Ross Murray's Border Report
Ross Murray
is a freelance writer living in Stanstead, Quebec. You can reach him at
Posted 4.30.17
Stanstead, Quebec


New Pot for Old Farts: A Guide

So, you've decided you're going to start smoking pot again. Congratulations!

First, though, stop calling it "pot." These days, the cool kids call it "weed," and that's 30 percent the point of this entire exercise, right? To be cool again, just like you were in your twenties when you wore a bandana and regularly smoking doobies.

Don't say "doobies." Or wear a bandana.

Getting the lingo down is just one of the many things you'll have to relearn after these many, many years since you last smoked the ganja. (Do not say "the ganja.")

You probably stopped smoking because you decided you were a responsible adult with a job and a family, but mostly because you couldn't bare the shame of getting busted buying a bag of weed from some high schooler at the bus station. Instead, you did what any responsible adult with a job and family would do: you drank habitually.

But now that you've reached middle age, your body can't tolerate alcohol like it used to. You've decided that alcohol isn't worth it if it interferes with the most precious thing in the world: a good night's sleep.

And yet you don't want to entirely give up mood-altering substances because that would mean you would be stuck with yourself all the time, and no one wants that.

So, with marijuana expected to become legal in Canada next year, you're thinking, "Hey, maybe it's time again to spark up a spliff."

Don't say "spliff."

If you are considering it, you're not alone. After Colorado legalized recreational marijuana in 2012, past 30-day use by adults over 26 went from 7.6 percent in 2012 to 12.4 percent in 2014. In Oregon, which legalized marijuana in 2014, use among adults 26 and older has doubled since 2006.

In other words, anywhere the criminal element of marijuana possession has been removed, you'll find giggling middle-aged couples eating untoasted PopTarts and fighting off the paranoia that they'll be caught not by their parents but by their kids.

If this sounds like you, read on for the lowdown on high in 2017!

What's marijuana like now?

Back in the day, grass was like a box of chocolates: it really made you want to eat a box of chocolates. But you also never knew what you were going to get. A standard purchase might be three parts marijuana, two parts tobacco, one part oregano and one part eraser shavings.

But with the legal retailing of cannabis products, expect not only controlled dosages but also nuanced flavours and subtle impressions, with heady tones here and mellow notes there. In other words, something else to make you feel stupid and inadequate. This is also how they ruined beer.

Is smoking weed bad for my brain?

Probably. But you're middle-aged now and your brain cells are well past their prime. Knock yourself out. You should probably be more concerned about the weight gain.

How will I feel?

Every person reacts differently, but in general terms you can expect giddiness, increased heart rate, light-headedness along with possible feelings of euphoria and/or anxiety. You will also experience reactions after you smoke the weed.

And then how will I feel?

You may feel like sitting in front of the TV for hours doing nothing but eating snacks. In other words, typical Friday night.

I've heard that pot can adversely affect ambition. Is that true?

You still have ambition?

Does that mean weed is now socially acceptable?

Heavens, no! What do you think this is, booze and lotteries? Cannabis is very, very bad. A scourge really. A demon plague. If you don't believe me, witness the tone of the federal Liberals, who have made it clear that this will be their least fun piece of legislation since they decriminalized assisted suicide. The only reason Canada is legalizing marijuana is to keep it out of the hands of children. In other words, if you don't smoke it, the children will. Do you want that? Do you want the children to be potheads? Didn't think so. Be a responsible adult. Smoke one for the team.

Will smoking weed make me have to tinkle?

Don't say "tinkle." And no.

Oh, thank God.


Should I write a newspaper column that seemingly glorifies marijuana use, even though such a casual approach could jeopardize my day job?

I wouldn't recommend it.