As news broke this evening that the United States may deny entry to any Canadians who engage in the soon-to-be-legal practice of smoking marijuana – despite the U.S. itself having states that allow people to do the same – Canadians found themselves asking one simple question: What exactly is the downside?
“Let me run through a few scenarios,” says a man sitting on a park bench on Toronto’s waterfront, enjoying a well-deserved, inoffensive joint while looking out over Lake Ontario, in the direction of the United States.
“So, if I smoke this,” he says, nodding towards the tidily-rolled joint in his right hand, as it smoulders in the unseasonably warm air. “You’re saying I can’t go to a country that thought it would be a good idea to put the human equivalent of Easy Cheese in charge?”
Hearing that this appears to be the case, he takes another drag.
“I see. How about this. What if I don’t smoke pot, but invest in a company that grows, packages, or sells cannabis? Can I then be turned back from arguably the weirdest mix of consumer excess and religious fervour the world has ever seen in one single nation?”
He is informed that this too is correct, as per the guidance given today by a senior officer at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency.
“Well, I’ll be. What if I just work in a cannabis store?”
It’s a no. An extended discussion is then had on the many great places left to go on earth that have signed the Paris Accord, don’t burn shoes when someone stands for something, don’t treat their allies like enemies and their enemies like possible fathers-in-law; and don’t think that a coarse, failed businessman who refuses to learn anything but has opinions on everything, is a good choice to pilot them through the nascence of the Internet Age.
After the man and a reporter finish agreeing that St. Lucia is fantastic in December (and has direct flights), a comfortable silence settles between them. The man offers his smoke. It is gladly accepted. It is the last of it, which the reporter notes out loud.
“Well, then in the words of one of my favourite Americans (may he rest in peace) let’s get to the point,” the man says, looking pointedly back out across the lake. “Let’s roll another joint.”