I wrote this in my journal at 1:30 a.m. on Saturday night (Sunday morning) with the note, “Blog this”. What's here is a slightly edited version with a context note at the bottom:
I've discovered the joy and beauty of late night dog park visits.
Late at night it's dark. No one is there. It's silent.
Between throws of the ball (for a game of fetch) I stand and listen. I hear people walking past the park at the top of the hill, speaking on their cell phones or to their companions. I hear cars drive past and the occasional dog bark in the distance.*
For now when I look down I see a glossy sheet of ice. In a few days it will all melt. I look up at the sky and see moon and stars.
I stay present in the moment.
This is mindfulness.
During the day I prefer to find people there so that both my dog and I can be social. Late at night I like the solitude. Two of my four Core Desired Feelings for 2017 are joy(ful) and peace(ful). This embodies both. It's calming and energizing. It's reaffirming. It's reassuring. It's so freakin' beautiful that I stand motionless even when I'm freezing in the sub-zero (celcius) temperatures with the windchill of -20°C/-4°F. I don't leave until my body insists that it's time. My mind protests as long as it can. I want to stay in the moment. My dog is happy staying or going. She likes the cold much more than I do and can go for hours.
Taken at my park at 5:30 p.m today, not late night, but it's similar – slightly brighter, on a cloudy evening.
*The park is essentially a bowl or a pit, downhill, with an alley on one side and a school between the park and a major street to the north. My “night time” visits have been between 11 p.m. and midnight. I did it Friday and Saturday and it will become routine as long as I can stay awake but I imagine that as early as 10 p.m. will suffice.
Oh boy. This is a big topic. I'd been trying to write this post for three days before I started this post on May 29, took a few days off, and then spent multiple days on it on and off. I've been reading, watching, taking notes. This might not be the most eloquent post, but it contains facts and opinions that I want to communicate.
Recently, in an event called “Project Claudia“, Toronto police arrested 90 people and laid 186 trafficking charges after raiding 43 marijuana dispensaries. The City laid a further 79 charges on property owners for zoning and licensing bylaw infractions. The dispensaries received a letter from Toronto Police the previous week saying they were unlawful and were asked to shut down. Landlords were asked to evict their dispensary tenants.
Among the objects seized during the 43 raids, there was 270 kilograms of dry cannabis, 30 kg of resin, 25 kg of hash, 27 kg of pills, 73 kg of chocolate, 142 kg of cookies, 129 kg of candies, 101 kg of bars, 135 e-cigarettes, 457 drinks, 127 kg of oils and spreads, and 121 kg of other by-products were seized.
I'm pro-legalization and pro-marijuana, but…
I'm pro-medical cannabis. It's an area that I'm fascinated by, and I'm an advocate for. I've been watching Toronto's dispensary community and I've been paying attention to the issues around legalization. I like that dispensaries exist. They're needed. I think that people SHOULD have a place to go for this type of medicine. I also don't think there's anything wrong with adults using cannabis recreationally. I'm even planning a 4-6 week email-based course that teaches the basics of marijuana, mostly in the context of health. (Want in? Subscribe to my newsletter over on the right and up.)
I think that many of the existing dispensaries should be legal. People need access and it needs to be more open than it currently is.
I also don't think that the police are absolutely wrong. I watched the press conference and empathized with Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders.