We've written on marijuana reform before, although usually somewhat tepidly. Cause, you know, DRUGS are a big concern in our society. And even though probably three-quarters (or more) of Canadians have smoked pot in their lives (and many likely continue to do so), it's not something you can easily discuss in public. It's against the law, after all. People can get arrested, fined, jailed, and even (horror of horrors) barred from entering the U.S., simply for possessing it.
Before Harpo prorogued Parliament I believe there was legislation in the works to decriminalize possession of small amounts of weed. At first glance, that sounds like a progressive measure. But the amount was extremely small -- maybe enough for three or four doobies. If you were caught with more than that, you'd still face criminal sanction. And if you were caught growing it, the new legislation, if I recall correctly, carried significantly more severe penalties than those currently in place.
Yeah, that's a real breakthrough.
Which brings us tonight. Cheech & Chong, the notorious comic duo who virtually invented stoner culture, are at Conexus Arts Centre as part of their cross country Get It Legal Tour. Not "Get It Decriminalized". Get it Legalized. It's marijuana for Christsakes.
I remember seeing the Tragically Hip's Another Roadside Attraction in Vancouver in '97. It was the one with Sheryl Crow, Wilco, Ashley McIsaac and Los Lobos. It was held at Thunderbird Stadium on the UBC campus on an absolutely gorgeous July day. Unlike other stops on the tour, like the cow pasture beside what was then known as SaskPlace on the outskirts of Saskatoon, there was no beer garden at this concert.
Which was just as well, as there were over 30,000 people in attendance. There did, however, appear to be a relatively liberal attitude toward smoking pot. Which was no biggie for me. Because I'll take 30,000 stoned people over 30,000 drunk people any day.
It doesn't do the movie's cultural impact justice, but here's the trailer for Cheech & Chong's 1978 comedy Up in Smoke. (YouTube) And if you're checking these guys out tonight, have a hit for me.