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But would he inhale?

By Hempology | October 8, 2003

From Monday Magazine, October 8th, 2003

By Alisa Gordaneer

I held out the baggie, offering up its organic green contents. “Want some?” I asked.

Staff writer Andrew MacLeod hesitated for a moment, then accepted, eagerly dipping his
fingers into the contents. “Smells good,” he said, sniffing the item he’d taken from the
glinting plastic bag.

“Yeah,” I answered. “Kind of sweet.”

Now, I don’t want anyone to think that every day at Monday is one big long episode
of reefer madness, so before you go assuming anything, let me explain what’s happening here
this week. MacLeod and I had been discussing his story about medical marijuana (see page 8),
and agreeing that it’s high time that we took a closer look at the whole issue of marijuana,
and what you can or can’t be caught doing wuth it in this nearly englightened society
(see pages 8-11).

There have been plenty of jokes lately about Canadians smoking pot to celebrate gay
marriages, but unfortunately, the legislators in this country have yet to rush to the
altar for drugs that aren’t produced by big pharmaceutical companies (but just slap a brand
name on those joints and see what happens). There isn’t one hard and fast rule (other than that
marijuana is still not officially legal), and even the police are hard pressed to figure out
how to deal with people who have a joint or two in their possession (see page 8). There’s little
doubt that legalization, or at least decriminalization, would simply things immensely for
courts, police and lawyers, not to mention Joe and Jane Victoria who just want to know if
their, um, tomato plants are still a no-no.

But there’s no doubt pot is in the news. Even prime minister Jean Chréien spoke up
about it last week when he said he’d like to try a smoke or two, after it’s legal,
of course. Now, I’m not going to make any guesses about whether or not our esteemed PM
even inhaled when he was a young, impressionable college lad – certainly he’s letting us
think that this whole devil’s-weed thing is new to him – but it’s good to see that even
this country’s top guy is in favour of mellowing out all the fuss.

Now, I’m willing to bet that if-and-when Chréien is ever seen in public with a reefer,
television crews will all but trample each other to capture him inhaling on camera. It’s
easy enough to find people who will say they’re in favour of legalizing pot, or at
least decriminalizing it, or at least getting on with more importatnt issues like whether
or not the scungey area under their kitchen sink counts as a protectable ecosystem. But
to get them to admit to a newspaper that they’ve ever inhaled, well, forget it. You’re
better off asking them about the crap under their kitchen sink.

It’s about time a big-name celebrity came out and did Chréien one better by admitting
that yes, they had inhaled. And liked it. And would do it again. Marijuana needs a
public champion who’s famour for other things besides smoking. Look at what Magic Johnson did
for AIDS awareness, or what k.d. lang or Ellen DeGeneres did for acceptance of the queer
community. Where’s the big pothead celebrity we’re all waiting for?

I asked around to some local celebrities, politicians and the like, hoping to find someone
who would come out. No luck. Plenty said they’d go on my “yes I inhaled” list, but didn’t want
their names to be put along with it. One person said of course they had tried pot – having
lived through the 1960s and ’70s, “It was not just a rite of passage, it was a fact of life.”
Another local politician said “I tried it when I was younger, but I found it made me
stupid and nonparticipatory, and I don’t want to be either.”

So here we are, in the year 2003, waiting for the legislators – many of whom also lived
through the ’60s and ’70s – to get around to making it legal. So we can all get on to more
interesting things. Like revealing that the green stuff in the baggie was nothing more
illegal than grapes … which, as everyone knows, are a gateway to the harder stuff. Like

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