Missing 420 with friends

Published on August 19, 2021 by David Wylie

Virtual smoke circles just aren't the same as being with friends.

A few years before legalization, I went to a gathering of reporters from a bunch of different media outlets.

About a dozen of us met at a bar, raised a pint or two and swapped stories.

An hour or so into the shindig, one of my colleagues tapped my shoulder and asked if I wanted to smoke a joint with a few others.

Generally, I’d kept to myself about partaking in pot. Some of the jobs I’ve held in the past have been quite public, and a reputation as a pot smoker in certain bluer cities could close doors in your face. This time though, I wanted the camaraderie of knowing I was in good company.

We went out back and formed a circle of five or six as I recall.

Some of the familiar faces were as surprised to see me as I was to see them.

A well-known TV reporter pulled a nice sized joint out of his pocket, lit it, and around the circle it went. I’ll admit that I felt a little sheepish when it got to me, but a few puffs in and we were all fast friends.

Since then, I’ve become much bolder when it comes to my affection for cannabis. I’ve talked weed with all kinds of people whom I never thought would broach the subject—politicians, pastors, teachers, executives, etc.

COVID-19 smothers events

Just as legalization was setting us free to meet and socialize together about cannabis without looking over our shoulder, COVID-19 spread its blanket of isolation. Digital events replaced in person ones—but virtual smoke circles are just not the same.

One of the biggest current problems in Canadian cannabis regulations is the outlawing of cannabis consumption lounges—anywhere you can go to hang with people to partake together. However, change is in the air.

The province of B.C. has been asking growers and processors their thoughts on consumption areas in the most recent round of stakeholder engagement.

Places where people can smoke or eat or drink or vape together are a natural fit for farm-gate cannabis, like a glass of red or white at a winery picnic table.

Cannabis is fun together

One of the greatest aspects of cannabis is its ability to bring people together.

Sure weed is great for sinking into the couch and watching a movie or playing video games but those activities can be more fun with friends.

Some strains may put you in more of a cannatonic state while the answers to life, the universe, and everything roll through your mind’s eye like the text intro to Star Wars in a galaxy far, far, away. Other types of weed, though, are excellent for socializing and building bonds with fellow tokers.

While writing cannabis laws, there seemed to be some festering fear (reefer madness) that people smoking pot together might turn into rioting and chaos. Those of us who have actually taken a pull off a joint know it’s more likely to spark up a quiet conversation about how to make the world a better place.

This is the First Hit from the latest oz.! Issue 4 just published—look for it soon in your local cannabis store, including Spiritleaf, Lake Country Cannabis, Greenery Cannabis Boutique, and Higher Path locations in the Valley. If you want copies, email [email protected].