Wait - are you sure we're talking about the same John Reynolds? - Macleans.ca

Wait — are you sure we’re talking about the same John Reynolds?

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The former Reform/Alliance/Conservative MP and one-time interim party leader? Because I have to admit to finding this Globe story to be a bit of a gobsmacker, what with him turning out to be the anti-Randy White:

Canada should be willing to offer prescription heroin for intractable addicts – the same as any other treatment for a medical condition, a high-profile federal Conservative says.

Former MP John Reynolds, who co-chaired Prime Minster Stephen Harper’s 2006 election campaign, is a director of the charity that is fundraising for a new medical trial that will provide heroin and a substitute narcotic in Vancouver and Montreal.

“If we can show this works, why wouldn’t we move towards that kind of help for people who are addicts,” Mr. Reynolds said in an interview Monday. “Is there really any difference from one disease to another? From one addiction to another?”

The federal Conservatives have offered little encouragement for harm-reduction policies when it comes to illicit drug use. Mr. Harper has opposed Vancouver’s safe injection site, Insite, and has favoured prevention and a tough-on-crime outlook: “If you remain a drug addict, I don’t care how much harm you reduce, you are going to have a short and miser able life,” he said in 2007.

But Mr. Reynolds, a member of the InnerChange Foundation in Vancouver, applauded the research arm of Health Canada for financing the Study to Assess Longer-term Opioid Medication Effectiveness (SALOME), which will offer heroin and a legal substitute, Hydromorphone. […]

(That’s the good kind of gobsmacking, just to be clear.)

Coincidentally, ITQ will be liveblogging John Reynolds tomorrow when he takes the stand at the O’Brien trial. Which, admittedly, doesn’t have anything at all to do with harm reduction — well, not harm related to heroin use, anyway — but she figured you all might like to know. (Don’t worry, a placeholder post will go up tomorrow morning.)