By Clair Bernish
(ANTIMEDIA) Gloucester, MA — Situated on the coast of Massachusetts, Gloucester’s claims to fame include its status as “America’s original seaport,” as well as being the real-life location on which events in the movie The Perfect Storm (2000) were based. Now, the small town has a new reason to be the center of attention: its police have been granting complete amnesty to drug users who come to the station seeking help, even if they come bearing the remainder of their stash.
On March 6th of this year, Gloucester Chief of Police Leonard Campanello wrote a Facebook post much like he normally did. But this particular post bemoaned four deaths to heroin and opiates in just two months — for a city with less than 30,000 residents.
“If you are a user of opiates or heroin, let us help you. We know you do not want this addiction. We have resources here in the City that can and will make a difference in your life. Do not become a statistic.”
The response was immediate and overwhelmingly positive. Where one of Campanello’s typical posts would collect, perhaps, a dozen ‘likes’ — this post garnered 1,234 likes and, according to the Washington Post, “more views than there were people in the city.”
Obviously, he’d hit on the crux of a problem with the different approach that was sorely needed.
“The war on drugs is over,” Campanello said. “And we lost. There is no way we can arrest our way out of this. We’ve been trying that for 50 years. We’ve been fighting it for 50 years, and the only thing that has happened is heroin has become cheaper and more people are dying [emphasis added].”
On May 4th, he posted a lengthy update after considering what he’d stumbled onto