Up In Smoke

Take a deep breath. On second thought, maybe you had better not. The second-hand smoke is likely to be pretty thick.

Canada’s Liberal government has finally kept an election promise, albeit one that should not have been made. Today, possession and use of recreational marijuana becomes legal in Canada.

Criminal lawyers are rejoicing. The business they lose defending people on possession charges will be more than made up by the cases of those charged with driving while impaired by marijuana. Last time I checked, the government had not come up with a scientific standard to determine impairment. They have one for blood alcohol level, but it seems to be trickier with pot. You can expect to see more court cases.

I could probably write a week’s worth of posts explaining why legal pot is a bad idea. But I’m not going to do that. It is a little late for that debate. And I’ve done it before anyway; if you want to read about it, search this site using the word “marijuana,” or just start with this link.

I do want to go on record as far as my personal use goes; I won’t be toking up. Recreational marijuana use is not for me. And not for fear of lung cancer, though you can get that from pot just like you can from smoking tobacco.

The whole idea behind recreational marijuana is to remove oneself from reality. I understand the appeal; the world can be a pretty grim place sometimes. Which is exactly why partaking isn’t a great idea.

Escaping from reality is only a temporary solution. When the high wears off, the world is unchanged. The problems/issues that convinced you to try escaping in the first place haven’t gone anywhere. They may indeed have gotten worse.

I want to be an advocate for change, for making things better. I can’t do that if I am stoned. Marijuana users say they can function more effectively and efficiently when they are smoking weed – which is proof of how much it impairs their judgement.

Roman emperors gave their people want they wanted: bread and circuses. The idea was that as long as the populace had food and entertainment, they were in no danger of revolt. Which was good for the emperor.

I don’t know if the Liberal hope is that Canadians will enjoy their marijuana so much they won’t notice their other unfulfilled promises. Maybe that is the plan, which would suggest a rather low view of the Canadian public.

It will be years before the full effects of legalized marijuana in Canada are fully known. If I were cynical I’d suggest that the government is banking on that. Their idea is to get through the next election in a year’s time, and they hope the bloom will still be on the plant so to speak, which will allow them to return to power.

That is, if their fans aren’t too stoned to remember to vote. I wonder if they thought about that.

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