Hot and Cold

            This has been the hottest week all summer here on the coast with everybody flocking to the lakes and the sea shore. Except for today. It’s raining non-stop. Water is a good thing for everything living and growing. In the last week alone, we have over 100 forest fires ravaging the province, foremost the 5000 acre Christie Mountain fire in the Okanagan’s Similkameen district near Penticton. It grew over 2500 acres in just one afternoon.

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Senior Stoners

“Did you read Trudeau’s announcement that Marijuana will be legal by October 17th,” He needs one good news story and I think Canadians in general will be pleased,” I said after I joined Camp who was already seated at our usual table at the pub.

“Yeah, except all the small growers, the experienced specialists who have been refining the art of the perfect Ganja, will be gobbled up by the big corporations or be left to remain underground,” Camp said. “Not good for all the small towns where these Grow-ops have contributed to their local economy for the past 30 years.”

“There will be problems with quality, standards, taxation and distribution,” I said. “and people who rely on medical marijuana will be taxed just like recreational users. Not fair, they say, since it should be treated like any other medicine.”

“Yeah, it will also be interesting to see what our bullish neighbour to the south thinks of this and should we even care?”

Vicky brought us two cold ones and I couldn’t help myself and asked her opinion about this issue.

“I don’t indulge, but it should be up to the people to decide what they consume, not the government. Most people are smart enough to decide what’s good for themselves, without the government getting in the way,” she said while giving the table next to us a perfunctory wipe.

“Exactly,” said Camp. “It smacks of legislating morality.”

“Guess which is the fastest growing population segment that indulges these days.”

“Teenagers?” I ventured.

“Seniors!” Camp said triumphantly, smacking the table with the palm of his hand for emphasis. “It’s senior stoners which are the biggest new Cannabis users according to a New Yorkerarticle. A US government survey found that cannabis use for those 65 years old and up increased by 250%. It’s simple demographics. Seniors today are the boomers, the first generation to seriously embrace Marijuana and now that they’re retired they’re taking up old habits. Remember those lids of Mexican weed or the Thai sticks?

“Yes, I remember,” I said. “You could tell a toker by the holes in their T-shirts from the exploding seeds.”

“Those were the days,” Camp waxed nostalgically.

We both concentrated on our beers for a couple of beats.

“I guess between the old stoners and those looking for health benefits you can add those who follow the law and are now free to get high and then there are those who never stopped,” I said.

“It’s not the teens but the geezers who will drive the green wave,” Camp said, “and the market will be driven by edibles, not smokers. Gummibears and popcorn, brownies, candy and vaporizers.”

“Amen,” Camp said and we finished our pints which didn’t last in this summer heat.

Vicky brought around a fresh round of cold ones and said. “While you two are concerned with recreation and high times, I’m more worried about the smoke covering much of the Okanagan. Over 120 wild fires are burning right now in B.C. and there is no rain in sight. I don’t even want to think about the horrible fires in Greece. My boyfriend just signed up with the fire fighters. He’s off to Kelowna today.”

We both looked a bit pathetic with our silly pot concerns in view of this real devastating threat to property and lives.

“I remember the awful Mountain Park fire in 2003,” I said.

“Or the Fort McMurray wild fire that destroyed 2400 homes and took 15 months to put out,” Camp added.

“Vicky you’re right of course, we’re very worried and fully support your boyfriends commitment,” I said rather lamely.

“You two don’t worry, I didn’t want to spoil your happy hour. Enjoy the breeze, the super weather and the free second pint.”

“And may the rain come soon,” I said, not believing I just said that.