It’s almost Canada Day, and that means it’s also Cannabis Day! Here’s some puff ‘n’ pass poetry for the occasion.

Growing Pains

It all starts off with one small seed
which left alone will never grow.
And without nature, still cannot
even with use of trowel and hoe.

But with the earth, and sun and rain,
that little seed can set out roots.
Add then in time, with hope and luck,
that little seed can become shoots.

A solid base of deep, thick soil,
nutrient-rich to grow up strong,
with liquid life and rays of light:
a full-sized plant before too long.

Finally, it’s reached flowering age
and your hard work’s reward draws near.
Healthy plants will now reproduce;
and soon enough its buds appear.

No plant grows all on its own.
Well, our country’s the same way.
Make note whose land Canada’s on,
then have a happy Cannabis Day!

-Jay Schmoeker 2017


Like a cannabis plant, Canada didn’t come into existence fully formed all on its own. This year is the 150th anniversary of the confederation of a much smaller Dominion of Canada that grew to incorporate the land now covered by our provinces and territories. But that land was not all available for colonizers to take.

On Canada Day, and Cannabis Day, it’s important to recognize the Indigenous peoples who were here long before 1867, who never voluntarily ceded their independence, and who still struggle to be heard and respected. It’s important to remember the racism, the atrocities, and the errors of our past and present.

And then it’s important to celebrate the mixing of communities and cultures that only happens in a country of immigrants. Canada has grown but it’s not yet mature. With healthy tending — of all of our people and our resources — the end result, like the buds of a cannabis plant, will be well worth the effort.