Frankly, the fact that Rob Ford appears to have smoked some crack, and by his own admission a considerable amount of pot, really doesn't bother me. At least not the deeds themselves.
Quite frankly, the whole idea of a "war on drugs" that makes criminals out of everybody who touches a chemical for the purpose of "getting high" really doesn't make any sense to me. I've certainly argued that there is no good reason for pot to be illegal, and frankly I don't know that making other narcotics illegal does any good either. We need new approaches to the problems that can result from these drugs.
The issue that Rob Ford presents is one of honesty and integrity. Ford has tried to evade and deceive on this issue for months now. It hasn't been pleasant to watch, but the mayor has desperately tried to avoid coming clean on this matter. In the process, allegations have been made that suggest that Rob Ford and his brother were selling drugs back in high school.
The issue is one of character. Technically, Ford has skated around the edges of illegality. Perhaps he was smoking crack in that video, perhaps not. However, he did attempt to deny the existence of this video, and now, in the wake of his long time friend's arrest, it turns up. Suspicious? To say the least. There had been speculation that Ford had his allies running about trying to acquire the video before it got into the hands of media. It is entirely possible that the speculation was more than just idle guessing.
No, just as Canadians are rightly becoming deeply troubled by Stephen Harper's evasiveness and changing story in the Senate Scandal (which should really be the "Duffy-Wright Affair" if you ask me), Torontonians should be profoundly worried about Ford's conduct. He has lied to the public - the existence of the video makes that clear now.
Can Ford legitimately continue to occupy the Mayor's chair? Legally, perhaps - he has not been charged with, or convicted of, any criminal offence yet. Morally, and ethically, is a much different question. A leader who has lied on a matter of personal integrity is of very questionable character indeed, and his credibility in the political sphere should be seen as non-existent.
Ironically, had Ford come clean in response to the initial allegations about the video, I think the political picture today would be quite different for him.