Ganga Din

I never have used pot – never smoked a roach, never ate any of Alice B. Toklas’ brownies. I’m sure lots of kids did it 50 years ago when I was at Queen’s – but not me.

Having said that, I am not a “Reefer Madness” fan, nor do I think that possession of a bit of weed should give you a prison sentence, a criminal record, or crippled employability.

I do not think that smoking dope is any more of a health threat than smoking tobacco (but no less.) I don’t think it’s a gateway drug either. So I have no problems with decriminalization. Maybe it has some medical benefits – I won’t be finding out personally.

All in all, I wasn’t that concerned about legalization. Not unless my personal space got trampled on. And I believe that is what is happening.

I cannot turn on the TV or go on the Web these days without being bombarded by all the hype about cannabis stores, government regulation, cannabis stocks – blah, blah, blah. It’s all about the money. Money for the capitalists, money for the taxman.

I’m not happy about the fact anybody can turn their home into a grow-op. I would want a conditional clause put into any offer to purchase that nobody had been growing ganga in the bathroom, thank you.

Nor do I want to breathe in any sort of second-hand smoke. Tobacco smoke stinks. Pot smoke is worse. I want the street to be smoke-free. It can never come into the workplace. I’m concerned that just because pot is legal, a bunch of morons will interpret that as a license to pollute the air in parks and playgrounds.

It also bothers me that so many former food factories in Ontario are now pot growing factories. It might be great for Smiths Falls or Chatham – or maybe Cobourg – but it doesn’t seem right to me. There seems to me to be a disproportionate use of small town facilities for growing it.

And what about driving high? We just introduced another legal impairment method. One that’s harder to detect. Maybe it’s already a problem but it won’t be lessened by legalizing weed.

I believe that far too little thought has been given to education in responsible use, especially with the young people. What is being done to keep pot out of their hands? Will it be any more effective than it is now with black market dispensaries?

The above probably sounds like senior citizen ranting – keep those dam’ plants off my lawn. But I haven’t seen anything in the legalization effort so far that isn’t all about the money and nothing else.


Published by Ray MacDonald

Ray MacDonald is a retired food scientist who lives in Almonte, ON.
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