Sam’s gone and so is CAST

When Peter Ladner defeated Sam Sullivan for the NPA mayoral nomination,a lot of people were more than pleased.I don’t think anyone thought Ladner’s first statement would be to dump Sam’s CAST program.This program was hopelessly flawed and unworkable from it’s inception and Sam never delivered on the necessary funding from Ottawa.How he could think that a government like that of Stephen Harper would provide funding for such a program,only Sam knows.It never happened.Ladner,however,says he wants to promote only abstinence and treatment programs which is even less palatable than CAST.At least Sam was willing to try different approaches and not just spout the same rhetoric that we’ve heard for the last 100 years.If there was a treatment program with recovery statistics that were beyond the statistical rate of error this would be a little more believable.We hear things like the 70% cure rate that Dianne Watts was throwing around when she returned from Europe.This is an outrageous claim that will never be within telescope range.They spoke of forced treatment for at least three years.Forced treatment has never worked and that isn’t going to change because people want it to.The problem with the abstinence approach is that it infers a willingness on the part of the participants.There is no such willingness here.There’s no question that these people mean well.Unfortunately,They have no concept of what addiction is about nor do they seem to care.There is almost a century of information showing that prohibition has been a terrible and expensive failure.There are two kinds of people contesting approaches to this problem.Those that have been involved and have an insightful and honest approach.And those who,for political or dogmatic reasons don’t care to know the facts and just want the problem to go away.The later are willing to say and do anything in a vain attempt to control human behavior with laws and prisons.Their arguments have never changed and are no more valid today than they were in the past.We can only hope that whoever is elected Mayor of Vancouver.They will continue the progress that has been so hard won and not take us back down the path of prohibition that leads exactly nowhere.Except for enriching gangsters.

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