They may still not smoke marijuana in Muskogee—no doubt preferring opioids—but if so, it must be about the last place on Earth. The Killer Weed is enjoying a high, legal no less, a renaissance of reefer, a bounty of bud, an excitement of edibles. Roll another one ... just like the other one.
The war on drugs is over—drugs won. Consider the evidence.
Recreational cannabis is legal in Canada. Admittedly the rollout has been mishandled in a fashion only a government could blunder, but it's legal. Ironically, legalization has hobbled what was a perfectly well-functioning grey market and an even better-functioning black market. But hope springs eternal.
Eleven U.S. states have legalized recreational cannabis. Not surprisingly, they tend to be states less prone to supporting the Groper-in-Chief. Fifteen more have decriminalized it. Fully 33 allow the use of medicinal cannabis with a doctor's "recommendation," something frequently recommended at the point of sale. This should warm the hearts of states rights folk since cannabis is still classified a Schedule 1 substance federally and is massively illegal, even for so-called medicinal purposes.
Schedule 1 substances, according to the 18th-century thinking evidenced by the Controlled Substances Act, have a high potential for abuse, no recognized medicinal use and no safe use. Craziness and depravity surely follow even a whiff of such substances, which include, along with cannabis, virtually every drug that has been popular since the 1960s.
Cannabidiol (CBD) has been touted as the gateway drug to good health. In various over-priced oil forms, it is available at legal pot shops in Canada. I have never tried it. I enjoy the manifold benefits it may offer the old-fashioned way and largely enjoy good health, not that I'm suggesting a cause and effect.
But more price-friendly forms of CBD in capsule form are available from a number of sources and are touted by several friends who don't toke but suffer various forms of discomfort. Purveyors of CBD put the old-timey snake oil salesmen to shame. According to them, there are very few maladies CBD will not have a singularly positive effect on.
CBD may be therapeutic for: (straight from the documentation provided) chronic pain, cancer, anxiety, diabetes, epilepsy, rheumatoid arthritis, MS, schizophrenia, PTSD, sleeping disorders, alcoholism, cardiovascular disease, depression, antibiotic-resistant infections, neurological ailments...and many more, weight loss not being among them.
It has anti-psychotic, anti-depressant, anti-anxiety, antioxidant and neuroprotective qualities, all of which salve the addled brain. It is a vasorelaxant for those suffering from glaucoma. Good for the heart, stomach, intestines, hands, legs, feet and perhaps, just perhaps, will even make CBC watchable.
Yet, despite all these qualities, despite the demand for legal cannabis, despite the potential for financial reward, despite the shining reputation British Columbia enjoys for the quality of its bud, despite millions of visitors who come here from less enlightened jurisdictions, despite the many problems associated with over-consumption of alcohol plaguing Tiny Town, what is our local government's position on legal cannabis in Whistler?
Wait and see.
While we have a wonderful opportunity to sate a demand of many who come here to enjoy, even for a short time, the bubble we call home, to embrace our scenic wonders, healthful environment, wellness offerings and chill buzz—oxymoron, perhaps; accurate description, fer sure—our visionless leaders dither on the sidelines instead of taking advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to: A) nurture a potential source of revenue not linked to property taxes; and B) cure the visiting world of what ails it.
Why is it Whistler has, or is developing, a strategy for just about everything—transportation, housing, environment, sustainability, liquor, strippers, retail, culture, animation, alien visitation—but is still stuck in wait-and-see when it comes to something legal, valued and valuable?
When Vancouver not too long ago was named Best Place in the World for potheads, the RMOW should have been apoplectic! Vancouver? Are you kidding? Whistler is definitely a better place to get high than Vancouver.
Consider: Whistler is already higher than Vancouver. With our edge in altitude and thinner air, you're already halfway there when you imbibe.
Speaking of air, the air in Whistler is still reasonably pure, ergo, your lungs operate more efficiently than they do in Vancouver. Hell, after a couple of hours in Whistler, you can just feel those cannabinoids rushing into your bloodstream through clean lungs.
There are very few roads in Whistler and many walking trails. I get lost in Vancouver without getting high.
The corollary of fewer roads is less need to drive. Need I say more?
There is very little take-out and a limited choice of fast food joints here. Too much choice is only confusing, potentially debilitating, when the munchies take over what little reasoning power you have left.
If winter sports weren't better high, the gondola cars wouldn't all smell like somebody just held a smoke-in in them.
The chances are good that anyone you run into in Whistler will understand exactly what you're talking about, no matter how little sense you're making.
A bold initiative is needed to take back what should rightfully be ours and I think I know exactly what it should be. What are our strengths? Fresh air, good environment, lots of outdoor recreation, beautiful setting, great restaurants, socialized medicine, B.C. bud.
The answer is obvious. A sanitarium. A spa-like operation catering to those wishing to enjoy the many benefits of cannabis in an upscale setting. After all, Destination BC has reported we have to up our game if we don't want to circle the tourism bowl. A cannabis sanitarium would diversify Whistler's tourist trade and just may help us establish other leading "medical" facilities.
What Whistler needs is a John Harvey Kellogg. At the turn of the century before last, Dr. Kellogg put Battle Creek, Michigan, on the map, no small feat. He founded the Battle Creek Sanitarium to provide holistic salvation to those suffering debilitating disease and hypochrondria. It was, in fact, Dr. Kellogg who coined the term sanitarium. He is credited with inventing granola and, of course, corn flakes, which he believed contained anaphrodisic properties. He was a big believer in health through sexual abstinance and also thought people should eat horse food but that's beside the point. Ironically, the modern day Kellogg's company produces Froot Loops, a cereal no horse in his/her right mind would eat.
We need such a visionary. We need someone who can stitch all the culture and wellness Whistler has to offer and spice it up with the allure and benefits of cannabis in all of its varied and expensive forms. Someone who understands people want what people want and they want those wants to be catered to obsequiously. Price be hanged!
We need a council and a mayor who, when someone says, "Lead, follow or get out of the way," won't answer, "What about wait and see?"
In short, we need the mayor, council and staff on CBD. It's supposed to be good for that vision thing.