I'm pretty excited about legal weed largely because I really want to make my own hash. I've been watching YouTube videos and everything. It's not that I'll smoke hash any more than I do now. It's mostly about the process. I don't really eat a lot of pickled beets, either, but there they are, every year, the labour of my own purple hands.
It's like a whole new kind of home canning is about to be legalized. I cannot wait to see what the Royal Winter Fair does with this. I'm sure the results will be a testament to Canadian industry and artistry; the chilliest butter-sculpture hearts will melt.
You need a blender and a silk screen to make hash, and I plan to grow my own weed, of course, because, generally, if something can be made at home at twice the cost and 20 times the effort, I sign up. A childhood of Little House on the Prairie books means I will never get over a life spent not having to make my own soap.
I've already checked to see how the raccoons will feel about my planned crop rotation. Mostly ambivalent, I've read – something they are not toward my heirloom tomatoes.
I'll have time to look into this more while waiting for the Liberals to implement legalization, and I assure you there's nothing like researching the cultivation and preparation of marijuana to remind me why I wanted it legalized in the first place.
Sure, I believe smoking marijuana is a personal choice and, even if you'd rather people didn't do it, I've never heard anyone give "It's illegal" as a reason for passing that joint on unsmoked.
Yes, enforcing marijuana laws is an extravagant waste of law-enforcement resources and, of course, there's nothing equitable about how these laws are applied; most of the highly successful, well-established people I know smoke weed in their posh homes, weed sold to them by discreet professionals.
Legality is only tangentially an issue for them – certain demographics smoke behind a screen. Others I know are not so lucky.
I've long thought that, sound as the science behind medical marijuana is, allowing it to be prescribed came about largely as a way to put well-heeled, likely-to-vote, aging baby boomers' minds to rest. As the hippies start to hit the retirement communities, it threatened to become an issue; the protective privacy they've long enjoyed would be lost to them in even the most comfortable nursing home.
Few would be wanting to ask their grandkids to bring grandpa up a dime bag and some papers after school, then have to lean out the bedroom window to smoke it, like they did in 1968.
There'll be economic benefits to legalization. Currently, there are 26 licensed producers in Canada supplying the 35,000 to 40,000 patients enrolled in the tightly run ship that is Health Canada's medical marijuana program. The framework that is the Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations may turn out to be the Conservatives' greatest economic and cultural legacy.
Forget the Calgary airport, let's name a world-class marijuana after the man who made this possible: Stephen Harper's Strong Stable Majority Bud.
Legal marijuana production is worth an estimated $80-to $100-million in this country and, once it's allowed to grow, Aaron Salz, an analyst for Dundee Capital Markets, sees a $5-billion market lighting up. Not a new market mind you, the lion's share of the black market. Yet another reason to support legalization but really, as I was reminded this week in all my artisanal-hash investigation, the primary benefit of legalization is that maybe then pot culture will die.
I like weed, I've just always hated all the stuff that goes with weed. I make my own ricotta, I make my own gnocchi, but when I click on the YouTube videos offering instructions on these endeavours, nobody ever speaks to me really, really slowly as someone else pings one note over and over on a sitar while a font that would have made Tolkien blush scrolls down. Why must the instructions always be in something I can only call Middle Earthica or Stoner Sans?
No one is counter-culturally making cheese on the Internet. When we legalize weed I'll never again have to walk by a sign offering "practical glass art" when it's a bong.
Bongs aren't even illegal. Everyone knows that. The guy wanting to sell you a bong is just way too happy to be selling bongs; there are no rebels in retail, young Kyle, this should not be so much of your identity.
I hate the silly pun names for weed – give me a product number for my marijuana purchase, please. Nothing that rhymes.
Perhaps because weed has been driven underground, names for it are always like euphemisms for sex – if those euphemisms were concocted by really bored virgins with a passion for sugary cereals.
If I didn't know different, I'd say, if this weed thing were as fun as you all make it out to be, you wouldn't have to give it such "fun" names.
Do you really want to smoke Cherry Berry Ninja Dragon, or do you just want to say Cherry Berry Ninja Dragon? If so, why?
Weed should be sold by the government because, half the time, it's named, not like something you want, but from the same scheming part of the brain that names those highly suspect pieces of legislation they're always trying to ram through Parliament. "Sure, we want to make you quarter a dead badger in your house, but we've named it the Zantastic Double-up OG, Yes, That is a Dead Badger in Your Living Room Act, how's them apples?
Let's keep the weed but lose the tie-dyed shirts, stoner music and trippy art and, if the only benefit to mainstreaming marijuana is the crippling of the overly precious rolling-paper industry, that will be enough.
Sometimes it's a fine line between being a stoner and being a scrapbooker, people. Watch it.