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2006-09-05 - 11:01 a.m.

..BC's favorite pastime?...

This morning I was listening to CBC radio and heard a story about problems with dogs in BC getting sick from excessive exposure to marijuana. Unfortunately I missed the full text (i.e. were they smoking it? inhaling it? or being dogs, just chewing on it?) Nevertheless, it was just a perfect anecdote for my new life out here.

Happy clouds waft through our windows at least twice a day. The smell of it penetrates every beach, every park, and every second street it seems. I've already inhaled more pot smoke second hand than I have directly in my entire life. (Which, truthfully, wouldn't be that hard. I had one puff when I was 17 that set off a major asthma attack - the effects of which I felt for a full two days. I've never been fond of the weed after that.).

On the one hand, I find its everpresence amusing, but sometimes it's actually a little bit irritating. I'm beginning to wonder if one can have an allergy to the stuff. Because my eyes have become much more irritated, red, and teary since we moved here. I've also had to get used to that particular acrid smell - several times at night I've thought that our house was on fire...before I realized it was just happy clouds from the neighbo(u)rs next door.

Apparently, these special, personal wintergardens draw a considerable amount of energy from the BC electric company, and growers are innovative enough to tap their use off the meters. I don't remember the numbers, but I rather surprised to learn how seriously this recreational hobby has become. And although its use is still considered illegal, the officials turn a blind eye.

I'm not certain how I feel about the morality of such open and accepted use of drugs (apart from alcohol, which of course I'm so used to seeing that I rarely question it). But, you know, I think I could do without smelling the stuff all the time. And I do begin to wonder if there aren't a few too many brain cells being fried by this openness - or are the numbers comparable to anywhere else?

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