One Victoria Island Health official speculated on the potential of sabotage by opponents of harm reductions based on reportage by the Victoria, British Columbia police of an increase in the quantity of discarded syringes (Britten, 2018; CBC News, 2018a).

This did have consequences because a three-year-old child on Pandora Avenue was pricked with a needle as well as a similar event with a woman finding two needles. The needles, according to the local police, were deliberately placed (Ibid.; CBC News, 2018b).

The Chief Medical Health Officer for the health authority, Dr. Richard Stanwick, speculated that some Canadian citizens with misgivings or disinclinations for support of harm reduction philosophy and methodologies planted the objects.

“What we are really concerned about is that this isn’t some sort of effort to discredit efforts around harm reduction,” Stanwick stated. As well, he noted that there is legal and research evidence to strongly support the claim that drug use has a huge stigma.

Linked to the stigma, the opponents, based on the many cases of academic and legal evidence, may be ‘activists’ of a sort and plant the needles in opposition to the harm reduction gaining further public acceptance.

Stanwick stated the public finds fewer deliberately discarded needles. “The events are so basically scattered,” Stanwick said, “It doesn’t appear that there is any distinct pattern to them other than they happened over time.”

The concern still remains about public safety hazards with the potentially deliberately placed needles in public places, as in the case of the 3-year-old. The Director of Solid Outreach, which is a drug user network, said, “Within the street community, most people would be very upset with people for leaving needles behind even just in the street, let alone in a more threatening manner.”


Britten, L. (2018, January 18). Health official suggests Victoria syringes may have been placed by harm reduction opponents. Retrieved from

CBC News. (2018a, January 17). Victoria officials concerned by spike in discarded needle prickings. Retrieved from

CBC News. (2018b, January 15). Victoria woman finds syringe police believe was ‘deliberately placed’ in planter box. Retrieved from

Scott Jacobsen

Scott Jacobsen


Scott Douglas Jacobsen researches and presents independent panels, papers, and posters, and with varied research labs and groups, and part-time in landscaping (lifting, mowing, and raking) and gardening (digging, planting, and weeding). He founded In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. He is a Tobis Fellow (2016) at the University of California, Irvine’s (UCI) Interdisciplinary Center for the Scientific Study of Ethics and Morality (Ethics Center). He researches in the Learning Analytics Research Group, works as the Gordon Neighbourhood House Community Journalist/Blogger, researches and writes for the Marijuana Party of Canada, and is a contributor for The Voice Magazine. UCI Ethics Center awarded him with the distinction of Francisco Ayala Scholar (2014) for mentoring, presenting, researching, and writing. If you want to contact Scott, you may inquire or comment through e-mail:

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