Friday, November 08, 2013

Mayor Ford's troubles

Earlier today, a friend made an interesting slip when he spoke of Toronto's mayor Ford as having been "snorting" cocaine. I am no expert on controlled substances, but I am told that there is a significant sociological difference between smoking crack cocaine and using the powdered stuff.

Ford's troubles with crack recall those of an American politician, Washington's mayor Marion Barry, Jr. In January 1990, during his first term, Barry was videotaped smoking crack cocaine and arrested by FBI officials on drug charges. The arrest and subsequent trial precluded Barry seeking re-election, and he served six months in a federal prison.

Speaking very generally, crack cocaine was popular in the inner city, especially with minority groups. Snorting the powdered variety was more common among Wall Street and Hollywood types. Although he was better off than most, Barry fit this pattern. Ford, however, does not. The Toronto mayor is not identified with the multicultural inner city but with the conservative, largely white suburbs of the Canadian city.  It seems, though, that he gets his supply from Somalian gangs who provide crack, pot, and guns.


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