I love Indian Summer. Balmy, sunny days, harvest festivals, pumpkin pie, a palette of red, gold and brown leaves lazily floating in the air, cool evenings and maybe a fire in the hearth and candles for dinner. The walk along the pebble beach to my weekly tète-a-tète with Campbell, Camp to all and sundry, is the most pleasant this time of year.
“Camp, do you know what day it was yesterday?”
“Wednesday. Oh you mean national Mary Jane day is what you’re referring to isn’t it. You know my take on all of that don’t you?”
“Yes, you did run it by me before but please let’s have it again. I know you’re not totally in favour with the whole process.”
“We would have been better off to decriminalize marijuana instead of legalizing it. Just take the crime out of growing, toking and eating it, throw the jails open and give every one with a criminal record for pot an amnesty and then treat it like all the other famous drugs which are legal now.”
“What famous drugs?” I asked.
“How about sugar, the world’s biggest drug which brought about slavery, rum running and made untold riches for the plantation owners, importers and refineries. Or coffee, which is making fortunes today for the likes of Starbuck’s and has everybody walking around with a non-disposable cup of the black liquid. Did I mention alcohol? Please don’t make me count the ways the drink makes the world go round, right to this table here at ‘Gramma’s Pub’ on the lovely Gibsons’ harbour.”
“Yeah, you’re right Camp and we all know prohibition doesn’t work but it’s quite an achievement for the federal government to legalize pot. I’m not sure if there are any other countries that have done that. I know there are about 26 states in the US and I think Portugal has legalized all drugs about ten years ago but it is quite a radical policy for a federal government of an industrialized nation, don’t you think.”
“Yes, I agree but all they want is control, like for alcohol, and get a bonanza in tax dollars. I’m afraid that giving out licenses will result in a few big corporate players to monopolize the market and leave small operators who have cultivated and produced some fine products over the years, out on the street and possibly on the wrong side of the law. This would take a huge chunk of commerce and money out of small communities like Gibsons and Nelson.”
“Yeah, the usual. Good for corporate share holders, bad for small time operators. Let’s wait and see what happens. It’s been promised by Trudeau’s dad, Pierre, 45 years ago. The world will be watching.”
“I’ve read that the first problem will be one of supply,” Camp said, “meaning that no government sanctioned pot is available as of yet and nobody is in charge of the store, meaning, no pricing, no standardization, no packaging, no labelling, no distribution and no grading. Maybe they’ll have somebody like that Parker guy who grades wines for weed?”
“You mean something like: This ‘Kubla Khan Purple Dagga’bud is 93 points and on special this week.”
“That’s not going to happen any time soon,” Camp laughed.
I still think it’s a day worth celebrating. In fact I’ll buy the next round.”
“I can live with that,” Camp said, quickly downing the rest of his pint.
“You two seem to be in a good mood today,” Rosie said as she brought us a fresh round.
“We’re celebrating legalization day,” I said, “don’t you think that’s worth a toast and a pint?”
“Next you two will want me to bring around a couple of reefers and a cup of ginseng tea instead of beers.”
“No fear of that Rosie,” Camp said, we’ll stick with the golden liquid but I know that Muriel will grow a couple of plants in the garden, just because she can.”
“I think they should make the 17th October a national holiday, it’s a historic event,” I said.
“And what would you call it?” Rosie chuckled, “Cannabis Day?”
“It has a certain ring to it,” Camp said.
“I’ll drink to that,” I said. “Here is to Cannabis Day!”