Forbidden Fruit No Longer

Forty years ago I may have been more interested. Call it timing, or time of my life, but I really don’t care about the legalization of marijuana.

As of today, consumption and sale of pot is legal in Canada, the fulfillment of a 2015 election promise by now-prime minister Justin Trudeau.

It’s a pretty big thing to some people; they were lined up at stores in Newfoundland at midnight to be the first in the country to purchase the now-legal weed. Other people will wait until morning, or until they are of legal age. Some people won’t bother.

It’s a personal thing, like beer, wine or spirits.

It is also now, like beer, wine, and spirits, a taxable commodity (some may even call it a tax grab), promoted by governments as a move to kill the lucrative black market trade and take the drug out of the hands of organized crime. Governments claim control of the substance will also better keep it away from minors (a time when many of us were introduced to weed).

I grew up through the ’70s, reading about the power and pleasure of marijuana in the pages of Rolling Stone magazine, and listening to the comical side of the sub-culture on Cheech and Chong records. I don’t really remember the first time I smoked pot, and was essentially done with it all by the time I was in university (a time when many discovered bud time).

I do remember the last time I smoked a joint, years ago, as a totally pleasurable experience. I’m just not into it now. It’s a personal thing. I do believe part of attraction to pot was the fact that it was not legal; temptation never tastes as sweet as it does from a forbidden fruit.

There been a lot of talk, for years and of late, about the lessening dangers of marijuana. There has been a lot of talk about whether or not the dangers even existed.

While Studies have shown, apparently, that marijuana is not addictive, there will be those people with an addictive personality who will still ignore responsibilities, escape their reality, and even isolate themselves from friends and families.

Others will (continue to) use marijuana as a social drug, and enjoy a Saturday evening with a couple of friends and a few fingers of dope.

Governments are now, already, projecting the millions of dollars of revenue expected to flow into its coffers. History is rife with examples of how governments capitalize on vices. Sin taxes remain one of any governments greatest addiction.

We can only hope newfound revenue will find its way into drug education and treatment plans. In the days leading up to legalization, there certainly hasn’t been enough education on the facts and folly of a drug that was, just yesterday, considered contraband.

We can only hope the increased revenue will actually provide governments with funding to do something about society’s real problem drugs, like the opioid crisis and its increased body count.

© 2018 j.g. lewis

Evolution

What we choose to carry
across the sand, across the street,
or through shadows that threaten or question,
will influence how we walk
across this planet.
Implications. Allegations.

Will you step meekly, leaving
a faint footprint, pace forcefully
forward, or drag your feet to leave a mark.
Could you be left behind,
a solemn slice of nostalgia?
Outdated. Obsolete.

How will the weight of a cruel world
affect you? Keeping up with
rapid technological advancement will silence you.
It never remains the same;
never will, nor will you.
Decisions. Revisions.

Sand will become stone, streets
will grow into neighbourhoods, and
skyscrapers will create doubt or a place to hide.
Will you take comfort in isolation
away from the sun?
Confusion. Evolution.

You will see your future more clearly
with your eyes no longer squinting.
Rest, as you can. Your mind is overflowing
Your body is tired. This pace
will leave you breathless.
Persistence. Resistance.

© 2018 j.g. lewis

To Get By

Victimless crime.
Take what is yours, take what is mine.

Undue violence, the greed, hypocrisy;
what is left behind when
we are only accountable
to ourselves.

Each of us a shadow,
most of us forgettable,
all of us trying
to get by.

Beyond the barking dogs, before
pungent night air strangles any humanity
from vagrants who piss in corners
we never visit.

On the darker side of 3 a.m.

A wrong answer will get you knifed,
the wrong needle will leave you dead.

No one will care.
Fewer will know.

Remind me who I am
before I forget to see.

Just write
my name
in graffiti.

Claim my sins
and transgressions.

I will own up to my responsibilities,

like a prayer
like a poem
like a person.

© 2018 j.g. lewis