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The stubborn open air drug market

Globe and Mail Update

Despite years of police crackdowns, projects and optimistic reports to the police board, the open air drug market continues to thrive at Hastings and Main ...Read the full article

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  1. michael lithgow from Canada writes: Part of finding a solution to any problem - including ones as tragic and difficult as those in the Downtown East Side - is seeing the problem with open eyes. Yes, there is an open drug market at the corner of Hastings and Main, but this describes only part of what you find there. You also find community elders outside having a cigarette between chess moves from games being played in the cafe inside the Carnegie Community Center which is also located at Hastings and Main. You will find employees of the provincial court system on their way to work a few blocks away. You will find customers coming and going to Chinatown which is literally steps away and where there is a thriving produce and drygoods market. You will find artists on their way to and from their studios, and patrons coming and going from one of the dozen or so local art galleries. The Downtown East Side including Main and Hastings is a community with many levels of complexity and diversity among its population. Painting a neighbourhood as only an open air drug market does a kind of violence to the lives and experiences of people who live there whose experiences extend beyond illegal drugs. The Downtown East Side is a community, one with some serious difficulties, but a community just the same, and solutions to problems should reflect this.
  2. Brad Richert from Canada writes: Mr. Matas,
    Perhaps you could do some further research into the increasing drug-related crime in the Fraser Valley (especially Abbotsford, Chilliwack, and Hope) since, well, 2003. I personally have gotten to know three people in the last two years that testify they had simply moved on from Vancouver to the Fraser Valley.

    Band aid solutions.

    Dispersion.

    The problem doesn't just disappear.

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