People sure love their drugs. There are high costs, however, for this international appetite for drugs. And it's usually the poor and disenfranchised who pay these costs. The cost of the global appetite for drugs is high and the burden is disproportionately felt by the poor. It's the man who passes out in front of my apartment on a weekly basis. It's the victims of beheadings in Mexico. It's the families left impoverished while a small, violent elite makes millions. Drugs aren't cool. Or edgy. This is supply and demand at its most brutal and the poor are the ones paying the price.
Kerrisdale residents Ray and Nichola Hall know too well the tragic outcomes of easily accessible illicit drugs. Both their sons, now in their mid 30s, were addicted to heroin and other drugs. They were raised in one of Vancouver's most-exclusive neighbourhoods, proving that the drug trade and addiction have no boundaries.
How could we help him feel better about himself so he does a better job for our city? As hard as it may be for some of us to swallow, we could try to lose the blame and the judgement and throw him some slack. Why? When people treat us well, the better we feel, and the better we feel, the better we behave.
To preface this story, I have to admit that my relationship with porn has always been a dishonest one. If I was to watch it on the Internet, I streamed it. I have never bought a DVD or subscribed to a website nor financially contributed to the industry in anyway, only stolen from it. Then, one day, porn got me back. Someone on Twitter sent me a link to a porno that used our song. Art-rock is a tricky thing. It's precious. People talk about it like fine art or good wine. It's pretentious, it's serious and not for porn. So the implication was that I should be immediately up in arms. My art was stolen and slapped over some smut film. How dare they defile something I labored over?
It beats me why so many American conservatives have smartened up about when it makes sense to send people to jail when Canadian conservatives -- at least the ones who count -- clearly haven't. The average cost of keeping a Canadian in prison for a year is more than $113,000, which is money well spent for violent offenders. But why spend it locking up minor drug offenders? Why are we hell-bent on this backwards way of thinking?
As part of their struggle with budget realities and the growing cost of health care, Canada's provinces continue to work on bulk purchasing agreements for pharmaceuticals as a way to save money. Unfortunately, the recent release from the Council of the Federation (the council of Canada's premiers) suffers from the typical one-sided approach that characterizes much of the drug policy discussion. Yes, there are up front savings to be had. But there's no such thing as a free lunch.
Living in Vancouver, I'm no Rob Ford fan. I'm not even sure what that is. Media outlets across Canada and around the world reported on what the Star published while their reporter Robyn Doolittle has gone Hollywood. Drug dealers, no video proof, there's nothing right about this whole thing. Folks, prepare yourself for the new normal.
This week has been an emotional roller coaster for Canadians who follow the news. Lost in the shuffle were two stories that were of no particular importance, relatively speaking, to Canadians. One of them is about the way well-heeled Manhattan moms have worked the lineup system at Disney by hiring a disabled person to be a "family member" for the day.
Marijuana has become an important issue in this provincial election. Questions about marijuana policy have been raised by the public over and over again, at all-candidates meetings across the province, and even during the televised debate.Together with the replies we received from candidates, and other comments about marijuana made in the media, we have compiled this Sensible BC Voters Guide, to help you better understand where B.C. parties and candidates stand on the question of marijuana policy and decriminalization in our province.