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Why Whistler should go to pot

Well, they might still not smoke marijuana in Muskogee – who cares? – but if so, it must be about the last place on earth. The Killer Weed is enjoying a high, so to speak, a renaissance of reefer, a bounty of bud. Roll another one...

Well, they might still not smoke marijuana in Muskogee – who cares? – but if so, it must be about the last place on earth. The Killer Weed is enjoying a high, so to speak, a renaissance of reefer, a bounty of bud. Roll another one... just like the other one.

The war on drugs is over – drugs won. Consider the evidence.

The obsequious Tony Blair announces before all Parliament a policy to stop Bobbies busting Brits for simple possession of pot and hash. He reckons the cop resources of the country are better employed ferreting out hard drugs. Okay, one step forward, one back. But at least it’s a step. Ya gotta walk before you run.

Our very own Justice Minister, Martin Cauchon, gives a reporter a what-a-dumb-freakin’-question look when asked if he’d ever smoked pot. At least in the most just Minister’s mind, the answer was a foregone conclusion. Duh. The question was in response to Messr. Cauchon’s musing about decriminalizing simple possession, a Karnac-like vision of the future on his part, at least the future expected to be laid out in two parliamentary committee reports due shortly.

All this high level trial balloon flotation comes on the heels of Oh Canada grappling with the issue of medical use of marijuana. The issue isn’t as clear as many of the poor suffering wretches would like it to be, but it’s a work in progress. Let’s see, I think we’re at the point where the government considers it okay to smoke pot for medicinal purposes but only they can supply it, if they figure out where to grow it and remember where they left their rolling papers. Something like that.

Vancouver is proclaimed the best city in the world for stoners by the venerable, if completely silly, High Times magazine. I’d love to write for High Times. I figure it’d be like a bond. Write one column, run it every month for an audience who has no short term memory whatsoever, see how long it takes for anyone to figure it out.

Mike Bloomberg – who’s mayor of New York City even though everyone still thinks it’s Rudi Giuliani – says during the campaign, "Sure I tried pot... and I liked it." Now, posters are sprouting up everywhere in the city with Mikey’s face and that quote. Being a politician in the Great Satan, he is, of course, backpedaling like hell. If he doesn’t, Herr Ashcroft – minister of law and propaganda in the Bush-Lite administration – is likely to start flying military jets into the city’s skyscrapers himself.

And three Californians – what’d you expect, Muskogeens – file for refugee status in British Columbia, claiming to be fleeing from political persecution in the USofA. Seems they’re just sick folk who can’t light up a doob south of the border without a SWAT team busting down their doors and burnin’ up their medicine.

All this can only mean one thing. Whistler! It’s our Future needs to get on the stick. For a teeny resort municipality with a population barely a third of Muskogee’s, Whistler has, or is developing, a strategy for just about everything. We’ve got a transportation strategy, an environmental strategy, a sustainability strategy, a liquor strategy, a stripper strategy, a WEF strategy, a vision, a visitation, well, you get the idea.

What we don’t have, and what we so desperately need, is a cannabis strategy. The time is now. We can either be cutting edge or cut out. I mean, it’s a travesty we let Vancouver garner the best place in the world for potheads award. What were the judges smoking?

Whistler is definitely a better place to get high than Vancouver for at least 10 reasons.

1. Whistler is already higher than Vancouver. With our edge in altitude and thinner air, you’re already half way there when you light up.

2. 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.

3. There are very few roads in Whistler and many walking trails. I get lost in Vancouver without getting high.

4. The corollary of fewer roads is fewer cops. Need I say more?

5. There aren’t very many affordable restaurants in Whistler as well as a limited choice of fast food joints. Too much choice is only confusing, potentially debilitating, when the munchies take over what little reasoning power you have left.

6. English Bay notwithstanding, the view from anywhere in Whistler is a lot easier on the eyes than the view from anywhere in Vancouver.

7. There is a delicious irony to getting high while riding a chairlift or gondola. Double your pleasure.

8. If skiing and boarding weren’t better highs, the gondola cars wouldn’t all smell like somebody just held a smoke-in in them. Another corollary.

9. 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.

10. Ross was right. You can still get high here just by breathing the air.

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, liberal laws on medicinal marijuana usage, B.C. bud.

The answer is obvious. A sanitarium. A spa-like operation catering to those in need of medicinal marijuana in an upscale setting. It wouldn’t run into the same no-two-tiered-health-care minefield the proposed Creekside surgical centre blew up in. It would draw well-heeled potheads from all over the world to take the "cure" with generous prescriptions written by in-house docs. It 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. It was, in fact, Dr. Kellogg who coined the term sanitarium. He also thought people should eat horse food but that’s beside the point.

We need such a visionary. Not necessarily a doc, but someone who knows how to get things done, someone with an entrepreneurial spirit, someone with good political connections. In short, we need Ted Nebbeling back. C’mon Ted, you know you’re wasting your time in Victoria with those deadheads running this province into the ground. You have good survival instincts. Get out while the gettin’s good. Whistler needs you one more time.

Heck, we’ll even let you wear a stethoscope and a white lab coat. Whad’ya say?