I have never really paid much attention to the career of Toronto’s Mayor Rob Ford. He just always seemed like one of those old school, small town, blow hard politicians that existed back in the 60’s. The Dukes of Hazzard’s Boss Hogg comes to mind.
These days he has been hard to ignore. Media from around the world have descended on Toronto and the story is running virtually everywhere. Media loves a spectacle and Ford is not disappointing. You know, the “Man bites dog” kind of news. I don’t even know if he has been a good mayor, maybe he has been, but that is not the point any more. He is now a complete train wreck after publicly admitting he smoked crack cocaine and having being seen in a video with known gang members. He has become the man people love to hate. The late night comedians are having a hay day with the story and I realize it is too easy to take ‘pot’ shots at the Mayor. That is not my intent here.
There is a part of this story that I think everybody is missing; the Trudeau connection. On the surface the two men could not be more different. Ford is the extra-large, red nose, hard drinking conservative and Justin Trudeau is the sensitive, metro-sexual socialist with the Alberto VO5 hairdo. There is no love lost between the two. On the now famous video showing Ford smoking crack cocaine, he calls Trudeau “a fag”. Who even uses words like that today? Is he still in grade 8? The ever concerned Justin seems quite willing to forgive and has said publicly that he hopes Ford gets the help he needs. Hmmm… sounds like the ‘pot’ calling the ‘kettle’ black to me.
When Ford finally admitted that he actually did smoke crack, he added that he can’t remember when because it was probably during one of his “drunken stupors”. So now everyone wants Ford to resign because smoking crack is illegal and a bad example for a political leader. Wait a minute! Isn’t smoking marijuana just as illegal in Canada. Yet Justin Trudeau has repeatedly admitted that he has smoked pot 5 or 6 times. Nobody is calling for his resignation. Nobody is suggesting that they hope he gets the help he needs. Why the double standard? Is it because Ford is a big unlikable lout and Trudeau is just so adorable with the winning smile and refined trust fund pedigree? Yes, I understand that crack is likely a more dangerous drug than marijuana. So what? Kidnapping is a slightly lessor offence than murder but they are both illegal.
Honestly, Trudeau of all people should know better. His mother, Margaret Trudeau was a drug addict. Her drug of choice? Marijuana. She readily admitted that the mental illnesses that she struggled with were directly connected to her use of pot. This is what she told the Vancouver Sun, “Marijuana can trigger psychosis,” and she continued. “Every time I was hospitalized it was preceded by heavy use of marijuana. I miss it. It is a daily struggle. If it’s around, I just don’t stay around.”
I am perplexed that no one is connecting the dots of the Rob Ford story to the Justin Trudeau story. Last week Trudeau was in Manitoba (instead of the House of Commons where he has one of the worst absentee records of any Member of Parliament). He was speaking at the Sioux Valley school which is one of our province’s Native reservations. In response to a question Trudeau explained his plans to legalize marijuana, ostensibly as a better way to win the war on drugs. Apparently the best way to win a war… is to surrender. The students responded to Trudeau’s comments with raucous applause. Easily the single biggest problem with native youth today is drug and alcohol abuse. What was Trudeau thinking? What kind of a message is this for the already troubled young people of our nation? They aren’t even old enough to vote. In fact many of them were Elementary age students.
If we are going to dump on Rob Ford for his bad behavior and poor example, then to avoid a glaring double standard we need to afford Justin Trudeau the same kind of grief. As far as I am concerned they are just two peas in a pot… or something like that. Huh, I seem to be… losing my concentration… it’s all chill bro. Yo dude, is there any pizza left over there…
Further thoughts November 21, 2013:
Just to be clear we are not talking politics here, I am not trying to influence how people vote. We are talking about the law, illegal drugs and the bad example of politicians (who by definition make the laws) who use them and promote their use.
I am aware that there is a growing segment of the population that supports the legalization of marijuana. And from some of the posts below, they think there is nothing harmful about smoking a little pot. Marijuana is a powerful drug that alters ones state of being. It is often categorized as a stimulant, depressant, as well as a hallucinogenic. Not exactly the state of mind befitting of any political leader. It can hardly be compared to a Tim Horton’s double double. At the very least it is a psychoactive drug which aside from the desired euphoria users are after, it can cause a decrease in short-term memory, impaired motor skills, and and feelings of paranoia or anxiety.
Most people including many Christians are not aware that the word for sorcery in scripture is the word ‘pharmakeia’ where we get our English word pharmaceutical. The sorcerers in bible times would use various drug potions to induce an altered state of mind. They understood that drugs were the gateway to the spiritual world. This kind of sorcery was strictly forbidden in the Old Testament as well as the New (Mic 5:12, Rev 9:21). The fact that there are Christians that support Trudeau’s position on legalizing pot is disturbing. No bible believing Christian should ever be using or supporting the use of pot.
Secondly, one needs to look beyond the use of pot to the supply side. More often than not, every time you smoke a joint you are contributing to the vast, violent illegal enterprise of the drug industry. For example, we can no longer take mission trips to the border cities of Mexico which we have been doing for 25 years. The drug cartels have taken over these cities and they have become some of the most violent places on earth. We have several churches we work with in Matamoras, Mexico but we have not been there for 3 years as it it just too dangerous. The last time we were about to go we cancelled the trip as 155 people were killed in one day just before we left. It is a myth that legalizing pot will end the illegal drug trade. It will just increase the demand for the product. Don’t think for a minute that once legalized all pot will come from government sanctioned grow ops. Once it is out on the street it is impossible to tell where it came from. (Having the government in the recreational drug business is a whole other discussion in itself) Nobody ever stops to think about from where and how their drug of choice came and that they are complicit in a long chain of illegal, violent and corrupt activity.
For those who wish to participate in this debate your thoughts are welcome, but let’s move on from the ad hominem comments that I am ignorant or uninformed on the subject. Feel free to disagree with me, but ignorant I am not.