Oh! Canada

Well, I’ll tell you, I didn’t see it coming. It was expected that Spain would win sexiest country. France was in the running, but realistically, was bound to win the “icy and inaccessible” award. Everything was exactly as it seemed, no upsets, except for one thing. Canada. How one country could so easily go from “cute in a little sister sort of way to “most dry humpable” is beyond me. Sure Canada has made some bold moves lately, but I assumed they were all under the radar. No one really pays attention to Canada, right? Apparently I was wrong. Because now, almost the whole world is looking into their assets, if you know what I mean.

Canada has been relegated to the best-friend role as long as I can remember. You know, Canada hung out and helped know the right things to say to the other countries. Canada heard the details about your dates and your rejections. I mean sure maybe deep down you knew Canada had the hots for you, but come on … it’s Canada! You’ve known Canada since you were a little kid. You could never think of Canada the way you think about a country like Brazil or Greece. Or could you? It seems to me that Canada has been looking pretty sexy lately, and if you ignore it too much longer you might just miss your chance.

A powerful draw for the young, listless and loaded since the days of the draft, Canada has been synonymous with marijuana in youth culture. I challenge you to talk to a border-bound college sophomore without the mention of leafy greens. I mean sure it’s a country full of peaceniks, complete with socialized medicine, an operating welfare system and something like eight gun deaths a year, but it’s the weed that keeps them coming back for more. While not legal in Canada, cities like Vancouver have been traditionally very lax in enforcing marijuana laws, giving way to a sort of “don’t ask, don’t tell” stoner creed. But it seems all of that is just getting easier. In the works now is legislation that would essentially decriminalize small amounts of marijuana possession. Instead of arrests, only small fines will be given out, downgrading possession to the severity of a parking ticket.

And while major legalization campaigns have become a tradition here in the United States, citing its medical merits and the many uses of hemp as a renewable resource, skeptics, even on the left, worry about the negative side effects of a stoney American population. So why not let Canada test the waters for us, see what happens to its already dangerously laid-back population, all the while benefiting from what I’m sure is going to be a flurry of U.S. tourist dollars. No more long flights to Amsterdam just to get high in public. Come spring break, there’ll be no more hiding in the bow of the your daddy’s boat at Lake Havasu just to toke up. Take the party to Canada. They’ll have you.

Even bitter political rivals current Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chr퀌�tien and Prime-Minister-to-be Paul Martin can agree that decriminalization is good legislation. In fact, Mr. Chr퀌�tien was quoted as saying that after his retirement in February he’s excited to give it a try. “I will have my money for my fine and a joint in the other hand,” he was quoted as saying in the New York Times earlier this month.

Of course, I’m sure not every American is as “stoked” about Canada’s new laws as we here at Rocking Chair Confidential are. It’s certain that political radio talk show hosts will have all sorts of derogatory remarks to make about fair Canada’s drug problems, once said hosts are released from rehab. And as Mr. Martin sites, aside from a little thing called Iraq, his country’s new weed-friendly attitude is one of the major hurdles he is going to have to overcome in renewing good relations with the Bush administration.

I wrote him suggesting that maybe indulging the president’s notorious chocolate fixation during the next Americas summit with some “special brownies” will help him get his point across, but apparently Mr. Martin was too concerned with campaigning around Canada, discussing things like free-trade agreements and hockey to contact me for my recipe. I can understand his enthusiasm however; any chance to talk to Canada is not a chance to miss. In fact, I’m thinking about seeing if Canada wants to come over later, chill out, maybe grab a beer, watch the World Series. And maybe if time allows, we can get a little dry humping in.