A Token Take on Toking

January by

circa '68


Well, well, well the polls begin to tell a tad more honest tale about that sweet resinous smell.

Even with the majority of Canadians now found by some polls to favor decriminalization of marijuana, it is unlikely to come about until the US goes first. And it may: It’s pretty hard to keep the stuff draped in the costume of evil and decadence when it is proving more and more frequently to be useful therapeutically. And it could, as is often mentioned, generate potential, desperately-needed tax dollars and less futile expenditure of them on policing and jailing.

The stuff is clearly not addictive. If it were there would be a lot more lawyers, teachers, professors, politicians and realtors nodding out on street corners rather than practicing their professions, some with far more than adequate success and perhaps a little clearer comprehension of the appearance/reality riddle that puzzles, intrigues and discombobulates us through all our days .

The usual intake, a toke or two for most folks, can get synapses firing more effectively, thoughts expressed more artfully, more knots danced away than might otherwise have been the case and with more musicality, grace and inventiveness. Folks are generally kinder to one another and may well be more lovingly attuned to those closest to them in all ways.  And it can definitely smooth the way to the muse.

What got me sputtering and coughing more than any toke ever did was the purported legitimacy of studies in which ‘subjects’ were tested for the effects of smoking two joints a day over extended periods of time. Jeeeez……anybody willing to smoke that much had a wee problem with judgement to start with.

There is reason to think that once brought into focus and practice with the assistance of marijuana, those capacities last, with or without continued access to it. Lots of folks who once employed the herb have ceased to do so. The value of their experience isn’t diminished if some keep those capacities, others lose them and some do a little of both. Marijuana aint going to render you immune to the vicissitudes of life. It can be an aid, not a panacea.

As bizarre as were the reasons for banning it, even more retrograde factors may trigger its decriminalization and legalization.

With global economic stagnation rooted in the west and spreading east, with some forecasting decades-long effects, governments may well opt to sanction anything they believe might keep the masses pacified.

And if a side effect of that is reasoned acceptance of a less consuming economic culture, well, the planet may just breathe a sigh of relief for it….particularly if it were to become a more sharing and less greedy one at the same time.

Here in Canada the best we can probably hope for is to replace as soon as possible a government reefing mostly on self-righteousness and hallucinating that disenfranchising more citizens by jailing them, most of them young, is in the best interests of the country. A bad trip that if there ever was one, both for its victims and for the country as a whole.

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