Not much for cannabis crowd to celebrate on 420
Published Saturday, April 21, 2012 1:59PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, June 5, 2012 10:43AM EDT
Today there will be considerable celebration over being 420 friendly.
For the longest time I had no idea what that meant. But a few years back, after being asked if I was 420-friendly a few times while near a computer, I consulted the Gods of Google.
That's when I learned it's the one celebratory date and time every year when marijuana users bond over a THC-induced state of international bliss.
But there's not much else for the Canada cannabis crowd to celebrate.
Despite recent pressure from four British Columbia attorney generals and assorted mayors, police officers, health agencies and the leaders of drug-growing Latin American countries, any serious decriminalization debate is more distant than ever.
Stephen Harper is more hostile to decriminalization than any prime minister since the hilarious Reefer Madness short movie was demonizing the drug. Even NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair has gone decidedly cold to removing simple possession from the Criminal Code.
That's exceedingly unfortunate.
Marijuana is a legal remedy for those suffering pain and seizures. It's less addictive or harmful than alcohol or tobacco. Even police have figured this out and don't often charge for possession unless there are indications the individual is trafficking.
Indeed, the greatest danger is something young people in particular rarely ponder. If caught smoking up by the wrong cop, a conviction for simple possession carries a criminal record. And when you have a criminal record for pot, you can and will be turned back at the border or the airport if you're heading for the U.S.A.
So as they celebrate the fourth month's 20th day on the calendar at 4:20 on the clock, the cannabis crowd should inhale deeply and enjoy the moment.
When coming down they're still find themselves in a country that is, 40 years after Canada's LeDain Commission advocated decriminalization, as 420 unfriendly as it has ever been.