by Calling Out Community, Posted March 15, 2015
The War on Drugs in the city of Vancouver is over. We have been routed at every turn, our defences have been completely overrun. We face a much more powerful, well-funded and organized enemy.
You’ve heard all the arguments before to call for a ceasefire or total surrender in the Drug War. “Our jails are full of drug offenders – what do you want us to do, keep building more? Our streets are full of addicts, the strategy’s not working. It’s a ridiculous waste of money to continue this war. We should just legalize this stuff and tax it to death. That’ll stop our enemies and protect our children. We can’t possibly win this battle now in its present form.” So says our left-wing pinko press/media and the “Granola Gang” (full of nuts, fruits and flakes) that hold the majority of decision-making positions in Vancouver.
This “War on Drugs” began, as you may recall, shortly after a statement to Congress on June 17, 1971, by then-United States President Richard Nixon, when he declared drug abuse “public enemy number one”, and the need to allocate funds to the “prevention of new addicts, and the rehabilitation of those who are addicted”. The Drug Policy Alliance estimates that the United States now spends $51 billion annually on the War on Drugs. And we still ain’t winnin’. Why?
In 1987, the Canadian government finally woke up and ramped up its own War on Drugs, banning the distribution of all marijuana books, magazines, literature, bongs, pipes and all aspects of the cannabis culture in 1987, including the distribution of the rag High Times in Canada (now again in circulation). Then along came Marc Emery, the media-dubbed “Prince of Pot”, who thumbed his nose at Canadian law and founded the illegal headshop HEMP BC, opened on July 7, 1994 in Downtown Vancouver – firing one of the first salvos in a War for the minds and bodies of Vancouverites that has raged for over 20 years since.
In Canada, we also are not winning the War on Drugs – possibly and partly because we elevated one of the drug thugs in Canada (Emery) to the lofty title of Prince, for starters. Another answer might lie in a press release from April 24, 2015, when federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose took Vancouver City Council to task for planning to regulate head shops – sorry, “medical marijuana dispensaries (cough) – where people can legally buy pot to alleviate medical symptoms (presumably with a doctor’s prescription). Minister Ambrose said last week:
Storefront dispensaries are not part of the Health Canada regime in any way,” she said. “What they are is commercial entities selling pot on street corners. My appeal to the mayor is to think twice about this, and to vote against his proposal on Tuesday, and instead to close down these dispensaries.”
Mayor Gregor Robertson’s response (as he was clearly puffing on a large doobie):
The federal laws and courts have ruled on this ,” Robertson said. “They exist because they are allowed to exist. We can’t let them operate in a vacuum.” He went on to say Vancouver’s proposed regulations for retail marijuana stores are “common sense” and are designed to protect children.
Stop. Rewind. Play. Let’s get this straight – the federal Health Minister has told you that these drug dens are not medical dispensaries and don’t fall within Health Canada rules – but you’re telling her, Mr. Mayor, that they are in fact perfectly legal. I’d say one of you knows federal law better than the other – guesses which one? If you need help finding Waldo in this picture, I’ll also highlight the Mayor’s argument that this “regulation” of these retail marijuana stores is a “common sense” approach to “protect children”.
Wait, did we forget to also mention that there are already 80+ of these “dispensaries” in the city? 80 medical marijuana dispensaries that are: 1) operating illegally, so they are nothing more than drug stores – literally, 2) opened and operating with zero regulation so far, and 3) outnumbering franchises of Starbucks coffee shops (51), McDonald’s restaurants (25) and Tim Horton’s locations (26) in Vancouver proper. The Vancouver Sun reported in September 2014 that:
In 2010, there were 5 dispensaries in the city, according to police. In January last year , police counted 12. Most were concentrated in the city’s Downtown Eastside or along Kingsway. Now city hall staff say there are 45 spread across Vancouver, with a handful in trendy neighbourhoods such as Yaletown and Kitsilano. Many have lounges where friends gather to learn about the pain relief brought by different edibles or the coolest new ways to smoke different strains of B.C.’s best bud. Technically, it’s against the law for a person to buy marijuana without a federal certificate issued on the advice of a physician or nurse practitioner.
So they have operated unregulated for up to 5 years, and we went from 45 only eight months ago to over 80 today. Yes, you’re the Lord of Common Sense, the Protector of Children. Very believable. “Regulation” seems like the best policy here – why hinder growth? Sigh. Mr. Mayor – some advice – put some puppies in your photo op along with the kiddies you’re protecting. If it’s true that you actually share sense with the commoners of Vancouver, they will be easy to distract – they’d have to be stupid as Hell. Granted, Vancouverites did vote for you three times – perhaps they have the government they deserve.
Now, having walked by several of these “dispensaries” along Granville Street in Vancouver, it is especially troublesome to see how maimed and ill our young adult population must be, as they comprise a good chunk of the customers coming out of said dispensar…. oh please, it’s a head shop, give it a rest already. Any doctors caught handing out phony prescriptions (likely for a fee) for pot to young people that just wanna get high with no real medical issues – and there must be a LOT of them to keep 80 stores busy – should lose their medical licenses permanently and face jail time for aiding and abetting drug dealers. Period.
In 2013, a member of the Vancouver Police Department posted hard numbers on the casualties of this War on Drugs, just in Vancouver alone:
- 4,600 intravenous drug users live in the Downtown Eastside, up to 12,000 across the city of Vancouver. That’s just the ones that shoot up with a needle. There are uncounted thousands of crack heads, meth users, opiate takers, etc. The casualty rate in this War are catastrophic.
- 587 drug injections happen daily at the Supervised Injection Site; this includes people who return multiple times a day
- 20 per cent of people in the Downtown Eastside are homeless
- 87 per cent of the population has Hepatitis C
- 200 people died of drug overdoses in the Downtown Eastside in 1993, the worst year on record
- 1997 was the year a public health emergency was declared in the DTES
- 49 per cent of police contacts in the Downtown Eastside are believed to be with someone who has a mental illness
- 80 per cent of Downtown Eastside residents have been previously incarcerated
We are losing so badly against the enemy in this War on Drugs by default. And these same traitors that sold us out in the first place are now calling on us to lay down our arms. Stop fighting. The War “isn’t working”. And they are absolutely right. Even Prime Minister Harper, a virulent opponent of decriminalizing drugs, conceded in 2012, that “the current approach is not working.” But can we just give up, when we see what’s at stake?
The position of the Calling Out Community on this topic is simple: these advocates for change to the current drug policy are actually right. The War on Drugs is stupid and unwinnable in its present form. In fact, we cannot win under the current circumstances, and we are spending money foolishly. It’s time to bring the current disastrous Campaign in this War to an end, like we did at Dieppe in World War II, and regroup, mourn the dead and wounded casualties in this War…
And once we have paid our respects, we have a few ideas for how to possibly win this War on Drugs.
First, it’s time to fire every one of these jackasses that we elected to protect us, that either must be in bed with the drug lords or are too stupid to be in power regardless. Elect some people with REAL common sense – the people that sound like they actually make sense usually do. Mayor Gregor Robertson’s goal in this term is to eradicate homelessness by 2015. Great, so you gave a crackhead a brand new home – now what? Just one more thing for us to pay for over that they will trash over and over and over again. Addicts in new houses – more of that “common sense” apparently.
Second, cut all funding to the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU). Can you imagine any other city in the world where 2,000 crackheads, speed freaks, pot heads and heroin junkies form a “union” that threatens chaos and anarchy if their demands aren’t met? According to their own Manifesto, these outrageous demands include:
— “the right to obtain, prepare, and ingest drugs, and to be intoxicated on drugs, according to our own personal decisions without criminalization or unsought interference from other individuals or organizations, as long as our drug use does not directly harm other people”;i
–the creation of a regulated drug market where people who use drugs have access to quality controlled drugs and can use them without fear or prejudice;
You must be kidding us. They want the “right” to do drugs in public – drugs that they buy from SuperCrackMart or whatever retail group wants to run that show, and they want it all nice and legal. Better yet, why not give them free drugs. Wait, we did: in 2011, a government-supported trial was introduced to “test whether giving heroin addicts access to free, clean opiates can be an effective way to stabilize hardcore users and ultimately entice them into drug treatment.” Excuse us? You are giving free, perfectly good heroin to an addict, in hope that it will encourage them to go to drug treatment. We must be on crack right now.
They stopped talking about drug treatment and abstinence ages ago. Now it’s about “harm reduction”. What does that mean? The dipwits are gonna smoke crack or shoot up heroin, and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it. So how about make it a bit more comfortable for them as they get high? Be a sweetheart and keep the little jackasses safe, OK? Vandu has absolutely nothing do do with harm reduction. Their mandate is to promote drug use – to normalize it even – which feeds the gang war by creating more addicts and/or maintaining the current numbers. For an addict to get clean would be seen as diminishing returns for them. Success stories makes the rest look like weak victims, so they don’t talk about success stories. No no, just keep the addicts continually high and safe.
And who’s protecting or reducing the general public’s harm in the meantime? Vancouver has the third highest property crime rate of 17 major U.S. and Canadian cities surveyed, according to a 2010 year-end report, while Toronto had the second lowest. Simon Fraser University criminology professor Ehor Boyanowsky said two types of crime are linked in Vancouver: People commit property crime to feed their drug habits, and high-profile gang-related crimes are committed by gangsters to feed the supply lines for addicts. Does it still make you feel better to know that thousands of addicts in Vancouver are seeing their harm reduced?
Here’s the kicker – this group isn’t cast to the far fringes of our society. No no, the little drugged-up darlings at VANDU received at least $285,537 in 2014 alone from Vancouver Coastal Health for their “advocacy” efforts. This is the same group that spearheaded the ILLEGAL Insite supervised injection site, which the federal government fought to shut down (all the way to the Supreme Court) and lost. The group has been known for paying addicts to attend anti-gentrification protests, and using their government funded space as the headquarters for an anti-police group known for making racist and hateful attacks. And they also want free drugs at your expense, and a safe place (that you pay for) to do said drugs.
If you are looking for something more rational and sane from this group, may we repeat that it’s a “union of drug addicts“. They have certainly showed us that their choices in life so far are legitimate, right? Oh sorry, that wasn’t respectful. I hope I haven’t caused them more harm and affected their self-esteems. That’s all we need – proud crackheads. Let’s recap: a 2,000-member anarchist gang of drug addicts threatens anarchy if their demands aren’t met, and are able to help create drug policy for the city, opens drug dens to shoot up heroin that even the feds can’t shut down, use their taxpayer funded office space to front anarchist organizations, gets free heroin for their membership, and they want the right to do drugs anywhere they choose, and to buy those drugs from a nice safe crack convenience store. And they get tax dollars to do all this.
Oops – one more thing. They want your respect to.
No wonder the War on Drugs doesn’t work. It IS a total fraud, but not for the stupid reasons the media likes to throw around. It’s because, in the case of VANDU, the the half-baked inmates are running the asylum.
Best case scenario? Pull their funding, then legally disband them or declare them an official gang, criminal organization or even a terrorist organization if need be, so they can’t request private donations either. Whatever it takes to shut their doors for good. And if their membership incites a riot, as they always threaten to do? Have them immediately arrested, or declare marshal law and bring in the Army if need be – 2,000 roving pissed-off crackheads throwing rocks likely will need some firepower to subdue. Then, have their leadership arrested and charged with inciting a riot, public nuisance, crack smoking in public, high treason…whatever it takes to put them away for 5-10 years each. The end.
Meanwhile, ship all the little darlings to work camps out in the country. Get them cutting wood or breaking rocks 8 hours a day in chain gangs. Within a few weeks, they’ll be clean and dried out. In the meantime, arrest every mid level drug pusher, as well as the lower level drug dealers – even if it’s just for having a parking ticket. Check to see if they are in this country on a residence permit or visa, and if they are, ship the jackasses back where they came from. Lock the rest away for 5-10. So when the little darlings come back from rock campaign, they can’t find rock on the street again. The camps will then be free for the dealers and their leadership to go break rocks for the rest of their sentences.
But that wouldn’t be the end, because judges would be out of the job, when 80% of the property crimes in this city are conducted by drug addicts, for example. So fire or recall every judge that intentionally attempts to circumvent mandatory minimum sentences for drug dealing or possession laws. Vote out every single one of the traitorour politicans that have betrayed us with this phony drug war that panders to the whims and wishes of the addicts and plays footsy with the dealers, and creates laws so weak, they don’t stop anyone from doing anything.
Give the police teeth to do their damn jobs again. Stop the endlless cycle of paperwork, and shut down the nuisance groups that walk around following police with cell phone cameras all night, trying to catch them doing something “brutal”. They’d look good on a chain gang too.
Today, illicit drug sales in Canada are somewhere between $7-billion and $10-billion annually, while law enforcement costs are over $2-billion annually – a budgetary item greater than what Canada spends on First Nation health services, veterans’ health care, health research, and public health programs, combined. On the streets, possession of hard drugs has increased by 89 per cent over the last ten years.
Today, the frontlines of this War on Drugs in Metro Vancouver, (and possibly in Canada as a whole) can be found on the streets of the Downtown Eastside, erroneously declared “Canada’s poorest postal code” by the New York Times and other media outlets, There, one can see firsthand the devastating affects that 20 years of this War has brought. The “Prince of Pot” and guys like him have committed high treason on our society – we should be ashamed for elevating bottom-feeding drug thugs like him to the status of a royal family of the drug trade.
It’s time to get serious with this War on Drugs, and leave it to the generals to fight. So far, all the politicians have done is throw a non-stop drug fest for addicts, a slap on the wrist for drug dealers, and now, we have chains of marijuana retail outlets sprouting up, with numbers greater than Starbucks and McDonald’s combined. We can win this War on Drugs, but it’s gonna take some backbone of the people to say enough is enough, and rid society of the traitors that brought us down this path.
Until we do, we will keep losing, keep wasting money, and addicts will keep dying. All for nothing.