Sunday, January 03, 2010

Spending Priorities In NYC

How did something like this manage to survive the budget process? Did someone need to tell junkies how to shoot up heroin? This particular budget item cost $32,000 to print up 70,000 flyers telling people how to shoot up heroin safely.
The city spent $32,000 on 70,000 fliers that tell you how to shoot heroin, complete with detailed tips on prepping the dope and injecting it into your arm.

The Health Department handout has outraged New York's top drug prosecutors and abuse experts.

"It's basically step-by-step instruction on how to inject a poison," said John Gilbride, who heads the Drug Enforcement Administration's New York office.

"It's sick," said City Council member Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Queens)

"Foolish," said Columbia University drug researcher and treatment expert Dr. Herbert Kleber.

The 16-page pamphlet features seven comics-like illustrations and offers dope fiends such useful advice as "Warm your body (jump up and down) to show your veins," and "Find the vein before you try to inject."
At a time when the City is scrambling to find the funds to stave off massive cuts to mass transit, including the elimination of free passes for students to get to schools, it would seem that these kinds of nonsensical projects should be axed to not only get the city's budget in order, but to free up revenues for more worthy programs. The Health Department seems to think that this is a worthy expenditure of taxpayer money, and yet all it shows is that there is all too much waste and nonsensical expenditures that encourage bad behavior - such as doing illegal and dangerous drugs.

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