North America’s only location where addicts can inject themselves with illegal drugs under medical supervision to prevent transmission of HIV and other blood-borne illnesses—will remain open, thanks to a British Columbia Supreme Court ruling on May 27, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reports (, 5/26).

The downtown Vancouver safe-injection facility, called InSite, was established in 2003 under Canada’s previous government but has been under fire from the country’s current conservative leadership for what it views as encouraging drug use. Though it had previously been excused from Canadian drug-trafficking and possession laws, its exemption was set to expire on June 30, which would have forced the facility to close.

Justice Ian Pitfield’s decision this week allows InSite to remain operational until June 2009 and may pave the way for similar facilities throughout Canada.