I didn’t write on Monday because I was doing a thing I wanted to write about on Tuesday, but then that became a thing I want to write about next Monday, so I said screw it, and here we are.
When I was in about fifth grade or so, we learned about prohibition of alcohol in the 20s. It was in my textbooks, and also sort of presented to me as a nonsense thing that we were all grateful the country got over after a few years. Those against it were painted to me as sort of religious extremists. It all gave off a very “we believe this thing, and you should, too,” vibe, which even at the tender age of ten, I did not like. I went to a Catholic school and we were taught to spread the Good News, but only to those willing to receive it. It wasn’t about pushing it on people-that was disrespectful. (Of course, if you were already baptized in the church, they will shove that stuff so far down your throat you will choke on it. But that’s a different blog for a different day.) The point is that I found it all to be a little silly.
Around the same time, we stared the DARE program. DARE was a drug and alcohol awareness program that was supposed to keep your kid off drugs. What it really did was explain all the drugs that were out there to impressionable children. I mean, we knew about cigarettes and alcohol because it was the early 90s and everyone’s parents were smoking or drinking, But I didn’t know what pot was until that day in DARE. Thanks, Kenmore Police Department.
Miraculously, I made it through high school with very little exposure to drugs. Cigarettes, I started smoking at 16. My first drink was when I was 13. A couple of my friends smoked pot, but I didn’t, because DARE told me it would kill me or make me an addict because people would lace it with things like PCP.
Then one day I watched a documentary about the history of cannabis. I don’t know what it was called, exactly. I really wish I did so I could recommend it, because it was a real eye-opener. It made me realize that while some drugs DARE told me about, like coke and heroin and the dreaded PCP, were very dangerous, maybe cannabis was closer to alcohol than any of that. And then the documentary went on to talk about prohibition of cannabis, and I was right back in fifth grade thinking how silly it was that once upon a time, you couldn’t order a beer.
It is many years later and almost every adult I know has used cannabis in some form, be it CBD, or hemp extracts, or good old-fashioned weed. Then, a few weeks ago, it was legalized in New York state, where I reside. I thought to myself, “gee…I wonder if this will be in the history books someday.”
Tuesday, the day I meant to update, was April 20th, also known as 420, which is like Christmas for cannabis users. Mark and I went out to the Cattaraugus Reservation because there was a sale, and we got free hot dogs and CBD cigarettes. Also, a basket raffle…I love me a basket raffle. Driving home, Mark said “this is our first legal 420!”
It was. Prohibition is over. I still kind of forget that it’s happened. Like…Mark had a drug test recently for a job, and I kept getting worried he would fail even though they do not test for cannabis. I have thought prohibition was ridiculous for so long and now it’s over and I just need to adapt, I guess.
Is this how they felt way back when, when they took that first sip of an ice-cold beer? Like guilty, but not at all?