Odd Thoughts: Puff the magic law changes

Langley Advance columnist Bob Groeneveld wonders how many people will end up in jail for smoking pot before legalization, promised for 2017.

Last week started in July.

By Friday it had settled into June. And through the weekend, all the plants in my garden kept insisting that it’s May. The world is upside down. Or at the very least, it’s tilted at a pretty weird angle.

If you have occasion to partake of the devil’s weed for anything but the direst medical circumstances, the tilt got a lot weirder in that April week which took us through the looking glass into the heart of summer.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a change in the political climate that will affect pot growers even more dramatically than the Global Warming that has been throwing a curve at more conventional gardeners like myself.

Trudeau Jr. has decreed that in a year’s time, the Evil Weed will no longer be evil within the precincts of Canada.

As welcome as the Liberal government’s intent to legalize recreational use of pot may be, there’s a quirk in the PM’s announcement that could send another year’s worth of Canadians on a bad trip into an ironic Wonderland, one that is already not-quite-so-ironically inhabited by thousands who had the misfortune of breaking a silly law before the politicians decided to catch up to the rest of the country.

The current crop of pot smokers is being asked to hold their breath until then… or perhaps I should rephrase that.

While the lawmakers dilly-dally over the stated intent to legalize, police will continue to kick down doors and root out all the nasty little rotters who criminally smoke a dried weed.

The justice system will continue to grind away at the souls of those whose greatest crime has been the pollution of their own lungs and perhaps the diminishment of their own mental capacity. (Although, that latter point is not even scientifically certain, mostly because anti-pot paranoia stifled serious research, for fear that it might be discovered that all of the paranoia has been unfounded. That said, I should add that there are indications that pot does have a significant deleterious effect on developing brains, particularly in the teen years.)

Until next year, our jails will continue to provide housing for newly minted criminals who will have to network with established prisoners to rebuild their pot connections – or settle for harder drugs if the grass dries up… so to speak.

And what happens to all those criminals, the new and the old, when their crime evolves into an ordinary recreational experience?

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