My neighbourhood is nice, middle class, mixed race, and pretty headstrong. We kicked out a Walmart with a No Big Box in Leslieville campaign and won. Almost all of the businesses are independent and doing quite well. Our BIA is fantastic and supports our little hempire 100%. I’ve come to learn that I have a very special niche of clientele that frequent my shop and events. I don’t seem to attract the kind of people you might expect and this has given me a very interesting perspective. A lot of the people coming in are fairly well educated and are not your atypical potheads.
Take the iceberg analogy and apply it to cannabis consumers. I mean ALL of them, even the ones who’ve only had it once or twice. The tip of this iceberg constitutes the consumers you’d expect, the zoomers, mmar patients, the hippies and hipsters, first nations, the rebellious youth. These people are automatic voters for anyone who promises to repeal prohibition as long as they know its going to happen. The strip around the iceberg at water level, represents those who float between being a consumer and abstaining. And its usually fear of getting caught or poor mitigation that’s caused them to abstain. The base, the largest part by far, is full of people you would never expect, are difficult to pick out and may not even realize that they would consider themselves cannabis consumers. I call them the one hit wonders, and they might only have one hit in their lives!
A lot of these people just need to be reminded that cannabis is a serious issue, is a thriving business and that legalization needs to happen. They have archetypes, and although they aren’t everyday consumers, they constitute a higher population than the obvious ones, and have various reasons for their use, not all of them medical. The folks gone north camping and fishing, the group out back behind the bar on a weekend night, the wedding tokers heading out to toke up the bride and groom, the holiday bakers making stuff for gift giving, the single mom who managed to get a babysitter and doesn’t want to come home drunk, or those who would imbibe but never do because of drug testing, and how about those office party moochers? Always showing up at the circle without a joint!
These people may only consume cannabis once in their lives, once a year in celebration, or maybe if they got sick. Sometimes its planned, sometimes its a whim. They don’t own any tie-dye clothing, would never show up at a rally and probably don’t even have any rolling papers lying around their homes. They are good law abiding citizens and they should have the right to a responsible night out or wedding present of some exotic buds, just as much as they have a right to a Cuban cigar or some 12 year old Scotch.
Now I have never smoked a cigar in my life, and it took one drink to decide I hate Scotch, but I have the legal right to choose to if I want, and there are safety nets in case I like it too much! If you consider cannabis regulation the same way, there are a huge number of people who already know that it is harmless, it can be mitigated and they should have the right to have it without persecution, medically and socially, even if it’s just once in their lives on a whim.