I, your publisher, am not a pot smoker. My lawyer smokes; my pharmacist smokes; most of my friends smoke. But I do not, because I like my brain as it is.
Our federal government is making moves, to be taken within months if my sources are correct, to make being a pot smoker a lot easier in terms of law. This, I suppose, is fine. If a 19-year-old can wander in to a government-run and regulated store and load up on vodka, then I see little reason why that same soul shouldn’t be able to carry a little leaf in his jeans.
The upside of the new rules is that the trade in marijuana stands a good chance of being taken out of the hands of criminals. And don’t kid yourselves; the modern dope trade involves very nasty people. Guns and cocaine are the currency of BC’s multi-billion dollar pot industry. Bikers and ethnic gangs enrich themselves and visit terrible violence on our communities as they fight over trade and territory, while happy, hippy dopers smoking on their porches blithely ignore the real cost of their bliss.
The downside, for we on the Coast, will be the demise of the local grow trade.
Dope growing is a Coastal tradition, and the pot shops that have sprouted in recent years have enjoyed a sort of “wild west” atmosphere: not legal, but not busted. It was a good run. But with de-criminalization – or whatever it will be called in law – rules will apply. And that will take all the fun out of the game. There will be standards, and taxes, and regulations. These will make selling grass about as much fun as flogging cigarettes. I know one prominent store owner who intends to get out of the weed trade, take his money, and get into wine in the Okanagan.
The fun, here on the Sunshine Coast, is soon to be over.
Please comment if you are so inclined.