Because Canada needs to keep its chill while surviving as an upstairs neighbor to the miserable, violent tenant of the western hemisphere that is the U.S., the northerly nation has legalized recreational cannabis. What’s great is that Canada did it all at once, as opposed to painfully piecemeal while a wrinkled elf at the Justice Department continues to push a revival of the racist war against everyone’s favorite psychotropic plant. Just the same, you know there are bound to be snags in Canada’s big pot rollout. Which is why we here in California, an extremely stoned state, would like to offer some practical advice.
1. You’re gonna need more weed
Some cannabis retailers in Newfoundland and Labrador ran out of product the very day legalization went into effect. Come on, y’all! That’s no way to celebrate. I’d shed a tear at the thought of all those buzzes unduly harshed, but my eyes are dry as hell right now. Yeah, yeah, I know you can’t make this stuff grow faster, but what were you expecting in terms of business? A couple old people bashfully poking their heads in every afternoon, thinking they might want to sample this “Mary Jane” they’ve been hearing about for the last 50 years? No! You need to meet the demands of ritualistic, almost permanently blazed smokers accustomed to summoning dealers with a cryptic text. Step it up.
2. It’ll suck at first
Long lines, tech glitches, ordering delays: The hiccups of legalization are multifarious, but trust me when I tell you they’re (mostly) temporary. Of course it’s going to be a mess when nobody knows the rules yet and stores are taking every precaution to not run afoul of regulatory guidelines. Try to have a little patience and remind yourself what a momentous change this is, how much had to happen to take you to this point. Enjoy the freedom from the sketchiness and paranoia of buying your herb on the black market. Most importantly, remember that at the end of this process, you get to do drugs. Ahhhh.
3. Don’t be an idiot
Can’t say I’m envious of the ding-dong who, within an hour of marijuana sales becoming legal, got a ticket for toking behind the wheel, then put on blast by Winnipeg Police:
If you can’t wait till you’re home to spark up, you might want to consider taking a break from your habit. Nobody needs you fucking this up for everyone else. Similarly, while smoking in public is a time-honored dirtbag activity, it’s actually still going to be illegal! Meaning you likely won’t be flaunting your newly permissible style of intoxication with huge skunky clouds of secondhand smoke on busy street corners. It remains to be seen how strongly this law is enforced, but for the first few months, best to play it safe. Best, in general, to never indulge in a place where you’d get in trouble for smoking cigarettes.
4. Pay the hell up
I fully expect Americans to complain about every societal change despite their quality of life, but apparently Canadians are griping that legal pot is too pricey? I expected better from you sensible Canucks! Now, I don’t know if the saying “You get what you pay for” exists up there, but I can tell you that coughing up some additional dollars for higher-quality dope is well worth it, and it certainly beats the sad, sickly-colored, fungus-looking nugs your buddy keeps under his bed and sells for $30 an eighth. You’ll also find that a little of the primo shit goes a long way, and you won’t need to re-up as often. If you’re desperate for a deal, check out Oregon. They’re basically giving it away.
5. Don’t forget the ‘recreational’ part
Down in our part of the world, cannabis is well on its way to becoming the next wine culture — with all the snobbishness that entails. Legalization is bittersweet that way, taking some of the illicit fun out of being a pothead. There’s nothing wrong with learning the finer points of this magical flower, but don’t get so caught up in talk of terpenes and THC levels that you forget what made you fall in love with it: Sharing some with your friends in the woods after school and laughing your asses off at practically anything. True, weed has important medical applications, but it also makes a lot of perfectly healthy people very happy. In other words: Don’t forget to have fun!