I'm Waiting For The Man, $26 In My Hand

It’s a hot sticky Friday night. Since I look like a narc, I have made sure I haven’t shaved for three days, toss an old Grateful Dead T-Shirt and a beaten up Ottawa Senators hat and head down to Lowertown in Ottawa. As I glide my Honda through the streets, I keep an eye overhead for a sign.

About 5 minutes in, I spot them. An old pair of sneakers tangled up in the overhead wiring. I slowly pull my truck over and wait.

Out of the darknes a shady looking guy with an oversized T-shirt and baggy pants comes over and leans in the window of my truck.

    “Whatcha want man?”

    “Whatcha got?”, I ask.

    “I have some Killer X, man.”

    “Killex?? I’ll take three cans.”, I reply.

    “How about some weed, my friend. You interested in some weed?”

    “Sure”, I say, “Weedex is perfect. Give me two big bottles.”

    “How about some fungus, man? You need some fungus?”

    “Damn straight I reply. Give me a couple of batches of antifungal.”

    “Now man … you need some doses?”

    “Nah… but I’ll have me some nice roses.” I reply. “See you next year my friend.”

This may seem a bit farfetched. But is it really? Look what happens when cigarettes hit $7 or $8 a pack? Everyone and their brother starts buying them out of the back of some guys trunk who has a friend who knows the cousin of the secretary for an agency that hires a manpower guy who used to fix cars for a mechanic who also fixes the car of some lady whose son knows a guy with a boat that skims from a native reserve to and from Cornwall weekly.

In addition to Premier of Ontario, Yellow Bellied McShifty, announcing that the use of chemical pesticides use will be banned, this past week the Supreme Court of Canada said that random searches are illegal, which sent left leaning ACLU types partying into the streets.

This begs the question…

If I have a stash of these illegal pesticides hidden under a tarp in my garage, would having a beautiful, safe, green lawn be enough probable cause for the cops to search my home for the contraban?

One thought on “I'm Waiting For The Man, $26 In My Hand

  • April 26, 2008 at 9:34 am
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    Your insightful post highlights the possibility of unintended consequences when governments choose to ban or regulate substances.

    Regarding your question of whether having a “beautiful, safe, green lawn” would be suspicious, I would suggest the answer is “yes” since your lawn would stick out like a green thumb.

    For any law to be effective, enforcement is critical.

    Whether having a green lawn would be sufficient reason for a search warrant would depend on how rigorously the McShifty government intends to enforce the ban, and whether possession of an herbicide would be a criminal offense, or simply subject to heavy fines (taxes).

    Will McShifty institute a provincial “Weed Offenders Registry”?

    Will the Ontario government deploy a new enforcement agency to patrol the streets looking for “suspicious green lawns”, assign that task to local police forces, or simply ask citizens to keep a “vigilant eye” on their neighbours, complete with a “Green Lawn Hot-line?”

    Other unintended consequences might be:

    Increased trips by Ontarians to the US to smuggle back “banned herbicides”, longer wait times at the borders while border guards multiplex their duties of watching for criminals and terrorists with conducting car searches for Weedex?

    Since golf courses will not be subject to the ban, will we see an upswing in break-ins where “banned substances” are stolen, and the resulting damages leading to increases in green-fees and therefore lost tourism?

    Will an increase in weeds lead to increases in respiratory illnesses and health care costs?

    If you live in Ottawa, take a stroll along the NCC owned Island Park in late spring, where the herbicide ban has led to literally fields of white fluff from dandelions blowing through the air in late spring. Achoo!

    Maybe the government should issue free pollen-filtering face masks along with a “free” Filter Exchange Program, and free antihistamines when the province-wide ban comes into effect?

    Will Health Minister George Smitherman volunteer to wear the same face-mask for days on end to see how long he can tolerate the ever-increasing sogginess?

    Mind you, these are all small economic and social costs to pay in order to make us all “healthier” and “help save” the planet.

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