Past generations have fought against alcohol prohibition, have fought for women’s rights to vote and receive safe abortions, they fought to bestow well deserved basic rights on people of colour, and to allow LGBT people to marry (in Canada is happened quite some time ago) – and my generations big shift seems to be the fight to legalize cannabis.
This shift in laws and in lifestyle is one that’s being watched closely by people on both sides of the debate. It’s been interesting watching from the sidelines as it unfolds. I’ve grown up around people who use cannabis legally and recreationally (though I didn’t always know that was the case!) and I’ve changed my views over and over. No matter what I felt about cannabis, though, I’ve always watched the fight.
When I lived in Vancouver in 2011 this was easy! It was everywhere. People weren’t just using cannabis, they were fighting for it, talking about it and making a living off of it. I checked out shops, rallies and activist organizations – more out of curiosity and novelty than anything. April 20th, otherwise known as 420, in Vancouver blew my mind. It was a real political rally where intelligent and well spoken activists were talking about their rights to their own bodies and their own health. Sure, Bob Marley was blowing out over the speakers and a bunch of white people with dreads (which is a whole other issue) were playing hacky sack nearby and not really paying attention, but many more people were. This was the moment I realized that I believed in legalization, because I firmly believe people SHOULD be in charge of their bodies and their health. There’s no difference between believing women have the right to safe and accessible healthcare and believing that people who can be helped by cannabis have a right to safe and accessible health care.
Since coming home I’ve noticed that, though cannabis use is INCREDIBLY popular here, it’s still very under the radar. The fight hadn’t gotten here yet. In recent years this has changed, and I’m so excited about it. Last month a place called HIGHER LIMITS opened up here in Downtown Windsor, and toted itself as a vapor lounge. I was instantly amazed that something like this could open up here. Here, of all places, where we got our first medical marijuana clinic – that doesn’t even have cannabis on site – last year. I was just as surprised as I was when I learned of the brand new Windsor Marijuana March a few years ago. Now I’m not shocked to learn they’re operated by the same people.
I popped into their west end head shop, ENDLESS HEIGHTS, last week just to ask how a vapor lounge works. Mostly I was curious about the legality, and how Windsor’s police force felt about the place. Basically you have to bring in your own cannabis, which you can ingest out of your own tools or you can rent some fancy and expensive stuff there. Want to try a big ass volcano vaporizer? Well now you can! Great idea. You can also buy bongs or pipes or vaporizers or what have you on site. Legally speaking, you are smoking at your own risk if you’re not a registered medical user, but you’re not putting the owners of the establishment at risk. I asked about that specifically, because I’m not a jerk.
I’m not the only one who is curious. HIGHER LIMITS has caught the attention of people everywhere and today, Windsor got itself a place in HIGH TIMES magazine. This was such an event that our local paper, The Windsor Star, wrote an article about the article high times wrote about windsor!
Now it feels official. Now it feels like the fight for legal cannabis has finally made it to Windsor. More-so even than when I first heard about the small marijuana march that’s been happening now for three years, and more-so than when Cannabis activist Marc Emery visited Windsor on his way home after being released from prison. Sure he was heading back to Vansterdam, but Windsor got him first. Now we’ve got a public cannabis lounge and a spot in illustrious High Times magazine.
Congratulations, Windsor! You are officially a Canadian Cannabis destination.