Up In Smoke

oh cannibisAccording to the latest from our nation’s capital, marijuana will be legalized in Canada by July 1st, 2018, just in time for Canada Day.

There goes the neighbourhood.

While I won’t entice a debate on the pros and cons of our Prime Minister’s bold & brash announcement, I will pause to consider some of the changes one might expect. Regardless of which side of the fence you sit on, one thing is clear, the Canadian landscape is about to change.

For the better?

Perhaps.  While it’s guaranteed the government will reap benefits in the form of regulation and taxation, the potential long-term ramifications on our health care system is concerning.  Free health care is a wonderful thing, but I speak from experience when I say that universal health care comes at a steep cost, especially for those firmly entrenched in the working middle class.  Some refer to it as outrageous taxation.  I refer to it as bend over, we want more.

But perhaps legalization of cannabis will impede organized crime?

Doubtful.  And if you give any credence to the whole ‘gateway’ drug theory, many, especially our at-risk youth, will likely establish an entirely new customer base for unscrupulous traffickers.

But that’s the shady side of the fence.

On the brighter side, in a country where one has to pay upwards of 250% more than our U.S. counterparts for a case of beer, or bottle of liquor, a little domestic marketplace competition may not be such a bad thing.

And then there’s the boom to the tourism industry.  Fear of igloos, rutting moose, and Justin Bieber, may no longer deter potential visitors.  The floodgates will open.  The top ten tourist destinations for certain ‘recreational’ travelers may change; Amsterdam, Jamaica, Toronto.  We’ll finally be on the map.

Note to self – invest in a food truck.

But I digress.

The Liberals touted ‘marijuana legalization’ as one of their party platforms in the last Federal election, and were swept into power by the majority.  And to their credit, it appears they have done their homework, recommending stringent guidelines and regulations, before opening Pandora’s Box.  The proposed minimum age to legally smoke marijuana in Canada will be 18, although each Province will be granted the power to impose their own minimums.  As well, each household will be strictly limited to the amount of personal-use marijuana they can grow at any one time, at 4 plants.

So it’s not like they haven’t thought this through.

And for anyone left shaking their heads, wondering how this proposition out of (left) field gained such traction, consider this.

Three of our National League Hockey teams already have fitting monikers;













I think not.

What better way for hockey, often criticized as a violent sport, to evolve into a passive, easy-going, ‘let’s not even keep score’, pastime.  Substitute pot for beer, and the fan base may change.

The game may change.

Society may change.
tommy chong2 (2)
I only hope that next year, consideration is given to asking Tommy Chong (the Canadian half of Cheech & Chong) to be Grand Marshal of the Canada Day Parade in Ottawa.  I can picture him, seated inside his Lowrider, dice dangling from the rear view, smoking a joint, waving to thousands of adoring fans.  Happy Cannabis Day.

That would be spectacular.

And if not Tommy, then perhaps Canada’s other famous cannabis advocates from the East Coast, the Trailer Park Boys.  What better way to show the world what Canada is all about.

trailer park boys

Until next time,


42 thoughts on “Up In Smoke

    1. Hey John guess what? my local drug dealer doesn’t ID… ask any teenager which substance is easier to obtain? Alcohol or pot? They will say cannabis is way easier to obtain because alcohol is regulated, if cannabis were regulated like alcohol our youth would have a harder time obtaining it… that’s the simple truth.
      I also disagree with you about Colorado. deaths from opiates has dramatically gone down in that state not to mention the $200 million in taxes that benefit their public schools roadways and everything in between…

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Terrific post on this timeless debate. I have had several relatives that have used weed to combat epilepsy, Tourettes & other ailments. It helped them tremendously.
    It does sound like your government thought it through.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Cannabis saved my life! literally… I was able to drop all five of my prescriptions that were causing me depression and suicidal thoughts I couldn’t hardly even think or function on them then a friend gave me some cannabis I weaned off my medication in only two months and now I am happy loving and live in life!! There’s no doubt in my mind without this beautiful plant I would not be on this beautiful earth

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Awesome post. Yes, do invest in that food truck, lol!! I live in a place where marijuana is legal and the smoke shops are everywhere. I even live one mile from a nursery that grows it. It definitely doesn’t cut down on the crime, and these places are targeted quite a bit if not well secured. My opinion is still out on this one, but so far I’ve not seen any major issues from pot being legal, especially as the mayor of Seattle is trying to save all the heroin addicts there and making that city one big homeless campground.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’ve read about whole ‘heroin safe injection zone’ proposal, yikes. We’ve already been contending with medical marijuana robberies, especially on people that possess personal grow licenses. The new matrix, come 2018 will be interesting to watch. And I’ve thought up a unique theme for my food truck, ‘Twinkies & Tacos’. That’s all I’ll sell, nothing else. Cheers, thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I got my reservations on this subject. I can listen to both sides and reason but I incline towards the against side as I have a child and I think the world is bad enough. Just today I was on the playground in a massive park and there it was, the smell of weed. I went out for fresh air with my one year old and while I was pushing her in the swing I was “getting high” thanks to two imbecils

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I love the word ‘imbecile’, it paints a complete picture. I accept both sides of the argument, but similar to you, I have concerns about what our daughter will be exposed to when she starts high school in September. I guess we will wait and see.
      Cheers, thanks for your comment, I always appreciate them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Drug dealers don’t ID ask any teenager which substances easier to obtain alcohol or cannabis I guarantee you they will say cannabis because alcohol is regulated if cannabis were regulated it would be a lot harder for our youth to obtain, and that’s the simple truth


    2. Don’t embellish the truth you were not getting high! in order to get high from second hand marijuana smoke you would have to be hot boxing a little car or having someone blow a direct hit into your mouth just because you can smell it doesn’t mean you’re getting high


      1. You don’t have much patience do you? I used the quotation marks exactly because getting high with the smell is not possible. Instead of saying I am definitely bothered by the smell I used the marks when the expression getting high.


      2. Not all people will not understand the context of your words…. as I didn’t, people that don’t know any better would think you were being a literal and that you were literally getting high because of some stupid stoners and that just adds to the anti-pot propaganda. 😦 just please be a little more specific when complaining about marijuana. And just because there are a few bad people that do it next to parks doesn’t mean were all bad…


  4. There goes the neighbourhood. Is about right. I don’t think it is a good idea there will be still crime and like one gentlemen said if the place is not secure someone is going to rob it. There will be still some people that is going to dea

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Time will tell I guess. There are a handful of US States that have gone this route with varying results. Crime will always be there, legalized or otherwise, I’m just hoping the effect on non-smokers is not overly intrusive.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. sorry I hit the wrong button. As i was saying there will be still some people that is going to deal it illegally due to they do not want to pay any taxes. Nice post. I am getting my food truck ready I will serve French burger a la Marijuana. If you buy a meal deal You will get a free joint. LOL nice post.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Here in the States, prohibition of alcohol never worked and was a boom for organized crime or in my case a boom for my moonshining great grandfather. There are certainly negatives to weed but I would think no more than alcohol. I also find it hypocritical to debate the evils of weed with a Jack and Coke in my hand.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My wife proudly reminds me how her great grandfather ran moonshine back in the day. I agree, pot likely causes far less social problems than alcohol on the grand scale, but I still have my reservations, along with my case of Coors Lite and bottle of Alberta Premium Rye. Cheers Don, thanks for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I have no issues for weed being used for medical purposes. As a pharmacy student, I’ve been learning of the benefits. Apparently it can help with glaucoma. However, I am morally opposed to its purpose for leisure as I am opposed to smoking anything. Like tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs, it can be addictive. Some of my friends defend it because they believe all it does is make you tired and hungry. Well, we don’t know what else it can cause yet. Imagine this, once legalized manufacturers may start making more versions of it with different ingredients and those could have different side effects and still have some negative impact on your health if you become addicted to it. Just like being addicted to opoids can cause breathing problems and you can die. People may say it’s not as addictive as tobacco and alcohol but I assure you that will change once legalized. It is only considered not as harmful because not enough research has been done. I can’t understand anyone who has the joy in smoking anything. If I want to relax, I take a hot bath, drink tea or sit on the porch with a book. There are three stores that sell smoking stuff (and most likely will sell cannabis itself) on one of the main streets in my town, it disgusts me how the weed subculture is growing where I live rather than the subcultures that I am actually part of greatly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, medical marijuana is a great alternative to pharmaceuticals in many cases. I personally don’t see a huge issue if adults choose to smoke weed occasionally, as long as it’s done responsibly. And the problem becomes, when legalized, people will take liberties by smoking everywhere, public parks, outside movie theatres before a show, before classes, all sorts of inappropriate places, and smoking bylaws won’t do the trick.
      But then again, a handful of States have gone this route, and although the responses have differed, I’ve not heard of too many complete horror stories, so I guess time will tell. Thanks Emily, I appreciate your comments!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I don’t know… I used to think I was liberal but I’m starting to doubt that. I don’t know if the general population is responsible enough. Moderation is the key and I guess for the right reasons but based on experience, do people ever stick to those? Maybe I’m just not seeing how this will be managed. Then again, do we care much what people do behind closed doors? Until they do something stupid that affect us…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. While smoking in the privacy of your own home (hopefully when your kids are away on a sleep over) is one thing, expecting the general public not to light up anywhere they feel like, whenever they feel like it, is asking a lot. Bylaws aren’t going to do the trick, and police won’t have the time to get involved for every incident where some of the rowdier crowds are smoking up at the movies, at the mall, in the park. I don’t know what the right answer is, I just have my reservations. Cheers Anne, I appreciate your visit and comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Great post. I’m more on the against side, except for legit medical purposes. I’ve seen first hand the negative effects of long term pot use. But, what do I know? There are so many people in my state that want this and their arguments are all good.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The gateway theory has been largely abandoned even by those opposed to relaxing cannabis laws. And even for people who haven’t abandoned it, surely you are less likely to try other illegal drugs if you don’t have to buy cannabis from an illegal drug dealer! Come on people.

    As for healthcare, you would hope that transparency and control over what cannabis you are using will be a positive. Also, it opens the door to better education.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Hi Mike,

    Cheers for posting such an interesting read. I currently live in the UK and am moving to Vancouver in July this year – Hooray! It is against the law to smoke, or use any form of cannabis here.

    I must say that seeing people who have smoked weed here recreationally isn’t a good thing. From my point of view, I’m not saying everyones by the way, but just from what I have observed its pretty bad for you. I’ve seen friends turn from, a tiger to a sloth in a short period of time if you get my drift.

    Yes, for medical reasons I understand it can be extremely helpful, but when smoked I’ve seen people spiral. I’ve heard that maybe the weed is much better over in Canada?! I’d be sure to try some cannabis oil for my back thats for certain.

    Hopefully it won’t be being smoked before student classes etc as its not amazing for concerntration…

    Cheers Mike! x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the comments! I know our lawmakers looked at the Colorado model, to see what was working and what wasn’t. Apparently, much of the medical marijuana supply in Canada was manipulated by organized crime, so the legalization might help in that regard. Because of our universal health care, I have concerns over the long term effects on health and the cost to taxpayers, Canada’s already one the highest taxed countries around. Time will tell however. Congrats on your move to Vancouver. I’ve been as far west as San Diego, but never to BC, I’m sure you’ll love it. Cheers, thanks again!


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