The Talk of Toronto: The Mayor Cracks Up
It’s pretty bad when television pundits make cracks—pun intended—about replacing the mayor of Toronto with the Governor from AMC’s popular television show, The Walking Dead. While the city has stripped him of many of his powers, Mayor Rob Ford of Toronto, Canada, just refuses to step down.
Ford, who was elected to his position in 2010 and due to reign as Toronto top dog through 2014, has been under watchful eyes for some time because of his alleged alcohol abuse. It surprised most people when a video surfaced of Ford smoking crack cocaine, but apparently Ford had been under investigation for some time.
In May 2013, a reporter from the Toronto Star newspaper and one from an American website Gawker claimed they had seen the video, but they were unable to produce it. Ford denied their claims, but when the Toronto police stated early in November that they had possession of the tape, Ford admitted that he had smoked crack about a year ago when he was “in a drunken stupor.” The police were investigating allegations regarding his drinking, and the video was on the drive of a computer confiscated from an employee suspected of supplying him with drugs.
Ford’s amazing misbehaviors since this information surfaced are almost as bad as his drug and alcohol abuse. He has refused to leave office, although the city council has stripped him of most of his powers. He responded to this act by comparing it to Saddam Hussein’s attack on Kuwait way back in 1990—and he has threatened “outright war” during next year’s municipal elections.
The response to Ford’s drug use is bizarre, with 42 percent of Toronto voters approving of his job performance, although 60 percent admitted they thought he should leave office. Perhaps they have become inured to Ford’s other bizarre behaviors over time: During his time as mayor he has been seen driving while reading and driving while texting. He also passed closely by the rear end of a streetcar resulting in fighting words exchanged between him and the trolley driver.
Americans, of course, are totally familiar with the idea of a mayor smoking crack: Marion Barry, elected mayor of Washington, D.C., was busted for the same thing in 1990, smoking crack with a female friend in a hotel room. At the time of his arrest, he claimed “Bitch set me up.” When he ran for re-election two years later, his slogan was, “He May Not Be Perfect, But He’s Perfect For D.C.” He won then and again in 1994, and he declined to run after that, holding a seat on the city council since, even though he has also been arrested for tax fraud and also for an alleged stalking charge. Who’s been getting too high, Marion Barry or the crazy people who keep re-electing him?
All jokes aside, there’s nothing funny about smoking crack. A processed form of cocaine, it gives the user a feeling of power and physical strength. It’s a high that lasts briefly, and leaves the user flooded by an intense depression or “crash” and a craving for more. Despite Ford’s insistence, it’s unlikely that he smoked it just the once.
Long-term effects of crack include persistent respiratory problems. A person’s lips always appear chapped because the pipe gets hot, and his lungs can’t take the smoke. It causes damage over time to the heart, liver, and kidneys. The crack user loses interest in other areas of his life, and his depressions become more intense over time.
Do you know someone who’s smoking crack cocaine? Residential drug rehab can teach the person why his drug use is dangerous and help him to control his cravings so that his life can return to normal. Make the phone call that will make the difference for that person.