What’s the Stress? It’s Just a Plant

Here’s Hoping We See the End of The Stereotyping of Pot Users

Graphic Aiden Locke

With the upcoming legalization of marijuana on Oct. 17, some Montrealers are starting to worry about its possible effects on their daily lives.

Well, I am here to put their mind at ease.

I have been smoking pot basically every day for the past three years. To be honest, the only change I noticed in myself during that time was the few pounds I gained from the munchies.

Personally, the legalization comes as a deliverance. While the people around me already knew about my smoking habit, it’s the judgement of others I’m looking forward to being delivered from.

For too long, marijuana smokers were attached to the stereotypical stoner image. A lazy bum who won’t get off the couch and just sits around doing nothing all day. Well, I can assure you, those days are long gone. Some of the most efficient people I know consume cannabis, just like me, on a daily basis.

It is simply our own way to “take the edge off.” For some, it might be a couple of glasses of wine when they get home. For others, it might be smoking cigarettes sporadically throughout the day. Me, smoking a joint, when I get home late at night, is more than enough.

Am I satisfied with all the restrictions applied to cannabis consumption? Absolutely not. Do I think that some are necessary? Yes. Will the legalization change anything in my habits regarding marijuana? Definitely not.

For worried parents, do not fear it becoming a dependance for your young adults. I have been consuming on a daily basis for the last three years with the slight exception of the last month and a half. I was curious about the effects of having my body go THC free for a month. The result: absolutely no change at all. Except for the fact that I don’t get the munchies late at night.

My only wish through this entire legalization process is that we stop the stigmatization of marijuana consumers. Yes, there will be some obnoxious pot smokers, just like there are obnoxious cigarette smokers. Yes, there will still be some lazy potheads. but there are lazy people who don’t smoke pot. It’s not the smoking itself that gives people these negative traits; instead smoking pot has been used as a scapegoat for these traits forever.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion about the legalization. You may like it or you may not. You might be on the fence about it or you might not even care. But soon, it will be the reality for all Canadians.

The key to a peaceful coexistence between marijuana smokers and non-smokers will be communication and compromise.

Here’s an example. When I used to live in my apartment in Sherbrooke while I was studying at Bishop’s University, our neighbours had a kindergarten. Obviously, we didn’t smoke in front or around the children on purpose. But then again, our neighbour didn’t purposefully bring the kids outside when we were smoking… at least I hope so. But that was a compromise on both ends.

We understood that it was important for the children to have their outdoors time. We also realized that it was even more important to not bother them with our smoke.

Also, note that I wrote that we were outside when we were smoking. Here again, everyone has the right to smoke indoors in their own property. But if your living arrangement prohibits you from smoking indoors, please don’t be a dick about it and respect the rules. I know there are a lot, but they exist for a reason.

Speaking of rules, I want to tip my hat to Mayor Valérie Plante and her decision to apply the same cigarettes smoking rules to marijuana smoking. Treating it like cigarette smoking was the most logical option for the city. The only possible public nuisance smoking marijuana represents is the actual smoke, which is why a ruling similar to cigarettes is the best option here.

I also support the school’s decision to uphold the provincial law that prohibits students from smoking on campus. To be honest, school is not the best place to be in when you’re high. But if you want to get high and come to school, just go further down the street and you won’t be bothered by anyone.

Finally, in today’s landscape, where every single action is over-analyzed and over-criticized, we could all benefit of sitting back and enjoying a little smoke, discussing today’s issues with a more laid-back attitude.