On East Hastings Street, where it’s now legal to shoot up
VANCOUVER — At just past 8 a.m. I am standing on East Hastings Street in downtown Vancouver with a small packet of crack cocaine in my hand. Snow is falling gently and dozens, if not hundreds, of drug addicts are already on the move, some treading in the human feces smeared across the pavement.
Those who have already had their fix slump lifeless against shop fronts or doze in makeshift tents, where many stash knives.
In graffiti-covered alleyways, men in hoodies fill syringes with heroin, force the needles into their arms, and groan as they feed the liquid into their veins.
Women wrapped in blankets — but still shivering in temperatures of -1C — use blow-torch lighters to melt small rocks of crack cocaine before inhaling the fumes through a plastic tube.
But the police on patrol simply walk on. As of Tuesday, in the eyes of the law, these people are doing nothing wrong.
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