I’ve been banned from crossing into the USA since May 2016. So instead, my friend Dixie and I went on a different trip, to BC’s Sunshine Coast. It may not have been the trip we had planned but we still got to have our getaway — and some really rare one-on-one time — doused in a cloud of pot smoke.
When I start writing a piece, I sometimes try to come up with a working title that sums up what I am trying to get across. Helps me figure out the tone I am going for. A few I came up with for this one included “Lie Lie Lie: Border Crossing,” “Silver Linings: At Least the Border Guy Was Cute If Someone Has to Look at My Nude Selfies,” and “Hardened Criminals.” I went with the most straight-forward though, “Why the Fight Against Prohibition Matters.”
Michael Balderstone, president of Australia’s HEMP (Help End Marijuana Prohibition) Party, has been involved in the hemp movement since the 1980s. He invited me down to MardiGrass in Nimbin, NSW again this year. Just after the 24th annual MardiGrass finished we sat down in the back of the Hemp Embassy and chatted.
In life, one may face a moment of defiance, suffer a loss or experience grief, and perhaps be forced to circumvent changes to regain what one feels to have lost in the first place. Sometimes when suffering, one seeks something of a spiritual pillow to soften the blows of reality. And, most often, one seeks inner peace to stitch back the hope lost.
A lifetime of moments gathered by threads of time reveals the fabric of our being. We all carry certain truths, burdens, and sorrows. We constantly try to prove to ourselves and to others why we do what we do: a reason, an explanation, a justification for wanting to fit into society normally as cannabis users and fans.
Editor’s Note: This Classic Chicks article is a combination of two previous articles, originally published March 21st and 24th, 2015, formatted for Twelve High Chicks’ year two layout. Content and intent have not been changed.
I first was introduced to Brian O’Dea, a polite and distinguished gentleman, when I travelled to Ottawa in December 2014 to meet other cannabis freedom activists and to screen Adam Scorgie’s The Culture High. With a polished demeanour and extensive vocabulary, Brian wouldn’t strike you as the type of person who would “move” copious amounts of cannabis around the world. He is educated, experienced, and skilled in his endeavours. He’s known to be one of smartest criminals the DEA has ever managed to catch; it was only after he’d retired as drug lord that the DEA finally managed to gather enough evidence to convict him.
It’s hard not to notice these days that there is something not right about the state of affairs in our country.
We are supposed to be living as free people in a free country — we long ago shed the dictators, kings, and tyrants that ruled the masses for tens of thousands of years, subjecting people to their whims.
I am a face in the crowd, a marijuana consumer that for many years hid in the closet, hid from my family, and hid from society.
When I was young, I enjoyed smoking pot now and then mostly to unwind with my friends. My ex even sold a bit and in 1989 he ended up doing a bit of time for trafficking. The ‘80s and early ‘90s were long before anyone was talking about marijuana being medicine, and before I was paying attention to anything having to do with my health; they were my crazier years.
In 1992 I became a mom. Life changed and years passed but I was still consuming pot, not for health reasons, just ‘cause I liked it.
For most of us, we learn to obey at an early age. Parents use a variety of methods and will go to great extremes to teach this lesson; it’s important for the survival of the child and for the sanity of the parent. It also serves the child well with respect to getting what they want while they grow up. The problem is that it does not always serve us so well in society after we have grown up.