Readers of this blog (and thanks again, both of you) may surmise that owing to the startlingly idiotic and amateurish tone of this blog, that the creator must be inhaling some truly spectacular ‘product’. Full disclosure (and it is faintly embarrassing): I have never smoked pot in my life. I did not run with that crowd. I ran with the ‘let’s try Cuervo and vomit copiously for the rest of the night’ crowd.
Smoking, as a delivery system, never ‘took’ with me. Even as an 11 year old, sporting a pair of healthy pink lungs, smoking Players’ Light behind the church for the first time, I never inhaled. No older sibling (or camp counsellor) taught me the ‘correct’ method, which I suppose is a blessing. I would hold the smoke in my mouth, and then blow it out (subconsciously aping the movie stars of the time). I felt like you feel when walking out of a cinema, like a different person. Someone cool with a history of misdemeanours.
My best friend Brad and I would smoke as we walked up the tracks perchance to dodge a train or two. If we had a pack of cigarettes, and we were surprisingly adept at locating them, this lent a mundane task a sheen of coolness. A fair bit of improv took place when we were cigaretteless: ever smoke dead leaves, wrapped in brown paper? Don’t do it. It will kill you inside a month.
Both my parents smoked, and my sister smoked. In a way, I was a smoker through the 70s and part of the 60s. Did I refuse to smoke because of the high horse I sat upon? Did I think myself better than most people? I just didn’t like the smell, the rough feeling in the throat . . . oh, and the smell, did I mention that? It was like eating a sardine sandwich, the smell clings to you, like a slime.
Green and Black Markets
Now Canada is poised on the brink of marijuana legalization, both medicinally and recreationally. This will occur later this year (2018). No one knows what this will look like. The government will take a bite through taxation, one can hear the saliva flow in Ottawa at this new revenue stream.
One need only look at the effects of legalization in Colorado, after 4 years or so, to get an inkling of how things will pan out. The black market would, one would assume, dry up, since legality would seemingly make such availability redundant. Such is not the case, according to a DEA official. The two markets, the black one and the legal one, run parallel to one another, with no intersecting. (Remember your geometry, when you weren’t stabbing your classmates with the compass point)
The DEA official stated that illegal seizures have increased every year since 2014, up to 7 tons of product on 2017. I can only assume that the same will happen here in Canada, despite the politicians assuring us otherwise. Unfortunately, this will lead to more condemnation and stigma. Marijuana is a different animal than alcohol. Making your own alcohol is an onerous task – with possibilities of explosions and blindness in the mix; my least favourite effects of drinking.
The Bernese Mountain Dog Effect
I still have not smoked any product, despite the ease of doing so, these days. However, I am a staunch opponent of the naysayers of marijuana use. I do believe that it can help certain people in their pain management. Alcohol abuse is a much more serious issue, both in society and health-wise. At 4 am, when the bars close, the tension in the air is palpable, thanks to the rage-inducing qualities of alcohol.
I went to a 4/20 event with thousands of people in attendance. Why did you go, pray tell, supposed non-blazer? I just enjoyed the vibe, I guess – there is nothing more friendly (except for a group of very placid Bernese Mountain Dogs) than a huge group of marijuana users. The hill overlooking the harbour was littered with ‘elevated’ people staring calmly out to sea. Ah, if only alcohol produced such an effect, instead of taking selfies from the top of police cars, and mutual exchanges of violence.
Yeah. That Guy.
Seth Rogen, actor and well-known pot advocate, will be doing voiceover work on our rapid transit system. It was almost Morgan Freeman, (which would have been better IMO), but he had some allegations against him, which took him out of the running. As far as the rest of Canada is concerned, this will seal our fate as the stoner capital.
Vancouver, where I live, is the de facto seat of marijuana consumption. In fact, our entire province of British Columbia is considered a hippy retreat over the Rockies, to the rest of Canada. Be that as it may, marijuana legality is a matter of course here, with many licensed stores already existing, but many more unlicensed ones vying for attention.
Stoner humour aside, marijuana brings genuine comfort and solace to thousands who have the misfortune to have health issues. It is the lingering stigma that stops marijuana from being a legitimate answer. I can only hope that time will heal these wounds and give cannabis the credit it deserves. I blame the film Pineapple Express.