbourhood, including myself, being forcibly removed from society and sent to behaviour-modification camps. What if the camps were peer-run? Still against mandatory relocation to lord of the flies-land, even if there is free dope, yes.

CBC was doing ‘journalism’ by asking me to be on the program, since they were aware of what I outlined in my previous post. The people who were on the inside of this process were (with reason) unable to speak out, or were in favour of this, or were discouraged from reading it, or were manipulated into dependence, or think that by some magic, this won’t include them.

And I won’t discuss how “research suggests” that this might be a good idea, except to note how weak-ass that is, and how non-science is the ‘science’ presented.

And there’s a drift, as you read the report closely. At the outset, “recovery” is a process. By page 20, abstinence means success.

I was hesitant at first to do the afternoon show – I wasn’t going to get into a performative debate about ‘personal experiences’ and I don’t do the “traumatized addict” routine. I talked to the show’s production assisting-journalist for ten minutes or so, and an hour later was heading to the studio. I reflected, inevitably, on how strange and fuckedup and amazing this last year has been, and how concerned and anxious I am about my own future.

Link to the BCCSU’s media release

Link to the report. It’s a PDF.

Thinking Through Silence

Living & dying during the end of the war on drugs in the context of the overdose crisis. I was a guest of Donald MacPherson, Executive Director of the Canadian Drug Policy Alliance, on Oct 10, 2017, when he was awarded the SFU Stirling Prize for Controversy.

02-20-18 : #InjusticeIsFatal

We’re going to march, Tuesday, February 20. 

We are Drug Users. We’re marching downtown 

to the courthouse - through the streets of Vancouver, 

where the War on Drugs (as is in Canada, as founded 

by those who continue a great thieving) began. 

We will gather at Victory Square at noon.

Get your people together. 

Yes, him, and her too, yes and those guys, them too, 

yes, and your pictures of everyone. 

Get together and head to Victory Square. 

Drop it for today. This is important. 

I know this is fucked up. Everybody knows it 

and I know it’s such an emptiness and also 

too much to contain, and everyone is gone 

and it feels fucked up to be alive but we are.

We will gather at Victory Square, 

you know, Hastings and Cambie, at the Cenotaph, 

the big monument to the First World War, 

you know what it says:


Yeah guess so.

It is true, now, even though we said so and 

tried to warn them, people are dying everywhere, 

all over, just as we all said. It’s the National Thing. 

DTES export.

It is true, now, things are changing because of that, 

but this is a battlefield and this is chemical warfare.

We will gather at Victory Square, and go to the Courthouse 

downtown. People will call for Justice. 

Things will change, slowly. More people will die. 

This will change. War ends. You know how Wars end. 

I don’t have to say it.

When you use drugs like we do in this place, 

you get so used to nobody listening that you stop talking.

On Tuesday, speak up, because you will be heard. 

Say what you think because it has to be said.

When you use drugs, like this and in this place, 

you stop thinking about the future. 

This is about the future.

It won’t be the same.

- Karen Ward

Noon, Victory Square