One columnist’s excellent adventure


I always knew I left the employ of the Globe and Mail too soon. Now, I have real evidence that my failure to become a national columnist of weight, gravitas and fulsome wordiness has robbed me of the opportunity to obtain contact highs in the rocky mountains of Colorado.

There, we find the Globe’s Margaret Wente, provocateur-cum-commentator extraordinaire, hanging with some producers of perfectly legal pot, (“In the Weeds”, May 16, 2015).

God, what an assignment!

Give a Russian sailor a bottle of vodka, a credit card and tell him that downtown Halifax in the springtime is his for the plundering, and. . .well, that’s just about the only circumstance that beats what dear, old MW recently encountered in Denver, which is, by the way, “magical at dawn.”

I’ll bet it is, but do go own Ms. Wente: “Along the western horizon, the snow-capped mountains are bathed in pink from the glow of the rising sun. The sky is turning purest blue. The air is crisp and clear, and you can see forever. What a great place to get stoned.”

She goes on (and on, and on, and on. . .hey, is that my hand in front of my face, or just another snow-capped mountain?): “In Colorado, recreational marijuana was legalized on Jan. 1, 2014. Denver now has more pot stores than it has Starbucks. Anyone over the age of 21 can walk into a store and choose from hundreds of varieties of flowers, nibbles, marijuana-infused drinks, oils, ointments and pain patches, as well as a growing array of wax and other supercharged hard-core products. There’s even a sex lube for women, which promises to deliver the most mind-blowing experience of your life.”

Okay. . .too much information even for the stoners in our midst. Still, I get her point. She’s having fun “researching” this business. More power to her.

Except, of course, until recently, Ms. Wente belonged to a strident cohort of Canadian commentators who adamantly refused to accept the logic propounded by sociologists, psychologists, several important lawmakers (both former and current) and almost every cop who ever ran a beat.

For years, they have insisted that decriminalizing marijuana, regulating it as a controlled substance, would save millions of dollars in tax-funded law-enforcement costs and just about as many kids from underserved, breathtakingly damaging incarceration courtesy of the state.

Here’s what The Times of Israel said just the other day: “Signalling a possible shift in attitude towards the recreational use of marijuana, police chief Yohanan Danino called for the government to reassess its current policies in light of growing calls from lawmakers and the public against prohibition of the drug.”

Reported the Times: “Speaking to high school students in Beit Shemesh, Danino told them they will be ‘surprised to hear’ current police policy on cannabis. ‘More and more citizens are demanding marijuana use be permitted,’ he said. ‘I think it’s time for the police, along with the state, to reevaluate its traditional position.’”

So do I. And so, now, does Ms. Wente. Sort of.

“I inhale. . .gingerly,” she writes. “After two or three draws, my cough subsides and I feel relaxed and happy. My entire body seems lighter. The effect is like three or four glasses of chardonnay, but without the heavy, woozy feel. It’s nothing like the stoned sensation I remember, when all I wanted to do was curl up into a fetal position and eat jelly doughnuts.”

Then, she heads home to Toronto, presumably to the waiting arms of her husband who, without a bag of pot at the ready, kisses her on the cheek.

Now, that’s a contact high.

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