Pubdate: Wed, 29 Nov 2017
Source: Montreal Gazette (CN QU)
Copyright: 2017 Postmedia Network Inc.
Author: Victor Schukov
Page: D18


The prospect of legalization opens up Pandora's box overflowing with

A few years ago, after a heated argument with a friend at a party, I
decided that I would never/ever write about whether marijuana should
be legalized.

But since this-bud's-for-you (or not), colloquially called skunk,
(a.k.a. mary jane), is being legalized real soon, I have decided to
unbutton my loose lip and (gently) lower my big toe into the bath
water. This is primarily because it is a headline topic that will
deeply (I think) affect the West Island. (I promise not to take sides
because that would only get me crappy letters. I am not threatened by
my capacity for being weak-kneed nor my addiction to the errant
exploitation of parentheses.)

Foremost in sucking me out from under my bed was the excellent article
by Kathryn Greenaway headlined Beaconsfield resident asking council to
prohibit local marijuana shops; West Island Gazette, Nov. 22. The
second reason for writing on this topic is that it gives me an
opportunity to use many of the colourful terms for weed in one
convenient essay. (I love lists. From here on, I will only use the
terms that start with the letter B, in acknowledgment of the
Beaconsfield denizen with the burr in his spur.)

Debating whether butter flower should be legalized is like arguing
whether there is life after death. (My theory is that at the end of
the tunnel is a Tim Hortons - they're everywhere!)

In any case, the topic of whether or not bash blue sage should be
freely available, like booze and cigarettes, has been rendered
academic. It now remains only to investigate the proverbial crime scene:

Fun fact: Burnie has over 300 slang terms. That tells me that its
users are clearly in a "creative" state when describing their
mind-muddling resource of choice. No argument there. So when a
Beaconsfield native storms out for banning the stuff it's hard to
blame him. But there is a counter-argument - surprise, surprise:
Alcohol is also available within one's borders. Practically cousins,
they are both recreational substances, and both a health hazard when
overdone. (What isn't?)

The argument is a nasty seesaw, one of the worst: Prohibition has been
proven to stoke the black market (it made Al Capone) and doesn't work.
Having the government garnish those profits makes sense, only that
makes the government the pusher. (And it's already a bootlegger and a
gambling provider.)

The lucid argument against people driving on the stuff: Clearly, even
with the most stringent penalties, some nuts will drive a Sherman tank
on it, like those who drive drunk, and so pose a danger to innocent
bystanders. They will do that no matter where they get the bammy from.
You can't win.

Ottawa has opted for legalizing belyondo spruce, and taxing it and
making lots of money. And the West Island is in for a cultural shock,
seeing booboobama shops opening up all over. Don't kid yourself: The
government is saying that only about 16 outlets are opening in the
province, BUT it's Quebec. Eventually, broccoli will be available at

Anti-legalization advocates can point to more traffic accidents and
drug overdoses in Colorado since the recreational drug was legalized,
but it's a done deal north of the Mason-Dixon Line. The genie is out
of the bottle.

Why? People want what they want. It's the simple law of supply and
demand. Those same people trying to ban bud may as well argue for
prohibition of smokes and beer. The market is all too willing to
indulge. I am just calling out the elephant in the room.

Pandora's box overflows with dilemmas: Is it unethical or immoral to
use intoxicants, legal or not? Is it less immoral for a government to
assume those sales? Is personal use OK as long as others are not hurt
by it? What about families who suffer when a user gets in trouble with
the law or goes to rehab or dies?

Does banning it fly against freedom of choice, as in "it's my life and
I'll do what I want"? In reality, it is all a no-win situation no
matter which side of the fence you're on. The answer may lie in all
things in moderation, but we all know that this doesn't hold for many
caught on the track of habit or outright addiction.

My father never drank nor smoked, and his stance was that if you never
start you will never get hooked. Maybe that is the sole headline: We
need way more education, yet even more ads, more posters. (And a
medical system ready to hit the ground running for what may be coming.)

Anyway, I have no doubt that there will be any fewer people on any
given day traversing the West Island on a high on bobo bush next July.
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MAP posted-by: Matt