A few months ago I went to a friend’s apartment for dinner. I would be leaving for the summer a few weeks later and we wanted to have one last hurrah before exams separated us for four months.
Arriving at her apartment, it was obvious to my trained nose that cannabis was a frequently used product in her building.
Not to my surprise, on her window ledge was a classic wooden pipe sitting next to an intricate glass bong that hadn’t been cleaned since the last time it was used.
A few weeks before that, I went to a different friend’s house for a campfire.
About a dozen people were there huddled around the fire, the two on either side of me smoking cigarettes and one across the fire nursing a bottle of wine.
The person beside me offers me a drag and I realize that the tobacco smell is coming from my other neighbour and this is not an ordinary cigarette.
I declined because I was under a job contract at the time that specifically prohibited me from taking “illegal drugs.” Under ordinary circumstances, though, I likely wouldn’t have.
Truth be told, pot is a significantly more enjoyable experience, and if it were legal I would buy a vapourizer and use that when I want to get intoxicated.
As politicians across the continent are slowly realizing, this view is not uncommon.
In university residences, few things are taken as seriously as the smell of pot.
If a don can tell what room it’s coming from then their next call is straight to Special Constables.
Those infractions are so serious that they can get students evicted from residence, even though on the whole, it isn’t the most dangerous drug that students use.
Considering the population of Wilf’s on an average Tuesday bar night or trivia Wednesday and the consistent lines outside of Phil’s, Chainsaw, Beta and every other local bar, it shouldn’t be surprising that the desire for heavy drinking is prevalent among university students.
Reckless intoxication is such a part of the culture that every student group affiliated with the school has constant reminders about how to be responsible with alcohol.
And most of us can understand why. More times than I can count I have had to play parent for friends who have had too much to drink.
It wasn’t uncommon for me to call Foot Patrol or walk them home myself to see that they arrived safely.
Alcohol is as common as it is dangerous. However, I’ve never had to worry about the pot smokers I know, though.
I don’t worry about them getting into a fight while out at a bar; I don’t worry about them passing out and asphyxiating on their own vomit.
While I don’t necessarily advocate breaking the law, it does seem to be weird how the community is okay with pervasive heavy drinking but is willing to ruin someone’s future over a joint.