Statement Concerning Allegations of Police Harassment Against Proprietor of Pandora Pharmacy

After much research and deliberation, Harm Reduction Victoria (HRV) has decided not to go ahead with a police complaint regarding the Pandora Pharmacy. For the time being, HRV will not engage in a complaint process that we feel is biased in favour of the police department, and that would only serve to dilute not only the original complaint, but our work as advocates for survivors of the War on Drugs in Victoria.

Harm reduction literature is replete with peer-reviewed research that raises serious concerns regarding the impact of street-level policing on marginalized illicit drug users, and those individuals and services that
seek to support them. We feel that our best efforts ought to be directed at organizing for the provision of harm reduction services in Victoria specifically, and justice for marginalized drug users generally. We have no need to be 'educated' by the Victoria Police Department, nor do we feel that they, or the Victoria Police Board, are concerned with the rights of drug users, or the services that feel obliged to help such a desperate situation.

The situation that caused the Pandora Pharmacy to cease their participation in a provincial pilot project, while senseless and unjust, is just another indication of the War on Drugs that is the bread and butter of virtually every policing institution in North America. This being true, we do not see the relevance of filing a complaint, when our original interest, naively, was to engage the Victoria Police Board in a conversation. We have no need for a complaint process to ponder what is an already established fact among drug users, advocates and researchers: that policing institutions continue to pose barriers to the health and well-being of those citizens who are marginalized (economically and socially), and who use illicit drugs.

We would, however, like to draw attention to an organization called L.E.A.P (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition- www.leap.cc/cms/index.php) for perspectives of individuals from the law enforcement field with regards to the War on Drugs. Needless to say that even these police officers are the victims of slander, ignorance, and misinformation: another by-product of the War on Drugs.