"The reality is that young people today have easier access to marijuana than to alcohol and tobacco. That should be the core of the conversation right now."
"We know that people get addicted to gambling and we don't say there should be no gambling. We know that people get addicted to alcohol and we don't say there should be no alcohol. As long as there is very strict regulation, I don't see why the same argument shouldn't apply to hard drugs."
I'm hoping that whoever takes over for the executive director -- and for his other cronies who believe in their own sense of righteous importance and entitlement -- will look again at these programs with clearer eyes and sharper minds. I truly hope we will soon see some positive changes in this long-running DTES agency that has served a lot of needy people.
The key issue is whether the heart of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside should remain a low-income precinct with a high concentration of shelters, social housing, and community services -- essentially "walled off" from the rest of the city -- or should it become a more normalized community with a broader range of households and housing choices, including condominiums, restaurants and shops catering to the entire city population?
In my lengthy experience with addiction, both as a practicing addict and as a professional therapist, I've seen that controlled drinking and/or using just doesn't work because, as we who work in this field well know, addiction is a progressive condition that becomes worse over time.