Smoke 'em if you got 'em
It's only fitting I write this post on dope, on this fine lazy Sunday. I've got the Fun Lovin' Criminals playing, and I've got a couple political issues with dope from this past week. But let's take the long way, shall we?
Unlike most drug users, I stayed completely clean until my 20s. When I did enter the realms of drug use, I did so with a far better understanding of what I was doing than I imagine most people ever have. I read up extensively on marijuana until I realized that the majority of what was thought about dope was pretty much full of shit.
Marijuana Myth, Marijauna Fact by Zimmer & Morgan is one of the most annotated studies of pot you’ll find. It's somewhat biased to the pro-pot side of the argument, but it's also considered The Source on marijuana research by the Dutch, English, Canadian, French, and Australian governments.
I’ve stuck only to organics-- hash, pot, and shrooms. I’ve always thought of peyote as an organic and might one day try it, as well, but up until now, I’ve not. Chemicals though? Keep that shit away from me.
I’m told I’m unfashionable now. One of my friends stated, “All my fashionable friends do cocaine now.” But I don’t care. Pot’s a classic. It’s like Pink Floyd-- it’s right for almost any occasion.
And as you may or may not already know, Vansterdam’s one of the finest places in the world to do it, and there's never been a greater example of the polarity between Vancouver and the United States than this week's happenings.
What you need to know about us is that our present mayor, Larry Campbell, is such a renegade guy that there’s been a dramatic series on air now for seven years called Da Vinci’s Inquest, based on Campbell’s time as the Coroner for the City of Vancouver. The guy always fought for everything he believed and he felt that drugs were the scourge of this city, but not in a Republican “Oh, the amorality of it all!” kind of way, though. And he may be way leftist, but he's one of the most principled men I've ever seen in politics.
Campbell’s gone on record with his beliefs that Vancouver’s heroin crisis is a civic health issue. And he’s right, we’ve got a very high AIDS rate amongst our addicts, and it’s not something to toy with.
Campbell rose through the ranks, first as a cop, then the Coroner, and then he was named Chief of Police for the city, and finally, he ran for mayor on a radical platform and was elected. He's never been a bullshitter and is the rare sort of politician you could see yourself having a pint with.
The man wants to legalize prostitution, has already gotten safe injection sights for heroin, pushed in the needle-exchange program for users, and now he’s asking Ottawa (Canada’s capital) to legalize marijuana.
(We’re already moving towards decriminalization of weed, but I’m fairly opposed to the move. Keep it as it is, I say, or else legalize it. But that’s another issue for another time.)
Campbell’s request to the Canadian government comes the same week as the US Supreme Court’s decision that federal government has jurisdiction over state drug laws, ergo it doesn’t matter if a state wants medical marijuana to be legal, the feds can still shut it down.
As a Canadian, I’m proud to see my government headed in the direction of either legalising or decriminalising dope, regardless of my hesitancy on the latter. But I'm disgusted by the latest moralistic posturing found in the courts of the US, ruling that people get to suffer through their chronic or terminal pain just because the asses in the offices want to keep on riding their moralistic high horses.
Dope contributes in innumerable ways for the sick and the dying. Fuck, it contributes in innumerable ways to my life! I pay my taxes, do my thing, get by on what I'm getting by on, and one of the only things that calms my savage beast is dope. It keeps me chill.
We all laugh and chortle at the idiocy behind Reefer Madness, that classic piece of propaganda, but the reality is that the American government changes its tune with every passing generation. The first generation of stereotype was that dope made you homicidal. Then, it made you stupid. Then, the story changed again and it made you completely unmotivated and pathetic. Now, it makes you a failure and impedes your judgment, opening the door to crime, lying, and escalating addiction.
It’s so sad that the myth continues to reperpetuate down in the States, that the Big Lie Machine keeps on spinning new tunes to try and sell its version of amorality to the masses, that Big Brother sees fit to monitor so heavily what it is you do with your private life, particularly when it hurts no one.
But it's awesome that my country continues to set the benchmark for enforcing personal freedoms of its citizens. I’m happy to know gays can marry here. I’m thrilled to know I can stand on the concrete in front of my law courts, smoke dope, and know it’s unlikely anything will happen to me.
It’s nice to know that the words “land of the free” in our national anthem isn't just another line.