Friday, 25 April 2014

Double standards, Ignorance, and Equality

My hunni and I just moved into an eleven story tenement building.  I like it very much.  Quiet, all inclusive, rommy but small enough to keep clean with ease.  For the most part, my small apartment is my sanctuary. It's upon stepping outside that sanctuary that the issues begin.  Don't get me wrong, my neighbors are cool, and most of them love my dog Molly.  Lots of dogs in this building.  I often recognize them before they're owners.  I couldn't tell you 3 of my neighbor's names but I know one's dog is Valdez, the other is Whisky, and the third is Heidi.  What can I say?  I'm an animal person.

So when I'm taking my pooch out for her duties is when I notice this ... problem.  It's an odor.  And depending on which floor the elevator stops on, that odor could be garlic, urine, or tobacco smoke.  Of these three, I loathe only one.  If you follow my writing, you can guess which one I'm talking about.

We were here for about five days when the odor complaint came in.  We were thrilled to have a brand new counter top installed, so we made sure all evidence of illegal use was hidden from the visiting carpenter. But we didn't expect him to start so early, and well the apartment was still pungent with the aroma of a whole other plant.  The next day I ran into the super and was asked to come to the office.  Yep ... like elementary school.  I was a bad kid.  Or so it felt.  At 39, my hands were shaking as I sat and waited for whatever this stranger had to talk to me about.

So the super simply stated that the carpenter noticed a very strong marijuana smell~ yep the slang.  She then went on to ask me if I have any documentation to back up my use, adding that there were several medical marijuana patients in the building.  Privacy!!!  I should not know that.  That is not my business nor the business of anyone other than that person and perhaps their physician.  She went on to mention that there has been odor reported in the hall as well.  I immediately wanted to call bullshit.  But ... I was a bad kid.  By this time, my hands were sweating AND shaking.  My blood pressure was elevated to the point where I knew my face was red and blotchy.  This woman wasn't even so much judgey or disrespectful, just grossly unethical.

Now ... my point about smells.  Sometimes I take a long ass time to set up a story eh?  Here goes:  why is it socially accepted if not encouraged to be completely fine with the smell of tobacco in the tenement hallways but not fine with the smell of Cannabis? The first floor just past the laundry and garbage room smells like a hunting camp of filterless cigarette smokers.  The garbage room itself smells better than the actual hallway!  If I had any kind of breathing issue, I know I'd be choking and spittin' and coughin'.  But it's all perfectly legal. You can buy and shmoke as many ciggies as you can afford, and that's just fine.  In Canada, you can legally grow up to 15 kgs of Tobacco for your own personal use.  But don't you dare stink up the hallway or get caught growing that other plant.  We KNOW Tobacco is deadly.  Yet it's still legal.  And day by day more and more people are trying to find ways to deter us from using Cannabis ... NOT Tobacco!  WTF is wrong with this picture?   PUBLIC SAFETY!  And no ... I am not saying I want Tobacco illegal.

You know about the other plant right?  Ugh ... I'm almost getting tired of hearing myself say these words:  the plant that has never killed anyone?  Er no ... one death ... last year when a bale of cannabis fell on a man. You literally CANNOT overdose on Cannabis.  Yet we're all so offended by the smell aren't we?  While the smell of something that kills 15 million of our loved ones every single year, is fine.  We need to get real with the world about these plants.  To this day, parents who catch whiff of the herb a' burnin' in the park run and shield their children's noses, yet the person smoking the cigarette is addicted and has the right to be there. One is dangerous for the majority of us;  the other is not dangerous for the majority of us.  And don't even get me started on the lack of fiduciary responsibility when it comes to the mixing of these two plants and the extreme and serious damage that that combination can do to your lungs.  But that's a whole other blog.

I want equality.  That's not only about marriage and sex y'know.  It's about respecting my choice, if I'm willing to accept yours.  If you can grow, buy, or ingest Tobacco;  so should I be able to grow, buy, and ingest Cannabis.