The war is over, if you want it

Just about anything can be bad for you if you go overboard with it

My friend beckoned me over.

“Hey Neil, check these out,” he said, “They’re pretty strong, but you might like them. Tell me what you think. Don’t worry about the price. It’s on me, the first time anyway, but I bet you’ll be back.”

I was sceptical; as anyone might be when made such an offer, but I like to live large when I can and so I try the odd experiment, take the occasional chance.

Sure, I replied. I’ll take a dozen.

It was a fairly heavy package when he passed it to me, but that’s to be expected from duck eggs. They’re pretty big.

I cooked myself up an omelette for Sunday breakfast the next morning. I used three eggs at first, but I added too much other stuff and it was way too lumpy. I added two more eggs, and then another one for good luck.

Duck eggs, it’s true, are more flavourful than chicken, and they weren’t bad — at first — but oh, that was a lot of omelette.

I soldiered on for quite a while, but I finally had to give up, overwhelmed.

It’s possible I don’t like duck eggs, but I don’t think that’s it. What happened there was that I overindulged — I crossed the line between duck egg use and duck egg abuse.

That’s rarely a good thing. Abuse of duck eggs just makes you feel a wee bit nauseous, but there is no end of ways to cross that line — whether it’s with alcohol, sex, acquisitiveness, religion, sugar, greasy food or whatever — and when you do, you’re probably going to find yourself in some kind of trouble.

Certainly if you cross that line with marijuana it’s not good for you, but pot’s probably not the best example, because the potential health impacts of abusing it pale in comparison to the very real damage done by our society’s attitude towards its use.

Those who advocate the continuation of the war on drugs point to its potential for abuse as one reason to continue on with their campaign, but I don’t see that as valid. Anything can be abused, but you don’t see anyone trying to outlaw duck eggs or religion.

The children might get it, they say, but don’t kid yourself, they’re getting it now and they don’t have to work hard at all to find it.

They point to drug gangs and organized crime as another reason to continue their prohibition, but they’ve got it exactly backwards. Criminals don’t deal in pot in spite of its illegality, they do so because of it.

I don’t want drug gangs to terrorize Canada like they do in Mexico but I’m afraid that’s where we might be heading if we don’t change the way we deal with things.

Gangsters aren’t cutting people’s heads off in Mexico for the social prestige it brings. They do it for the money.

The thing about marijuana is, it’s a weed. It grows pretty much anywhere, so it should be really, really cheap. Only its illegality gives it the kind of value that makes it of interest to organized crime. Make pot legal and it would be the crime bosses throwing their hands up in despair.

Some would say it’s a moral issue and I would agree. I don’t see it as immoral to smoke pot, but I do see it as immoral to ruin the lives of thousands of people who would rather smoke a joint than pour a glass of wine after work.

For that reason I take my hat off to Parksville mayor Chris Burger and all the other municipal officials at the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities convention who put themselves at risk of puerile ridicule by calling for an end to the war on drugs.

It’s nice to see there are at least some municipal officials who can see beyond the circular logic that says pot is illegal because it’s bad and it’s bad because it’s illegal.



Neil Horner is The

News’ assistant editor. He likes duck eggs


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