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Coke-sniffing politician admits error


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Now, I admire his courage to stand up and tell (some of) the truth, but...

link...

http://www.cbc.ca/story/canada/national/20...e_20050920.html

Boisclair admitted he used cocaine in the years during which he was a PQ cabinet minister, between 1996 and 2003. But he didn't want to discuss when he consumed coke, with whom he did it, and from where he got it.
Now, if there is a coke dealer in the second floor bathroom of 'Parliment Hill', that is something that needs to be known, at least by the authorities. Most likely it was a 'friend' who supplied the coke, but if Boisclair will not 'come completely clean' on where he got it, is he not abetting a criminal?
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Good morning, FLEABAG:

Interesting quesiton you pose, but I think it comes down to legal semantics.

He's not abetting a criminal until there is "legally" a criminal to have abetted.

IOW, a person is s "suspect" until convicted, at which point he becomes a "criminal".

When you consider that there is not even a suspect, then I don't think the legal definition of "abetting" can come into play.

This may all be a pile of pooh for a couple reasons;

First, I'm not a lawyer.

Second, I just got up and I'm still wiping the sleep from my eyes,

but it sounds nonsensicle enough to be a legality.

Besides, why should he give a name???

There are no charges being pressed against him for either possession or use, so there is no legal pressure to release a name.

Furthermore, he may need to engage the services of said dealer again in the future.

Difficult to do if the dealer is behind bars.

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Boisclair's cocaine admission hasn't hurt: poll

2005-09-21 07:52:47

Andre Boisclair is waking up to some comforting news this morning.

A new poll suggests the frontrunner in the PQ leadership race is more popular than ever before, since admitting to taking cocaine while he was a government minister.

71 percent of Quebecers would vote for Boisclair in a provincial elcetion, according to a Leger Marketing survey..

940 News
In a move with little precedent in the fashion industry, Kate Moss, one of the world's most recognizable models, was dismissed from a planned advertising campaign yesterday after executives said she had admitted to recently using cocaine.

H&M, Europe's largest clothing chain with 78 stores in the United States, had photographed Ms. Moss to promote the global introduction in November of a fashion collection designed by Stella McCartney. But a spokeswoman for H&M said the campaign was canceled after Ms. Moss told store executives in New York that a report of her drug use in a London newspaper was correct.

NYT

So, it appears the conclusion is that if you use cocaine, you can become PM of Quebec but you can't hawk clothing in expensive billboards.

----

I'm not surprised about the poll findings but the criticism of Boisclair I heard before is that he is too young and inexperienced - a Bourassa circa 1970. His handling of this story only reinforces that opinion.

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Admittedly, but I didn't mean the press, just the narc squad. However, if just a few people did 'go public', cocaine traffic just might be seriously hampered.

I hear you, but we gotta look at the greater good. This is an admission that you would prefer that is made public before the guy becomes premier.

Forcing him to name his dealer is another reason stopping him from doing so.

Who knows maybe the dealer is out of business already?

PS. Just caught him on RDI. My French is not the best but he was really going after the media. Giving them shit for "threatening him physically" and delving into his personal life. (I think....)

Looks like this guys is toast. Attacking the media is the dumbest thing he could have done in this situation. Will not help him at all.

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I think the problem is if he say who gave it to him, then ppl will ask how often, then with who, then why, then how much etc... There could be no end to this and then it would hurt him politically. I think he his brilliant to stop there, yes the media will attack him for doing so but as we can see, he his 14% more popular since ppl know he took coke... Well frankly, i guess he have more supporters because of its nice appearance at one of the most popular variety tv-show sunday and not because of the coke :D.

If he start talking about the detail of the thing then that could hurt him politically.

IMO he is still one of the best candidate for the leadership race, unlike bush who prolly got brain damage for his drug use, Boisclair is a brilliant politician, his lasts years at havard university transformed him and he represent well the youth.

He was deputy at 23years old, became a minister at 29 years and other than that he has been the parliament leader and then oposition leader so he has some sort of charisma and intellectual aptitude as a politician to already have this kind of carrer at such a young age, and he his good looking wich make him the media favourite. On the other side, he was arrogant, haughty and immature, he used drug, and the fact that he his gay prolly make him a target for the redneck.

I guess when it come to choose a leader, you take the best available and its hard to qualify "the Best", i mean the guy do have exceptionaly quality and on the other hand he do have the worst past. Now if he have a good campain, if he proof that the past is over, that he is no more arrogant, haughty and immature, then i guess he will become the next prime minister. For now IMO he suceed because he already have 46% of advance against his only credible opposant... He have 64% of the vote, the main opposant have 18% and the 7 others have a combined 9%.

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There's no way a cokehead should be Premier of Quebec. Make him President of the United States!

(People were actually doing blow in the late 90's? I know it's enjoyed a comeback recently, but back then it would have seemed so...retro. Like wearing a blazer with the sleeves rolled up.)

Can we really condemn this man for wanting to enjoy the jet-setting, high-energy yuppie lifestyle of the 1980s as glamourized in movies like "American Psycho"? Glamorous, successful, motivated, I think Patrick Bateman is a great rolemodel for people who set high goals for themselves. That guy had it all. (I'm not sure about the killing people part, though. I don't know why he committed so many murders in that movie. I think it really detracted from the message of the film...)

Anyway, I bet this guy worked rings around his cabinet colleagues while he was on the blow. I don't know from experience, but I've heard that cocaine is a way way stronger stimulant than coffee. If anything, we should probably be encouraging more of our public servants to get on the powder. Imagine the efficiency!

-k

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Can we really condemn this man for wanting to enjoy the jet-setting, high-energy yuppie lifestyle of the 1980s as glamourized in movies like "American Psycho"?  Glamorous, successful, motivated, I think Patrick Bateman is a great rolemodel for people who set high goals for themselves. That guy had it all. (I'm not sure about the killing people part, though. I don't know why he committed so many murders in that movie. I think it really detracted from the message of the film...)

Seriously, he should be condemned for the drug use given his responsibilities at the time.

Some college kid or some punkass stockbroker or ad exec - who cares. Even if they do go into politics after the fact. But buddy doing coke while a cabinet minister is what the story should be.

Here's a great quote from cbc.ca.

Michel David, a political columnist with Montreal's La Presse, said the admission of cocaine use while in office places Boisclair in trouble. "Maybe he was young, but he was a young cabinet minister, and that's the whole point."

Kimmy, as much as you did say it sarcastically. the killings in the film version of American Psycho really do detract from the main point of the book. i.e. the vacuousness and ridiculous of Bateman's life in general. In the book buddy spends ample time describing his clothing in the most minute detail.

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Anyway, I bet this guy worked rings around his cabinet colleagues while he was on the blow. I don't know from experience, but I've heard that cocaine is a way way stronger stimulant than coffee. If anything, we should probably be encouraging more of our public servants to get on the powder. Imagine the efficiency!
Coke is a expensive habit. Coke heads are usually quite efficient at embezzling funds from their employers, relatives, friends, etc. But I suspect this is not the kind of efficiency you were hoping for. If you think Volpe's meal tabs were bad you probably don't want to know what his were like.
Some college kid or some punkass stockbroker or ad exec - who cares. Even if they do go into politics after the fact. But buddy doing coke while a cabinet minister is what the story should be.
This is exactly how I feel. This guy had some serious responsibility and compromised it not only due to the effect of the drugs but because the use would have made him an easy blackmail target for people who wanted favours from the government.

I am all for forgiving people for mistakes made while they were young and foolish but the circumstances in this case mean he should not be allowed back into public life.

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Big deal, the guy did some blow. Next, politicians will be forced to admit whether they enjoyed Playboy or not. Ralph also did a lot of alcohol and he was drunk on the job; so was Gordo. I am sure a lot of other politicians drink and use other drugs. Whether he used drugs doesn't matter to me, it is whether he can do his job properly. Sheesh, you would think this was the Victorian era or something.

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Big deal, the guy did some blow.  Next, politicians will be forced to admit whether they enjoyed Playboy or not.  Ralph also did a lot of alcohol and he was drunk on the job; so was Gordo.  I am sure a lot of other politicians drink and use other drugs.  Whether he used drugs doesn't matter to me, it is whether he can do his job properly.  Sheesh, you would think this was the Victorian era or something.

OMG, you must be kidding me.

There need to be some sort of standards. Taking issue with a provincial cabinet minister doing cocaine while a cabinet minister is not really puritanical. It is blatant disregard for a law supported by the vast majority of the public.

Given the grey area that pot currently falls into I am sure there wouldn't be an issue with this admission had it been weed, but come on.

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I am sure a lot of other politicians drink and use other drugs.  Whether he used drugs doesn't matter to me, it is whether he can do his job properly.
Sorry, coke is not just another drug. It is quite addictive and expensive. Even if he did his job right he was engaging in a risky activity that could have lead to his illegal use of gov't funds or made him a target for blackmail. In fact, both scenarios could have actually happened but it has not come out in the media (yet).
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Anyway, I bet this guy worked rings around his cabinet colleagues while he was on the blow. I don't know from experience, but I've heard that cocaine is a way way stronger stimulant than coffee. If anything, we should probably be encouraging more of our public servants to get on the powder. Imagine the efficiency!
Coke is a expensive habit. Coke heads are usually quite efficient at embezzling funds from their employers, relatives, friends, etc. But I suspect this is not the kind of efficiency you were hoping for. If you think Volpe's meal tabs were bad you probably don't want to know what his were like.

Well, as you probably guessed I'm not actually in favor of civil servents doing coke. :)

I'm sure there were many times when this person's mind drifted to finding ways of getting the taxpayer to pay for his next purchase of blow, and I wouldn't be surprised if it happened some way or another.

Kimmy, as much as you did say it sarcastically. the killings in the film version of American Psycho really do detract from the main point of the book. i.e. the vacuousness and ridiculous of Bateman's life in general. In the book buddy spends ample time describing his clothing in the most minute detail.

I haven't read the book, but I have heard people say the same. I think the movie did touch on that aspect... his infatuation with the snazzy consumer products in his apartment, his narcissistic obsession with his body and his watching himself in the mirror during sex... his belief that there was deep meaning in Hewey Lewis lyrics. His aimless relationships, his lack of real connection to anyone, and his ability to kill without reason or remorse are all kind of related to the theme: a guy (a whole culture?) completely disconnected from anything meaningful.

-k

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Big deal, the guy did some blow.  Next, politicians will be forced to admit whether they enjoyed Playboy or not.  Ralph also did a lot of alcohol and he was drunk on the job; so was Gordo.  I am sure a lot of other politicians drink and use other drugs.  Whether he used drugs doesn't matter to me, it is whether he can do his job properly.  Sheesh, you would think this was the Victorian era or something.

People who use coke are stupid. Period.

We should strive not to have stupid leaders.

I know this escapes many people, but still.

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Sorry, coke is not just another drug. It is quite addictive and expensive.
Sorry, alcohol is not just another drug. It is quite addictive and can be expensive. It is so widespread that there are places in society where people use the drug openly. Pushers (Molson, Labatts) make quite a bit of money as do the distributors of the drug (bars, pubs etc). Alcohol is big business.

From Patricia Erickson's "The Selective Control of Drugs".

"The currently dominant notion of cocaine's powerful addictive quality is a considerable overstatement: between 5 per cent and 10 per cent of those who ever try cocaine will use it weekly or more often; most users will not continue, and the majority of those who do will use it infrequently. Of the more frequent users...about one-tenth will develop uncontrolled use patterns at some time (p.65).

People who use coke are stupid. Period.

We should strive not to have stupid leaders.

I know this escapes many people, but still.

People who drink are stupid. People who smoke tobacco are stupid. People who are overweight are stupid and people who have unprotected sex are stupid. By this criteria, we would have few people left to choose from. I know this escapes many people, but still.

The guy has said he does not use anymore and to my knowledge, never showed any overt signs of using it. That is, he continued to do his job effectively. King Ralph, by contrast, went out and kicked people and reporter's cameras. He is well known to be an addict. Gordo drove drunk and was caught which IMO, is a pretty good indicator that the guy is unable to control his alcohol use. Not only was he found to be drinking and driving, he was driving fast and on the other side of the road. He then publicly, blatantly and obviously lied about how much he consumed. Amazingly, the ONE time he drove drunk, he was caught. Pretty bad luck if you ask me.

We accept and re-elect drunks whose judgement is impaired, but hey, an open declaration that a person used cocaine in the past and no longer uses now is met with such condemnation. If you want this politician booted fine, but let's make sure we apply such strict stupidity standards to everyone, not just politicians. I am up for any drug/weight/physical endurance testing.

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Sorry, coke is not just another drug. It is quite addictive and expensive.
Sorry, alcohol is not just another drug. It is quite addictive and can be expensive. It is so widespread that there are places in society where people use the drug openly. Pushers (Molson, Labatts) make quite a bit of money as do the distributors of the drug (bars, pubs etc). Alcohol is big business.
An alcoholic on a binge would find it hard to spend more than 10-20K on alcohol without dying of alcohol poisoning. A coke addict on a binge could easily go through 100K-200K in the same period. Most of the drug related crimes in Vancouver are done by coke addicts because they need so much money to fuel their habit. We are talking a different order of magnitude here so there is no comparison.
about one-tenth will develop uncontrolled use patterns at some time
About 10% people in society develop a substance abuse problem during their lifetime (alcohol or otherwise). A study that say that less than 1% of cocaine users end up with a problem is extremely suspect.
The guy has said he does not use anymore and to my knowledge, never showed any overt signs of using it.
Most addicts are capable of functioning normally and you would not know even if you knew them personally. In any case, we don't know if he was an addict and recovered because he is not providing any details. It is legimate to question whether he is still using illegal substances and it is legimate to question the judgement of someone who, as a cabinet minister, engaged in an blantently illegal activity. You cannot compare his situation to Klien or Campbell because their 'drug of choice' was a legal substance.
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An alcoholic on a binge would find it hard to spend more than 10-20K on alcohol without dying of alcohol poisoning. A coke addict on a binge could easily go through 100K-200K in the same period. Most of the drug related crimes in Vancouver are done by coke addicts because they need so much money to fuel their habit. We are talking a different order of magnitude here so there is no comparison.
You are correct that the comparison is not entirely accurate, but not for the reasons you suggest. If alcohol were not so readily available due to the fact that it is a legal substance, it would cost much more. Make it illegal and we shall see how much an addict can spend on it annually. The price of a drug does not reflect its potential harm.
About 10% people in society develop a substance abuse problem during their lifetime (alcohol or otherwise). A study that say that less than 1% of cocaine users end up with a problem is extremely suspect.
A study?
Dr. Patricia (Pat) Erickson has spent her career studying the social aspects of drug use and abuse. She has also researched societal responses to drug use including the impact of drug legislation and the effects of incarceration and other penalties on drug users. Her current work is a study exploring patterns of violence among teenage drug users and sellers....

In 1985, Erickson became the Head of the Drug Policy Research Program and was shortly thereafter promoted to Senior Scientist. In 1992, Erickson became an Adjunct Professor with the Department of Sociology.

Erickson spent 1994-97 as Director of the Collaborative Program in Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Psychoactive Substances at U of T and in 1998, after ARF was amalgamated, became Senior Scientist, Research Division, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

Erickson has authored or edited seven books and 22 chapters in her career. She is also published in many academic journals, including the Canadian Medical Association Journal, the Canadian Journal of Sociology, Daedalus, Criminology, the International Journal of the Addictions, and Contemporary Drug Problems. She also co-authored an entry in the International Handbook on Alcohol and Culture.

Erickson reviews submission for more than a dozen journals including Health Education Research, Journal of Criminal Justice, and the Canadian Journal of Law and Society.

Erickson has been involved in efforts to inform sensible drug policies, and has helped prepare information for Health and Welfare Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Health, and the United States Sentencing Commission. She has also written articles on the topic in major Canadian newspapers. In 1996, Erickson received the Alfred R. Lindesmith Award for Achievement in the Field of Scholarship and Writing from the Drug Policy Foundation in Washington, D.C.

I believe that this demonstrates her arguments are not simply whimsical claims based on "a study".

Most addicts are capable of functioning normally and you would not know even if you knew them personally.
If he is functioning normally when he used the drug, why worry now that he is not using the drug? That is my main point after all. If he was just an occasional user, what is the big deal?
It is legimate to question whether he is still using illegal substances and it is legimate to question the judgement of someone who, as a cabinet minister, engaged in an blantently illegal activity. You cannot compare his situation to Klien or Campbell because their 'drug of choice' was a legal substance.
I highly doubt he would admit to cocaine use if he was involved in illegal behaviour other than using the drug. I can see judging him for using drugs, but I see no reason to dislike him for using cocaine compared to other harmful and impairing drugs.

I certainly can and will make the comparison to Klein and Campbell. My point is that impairment should be our main concern, not the arbitrary classification of drugs. I don't care whether a politician is high on crystal meth, cocaine or alcohol, if they are unable to perform their duties, they should not be working. As well,

Campbell was so drunk that we KNOW he was involved in illegal behaviour (drunk driving) in a foreign country no less. We know Campbell engaged in a crime that hardly anyone would condone. He could have easily killed someone. This dude is simply admitting to recreational use in the past.

If there is no comparison to be made here, it should be because this guy admitted to recreational drug use in the past whereas Gordo lies about problematic drug use in the present.

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I certainly can and will make the comparison to Klein and Campbell.  My point is that impairment should be our main concern, not the arbitrary classification of drugs.  I don't care whether a politician is high on crystal meth, cocaine or alcohol, if they are unable to perform their duties, they should not be working. 

If there is no comparison to be made here, it should be because this guy admitted to recreational drug use in the past whereas Gordo lies about problematic drug use in the present.

You gotta be kidding me.

Are you honestly saying that cocaine poses he same potential risks to both user and society as do pot and alcohol? That is definitely how your "arbitrary classification" quote reads. If that wasn`t your intention I hope you can see how it reads that way.

Protect him all you want but the guy is toast. In today's Devoir two different columnists went after him full bore. One of the biggest criminal problems in Quebec today is the Hell's Angels. Let's guess if more of their income is generated from cocaine or booze....

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You gotta be kidding me.

Are you honestly saying that cocaine poses he same potential risks to both user and society as do pot and alcohol? That is definitely how your "arbitrary classification" quote reads. If that wasn`t your intention I hope you can see how it reads that way.

Actually high quality coke isn't nearly as harmful as it’s made out to be, heroin is far more harmful and crystal meth is insanely dangerous. If you had any notion of the number lawyers/doctors/engineers that use coke it would probably blow your mind.

IMO our dishonesty as a society about drugs has made the problem far worse, when I hear someone tell there child that if they smoke a joint they will get addicted, become a junkie and be unable to function (ala refer madness) it really irritates me. I mean what are the chances that a 15 year old doesn't know some guy who smokes pot recreationally and still does well in school and is in pretty much every way a normal person? What do you think is going through that same kids mind when you tell him crystal meth will make you addicted 75% of the time after 2 uses and will destroy your life? They sure aren't going to be thinking gee they lied to me about pot but I am sure there telling the truth about this crystal meth stuff.

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Kinda painful to get into, but please explain how your quoted rant below supports your earlier assertion that cocaine poses the same potential risks to both user and society as do pot and alcohol?

Or did you not mean to make that association. It sure sounded like you did...

Actually high quality coke isn't nearly as harmful as it’s made out to be, heroin is far more harmful and crystal meth is insanely dangerous. If you had any notion of the number lawyers/doctors/engineers that use coke it would probably blow your mind.

IMO our dishonesty as a society about drugs has made the problem far worse, when I hear someone tell there child that if they smoke a joint they will get addicted, become a junkie and be unable to function (ala refer madness) it really irritates me. I mean what are the chances that a 15 year old doesn't know some guy who smokes pot recreationally and still does well in school and is in pretty much every way a normal person? What do you think is going through that same kids mind when you tell him crystal meth will make you addicted 75% of the time after 2 uses and will destroy your life? They sure aren't going to be thinking gee they lied to me about pot but I am sure there telling the truth about this crystal meth stuff.

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You gotta be kidding me.

Are you honestly saying that cocaine poses he same potential risks to both user and society as do pot and alcohol? That is definitely how your "arbitrary classification" quote reads. If that wasn`t your intention I hope you can see how it reads that way.

That was not my intention. I suspect that the cumulative negative effects of alcohol on society are worse. I would guess that relatively few people use cocaine and that a lot of people use alcohol. As such, alcohol is probably more harmful to society than is cocaine. You have to worry about drunk drivers more than you do cocaine drivers. In terms of effects upon the user, why should I care what he does to himself?

Look, I don't know this guy or his politics. My point is that it is hypocritical to accept addicted drunks presently in office, but frown upon a guy who claims to have used cocaine in the past. Again, we are not talking about two premiers who simply drink here, we are talking about two guys so mentally screwed up and out of control that one gets caught for DD in a foreign country and the other goes out into the streets and starts kicking people. How many times have you done that shoop?

I would like you to explain how anyone can justify using alcohol. Why drink? Why use any drugs at all?

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I'll weigh in here, for what it's worth.

Consuming alcohol, smoking marijuana, snorting cocaine, drinking coffee, using tobacco may all be examples of various drug use. It remains however that some of these activities are illegal and others are not. In theory, government members are ultimately responsible for enforcing our laws.

Numerous commentators in Quebec (including Duceppe) have pointed out that Boisclair broke the law, and a serious law at that. At a time when the Quebec government was struggling with motorcycle gangs selling illicit drugs, Boisclair was buying their product.

I don't know if Klein broke a law and while Campbell broke the law, it is anyone's call whether a drunk-driving charge renders one inapt to be premier.

IMV, if someone goes into politics (or enters the theatre of public life), then they must accept what comes with that choice. (I think that was the gist of Duceppe's recent comment.)

Campbell was re-elected and ultimately, it will be PQ members and then voters which will render verdict on Boisclair's law-breaking. So far, people seem more disturbed about how he has handled this. Boisclair seems to think that he can ignore the issue. Duceppe's point was that he can't.

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