Saturday , 24 July 2021

It happened – weed’s legal. Let’s resume our lives.

If you weren’t totally overwhelmed by the sure volume of weed related opinion pieces, reminders, and “everything-you-need-to-knows” yesterday than good on you.

In-between reading the National Post’s story about the expected increase in stoned dogs and Rick Mercer’s hot takes on ganga you can’t help but think that reefer madness has descended upon our country.

Canadians spent nearly $6 Billion on “the burning weed that has its root in hell” last year for medicinal and recreational uses.

While there has been loads of conjecture and many hypothetical columns and prognostications about what Canada from sea to shining sea will “look like” when October 17 arrives, the lead-up to cannabis legalization has been a gongshow.

One of people’s top fears with legalization is that kids will be more exposed and it will be easier to get, which is the exact logic the Liberals used in legalizing it in the first place.

Not to mention the federal government rushing Senators back to the house just to pass the cannabis bill in the first place, or on the business side, only a handful of shops being open for legalization day in Alberta and many prospective business owners waiting in the wings.

Reefer Madness, a 1936 American propaganda film surrounding the dangers of smoking weed, has reached cult status in recent decades.

With the amount of vitriol and emotion displayed in Facebook comments, it sure seems like many Canadians didn’t want it legalized in the first place.

The province of Alberta is letting each municipality figure out what works for cannabis, despite pleas a few weeks ago from the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association to streamline regulations like alcohol.

Otherwise, in many towns it will be the bylaw officer’s responsibility to catch those smoking where they shouldn’t.

I suspect that will happen about as often as when it was illegal.

Bonnyville will allow limited amounts of public smoking to begin, but a new bylaw is coming down the pike. Cold Lake is regulating it like alcohol, and has talks to go up to four cannabis retail locations.

I understand why we’re all talking about because today’s legalization. It is bound to be one of the top global news stories, but let’s not act as if cannabis is brand new.

The stoners got their win. Trudeau’s hair gets to blow luxuriously in the wind as he stands as the champion of freedom and the keeper of promises, Oh look, he’ll say, at all the new tax revenue I created.

The Nanos survey out yesterday says that 71 per cent of Canadians are not interested in smoking pot and another eight per cent are “somewhat not interested.” There will be those who may feel obliged to indulge themselves. Otherwise, I wouldn’t expect a religious-type conversion or an immediate flood of tax revenue from it either. That will take some time.

An exclusive Global News Ipsos poll says that 6 out of 10 Canadian pot smokers wouldn’t feel comfortable smoking in public anyway. Safe to say those who have been already will continue, and those who weren’t – won’t?

Despite what you’ll end up reading about marijuana, I’m not sure it’s going to impact your life beyond maybe smelling it in public more often in still illegal areas.

Personally, I’m pleased it’s been legalized, but much like cannabis when it was illegal, I don’t care that much about it.

For now, let the users have their day of fun, let the world watch us under their microscopes, and let’s resume our lives and save some of our anxieties for different topics.

Put some T-Rex on. “Bang a gong, get it on.”

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.