Pubdate: Thu, 18 Aug 2005
Source: Xtra! (CN ON)
Copyright: 2005 Pink Triangle Press
Author: Shaun Proulx
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)
Bookmark: (Heroin)



Haven't rightwing freaks and other assorted homophobes been tranquil so far 
this summer? Thank God for pot, though. Still staggering from their 
same-sex marriage defeat, pot's a chance for the neo-cons to get all riled 
up again. Pot rights issues are practically begging the queer community to 
make it our next great contribution to the advancement of society.

Marc Emery, the Vancouver-based pot advocate who's made a decent buck off 
selling marijuana seeds by mail order, saw his life going up in smoke this 
month as US officials demanded the Canadian government hand him over to be 
charged with trafficking. Now pot, which seemed like a settled issue in 
this country - no big deal, wait long enough and it will be legal - is at 
the forefront of debate here.

Here in Canada, our flawed pot laws are murky, making our country a 
low-stakes place to sell and smoke. That's why millions of us do it without 
much thought. South of the border it's a different story. Weed is in the 
same league as heroin. Emery may have had his $3,000-a-month pad to pay 
for, but eventually some of his US clientele revealed themselves as 
soldiers from the great US war on drugs. If convicted, Emery faces a 
sentence as stiff as life imprisonment.

Setting aside his stupidity in toying with the Americans, Emery and the 
entire cannabis movement itself could use a few extra loud pro-pot voices 
sounding off. Why not ours?

I've lit enough joints on dancefloors, at house parties and in bedrooms to 
say with certainty that it's the odd homo who says no-no to the offer of a 
little time with Maryjane. Certainly not every queer is a pot smoker, but I 
could write up an extensive list of those who are.

Countless people with HIV/AIDS can testify to how marijuana helps them with 
legions of ailments including loss of appetite, upset stomach and pain 
relief. For the hedonistic amongst us it seems like it's always 4:20pm, the 
international time of the day to light up. Sweet smoke clouds up gay 
backyards, bathtubs, dinner parties and bathhouses throughout this city as 
we use it to relax deeply, enjoy extra sensory enhancement or augment 
critical thinking. Gay people have for decades enjoyed a sweet and 
satisfying relationship with our weed, and because of this it's worth 
considering doing a bit more than giving the headlines a glance over.

Besides, our sex lives used to be against the law, didn't they, and that 
didn't stop us fucking, did it?

Eighty-two years after it was first deemed criminal, millions of Canadians 
still smoke pot and the majority don't support its criminalization. Almost 
every royal commission and governmental committee in Canada and 
internationally has recommended that pot be decriminalized, the way it has 
been in Australia and many places in Europe. As far as we can tell, there 
hasn't been a decline in society there. That's the same argument that's 
been unsuccessful used by Bible-thumpers against same-sex marriage.

The next time you spark up a spliff, consider being more vocal about 
decriminalizing pot. If only just so we can watch those neo-cons get all 
crazy on us again. It's been a while since I've been called a depraved 
homosexual drug addict.

For things you can do to help Marc Emery, visit: