Say hello to my friendly neighborhood cannabis plant


This summer’s first full-fledged growing season after lockdown has us talking to our neighbors – and our kids – about the wonders of the pot

Say hello to my boyfriend. Its name is Afghani Kush. She is about six weeks old. She’s small for her size, but that’s partly because she was grown from seed outdoors and late May and June weren’t the most favorable months for the weather.

Across the country, Canadians are enjoying the wonders of weed cultivation for the first time and are beginning to see the fruits of their labor. This usually doesn’t involve much when it comes to growing cannabis outdoors, except for plenty of water, sun, and keeping squirrels and other wildlife at bay. (Pro tip: pepper works pretty well to keep small animals away). This is one of the challenges of growing weed in the city.

But the fact that thousands of Canadians are involved in cannabis cultivation creates another (perhaps unintended) consequence. We talk about the factory with our children and our neighbors. I do not know if this is what Trudeau and the Liberals had in mind when they legalized it. The plant has its own power.

And this summer’s first full-fledged growing season after the lockdown is helping to lift the stigma and increase acceptance of marijuana for all of its many uses, including recreational. In the backyards of central Canada – and elsewhere – there is now a new puff of cannabis. Call it a summer surprise or a coming out.

I didn’t know what to expect when I decided to plant a seed in the ground. I had anticipated the questions – and a few sideways glances from my teenage children, who tend to view “devil’s lettuce” somewhat mockingly as “baby boomer stuff.” For the record, I’m not a baby boomer, and they think the plant is “very pretty.”

But one of the most liberating things about container growing has been being able to talk about the plant, right next to the Three Sisters and the tomatoes growing next to my budding garden.

Cannabis is nothing to worry about. Like the millions of other plants that grow on the planet, it has been used as food, medicine and pleasure for thousands of years. The fact that it was made illegal in the first place was ultimately (mostly) exposed as a travesty of justice.

The human body’s endocannabinoid system is actually hardwired to receive all of the benefits moderate cannabis use can offer. It is a wonderful thing. Pass it. Because it is only a matter of time before the cultivation of psychedelics is discussed with our neighbors.


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