GETTING MORE TALE #709: The Stuff
October 17 2018 was a day like any other day. I got up, showered, went to work, worked, ate lunch, worked some more, and came home. You might have had a similar day yourself.
I drove home with Cheap Trick in my ears (“If You Want My Love”, great pop rock) and it was a regular commute, just like any other. Uneventful is good. I exited the car into the cold air. The chill has come, but as I walked towards the building, there was something new. I smelled the Stuff.
The Stuff is legal in Canada now. Cannabis, also known as marijuana, ganja, reefer, weed, pot, the electric lettuce…add your own to this list. Where was I? Legalisation. The Justin Trudeau Liberals actually lived up to its campaign promise and the Stuff is now legal. You can smoke it, you can grow it, and there are rules and regulations to go with it. In the province of Ontario you can’t just walk into a store and buy it. You have to order it online. I heard they’re already sold out. But it’s legal, is the point I’m making. Somebody upstairs in the building was celebrating, and that’s fine.
My main point: like many things, the world didn’t shift today. I read worried nay-sayers asking questions like “Have they considered all the stoned pot heads driving during the winter while on the Stuff?” Yes, that’s been considered. Anybody stupid enough to drive while stoned was already doing it. What’s one law when you can break two, I guess. Life in Canada has gone on pretty much normally. The mail came again. It was all junk, again. Gas is pretty much the same price as yesterday. Same with milk. Donald Trump tweeted stupid things. Just a normal day in 2018.
There was one other minor difference today. There was a mass email at work reminding everyone of the drug & liquor policies. They haven’t changed though, it’s still basically “Don’t come to work drunk or stoned.” Same as the day before.
Moving on, I like to think of all the songs I heard as a kid, loaded with references to the Stuff that I completely missed. I was a pretty naive teenager, I guess, and I really didn’t have a clue! “Sweet Leaf” by Black Sabbath? I thought it was about a girl named Leaf. Leaf isn’t a common name, but it’s a name. “I love you Sweet Leaf, though you can’t hear.” Hey, maybe she’s too far away to hear. I didn’t know! I swear to Christ almighty, believe me or not, I thought “Sweet Leaf” was about a girl. Don’t forget Black Sabbath cassettes didn’t come with lyric sheets, so I was guessing at most of the words. Same with “Flying High Again”. No clue.
Early 1990, I was working at the grocery store at the mall with a guy named Scott Gunning. I was obsessed with “Sweet Leaf” that spring. I just got Sabbath’s We Sold Our Soul for Rock and Roll tape. “Sweet Leaf” was one of many favourites, but I really loved that riff. I thought the cough at the start was just an unrelated joke. Scott, who was older and knew Black Sabbath, must have thought I was a complete stoner, how much I was talking about this song! Meanwhile I wouldn’t have known the Stuff if it bit me on the nose!
As kids, we always preferred anti-drug songs to ones about getting high. We were young, and we could relate to the “cleaner” lyrics of a band like Kiss. “I don’t need to get wasted, it only brings me down.” Clear cut and easy to understand. Gene Simmons would be happy that his lyrics had a positive resonance with kids.
Here’s the irony: Gene Simmons, who has always boasted that he’s only been high in a dentist’s chair, is now investing in Canadian weed companies.
Legalization is a good thing. A lot of money is going to go right into the economy. Hell, Mrs. LeBrain has had a prescription for a year and a half now. Another irony: she doesn’t take her meds. She doesn’t like it. And that’s another factor that people are forgetting. There are going to be plenty of people who are going to legally try it for the first time, and they’re going to hate it. They won’t like how it makes them paranoid, or lazy, or hungry, or whatever their reaction will be. It’ won’t be like the nation will go pot-mad.
Even if it did, I’d rather be living here than down south.