I’d taken the subway south and around the loop at Union Station. Three stops later at Dundas the first thing I sensed when I detrained was the undeniable aroma of marijuana, in the station itself, below ground, on the platform. I took a nearby elevator to the street that on the surface opened almost directly into the square itself landing myself almost right into the thick of clustered groups toking. Had I fortified myself with a puff, a drink or both before heading downtown I might have immediately recognized those before me as bohemians, but the fashions including some facial paint and hairdos were new to me so it took some moments longer. But they didn’t notice: their focus was on the weed that was there to see, to buy and to do at will. I was immediately offered some for sale by a fellow who had his price list conveniently printed right on his T-shirt.
The Cops detailed around the perimeter seemed like a civilized lot too who discreetly ignored the drug use, foul language and boisterous behaviour ‘right under their noses’ and killed the time casually relaxed in their waterproof gear. It was Police and potheads, side-by-side, almost entirely indifferent to one another. What a difference a few decades make.
I’d wanted to ask questions, get an opinion or two and what more I couldn’t say, but the police and the pot people seemed to be in orbits of their own that were best left undisturbed. I listened to one act on stage, a girl named Charmie who sang and played a guitar, backed up by a drummer. Then the show went on with a contrasting variety of performers and speakers. And I checked out the booths and the head shop tents that lined the square. It was all Ok. Usually I only remember the event after missing it, so I had been determined to bookmark it this year like a valid resolution. I wasn’t about to forget, didn’t and didn’t leave empty handed when I did, a bit before the oncoming rush hour.
Given last week’s official announcement of legalization in Ottawa, the surrounding news stories and other recent speculations, many are still left wondering both publicly and privately how the whole legalization process could unfold, including regulation, distribution and taxation while even trying to digest the whole idea of ‘edibles’ in order to unwind a bit as well. For the most part I think that those in power need only copy and apply the existing Provincial regulations governing the use of alcohol. Leave the ‘edibles’ off the shelf and up to the individual. The whole thing doesn’t have to be that terribly complicated if it’s considered reasonably.