(Ted Smith and Gayle Quin)
There is no better time for the average cannabis smoker to come out of the closet than Halloween. This can be done in any number of ways, even if you do not have a cannabis event to attend. The possibilities are endless.
One does not even need to consume cannabis on Halloween to show your support, as all you have to do is wear an obvious or subtle cannabis costume at work, shopping or at a party. While some large businesses are likely to frown upon pot fairies serving fries, many small businesses and government agencies in some parts of Canada are relaxed enough to tolerate staff showing their colours on this special day. You might want to check with your boss or bring a back-up costume before showing up to work in a big bong. though.
Lurking around town at coffee shops and head shops dressed up as a big joint or some other full body cannabis costume is a great way to help normalize the plant without exposing your identity. Halloween is one of the few occasions in the year where one can hide their face in public without sticking out too much, making it feel a little safer for some to smoke at parties or parks. Whether you are wearing a cannabis costume or smoking openly while hiding your face, every time someone publicly defies or makes fun of the law, it undermines the authority of prohibitionist and empowers other herb lovers.
(Hempology 101 Event in Victoria, BC)
Many of us are lucky enough to have a chance to attend events specifically for cannabis connoisseurs. In Victoria, we have held a costume contest on the front steps of the courthouse since around 2001, giving out 3 bongs to the characters the crowd cheers for the loudest. Once that is over, we hotbox outside the courthouse by hanging curtains on either side of the front steps. Unfortunately the lighting is very poor so pictures and videos have always turned out poorly.
In Ontario this year the MMAR Coalition Against Repeal is hosting another benefit to help pay for the legal costs associated with the injunction protecting patients growing their own medicine. With this very expense legal challenge just getting underway, everyone wants to make sure lawyer John Conroy is well compensated for his extraordinary efforts in fighting against Health Canada and their plans to take away patient gardens. The event is in Toronto, so hopefully a large crowd will gather to have fun and support a great cause at the same time.
Then there will be the incredible party at the Cannabis Culture Headquarters in Vancouver where Marc Emery will be celebrating Halloween for the first time in years. It might be difficult to get inside this party, as many are expected to line up for a chance to party with some of the biggest cannabis stars on the west coast. No doubt the staff will go out of their way to throw a big party.
Whatever you are doing this Halloween, please consider doing something with cannabis. Every time a pot leaf appears in public, we help normalize and familiarize the plant within everyday society. This builds acceptance within the general community, as more often cannabis consumers are being seen as creative, outgoing, fun-loving people. Halloween gives us a chance to highlight many our of culture’s best traits. Lets do it up.