One issue that’s been generating a lot of buzz in Canada for the last little while is the impending legalization of marijuana in 2018. Rumour has it that marijuana will become legal on July 1, 2018, but many are speculating that that date will not be met. Instead, people are looking towards the fall of 2018.
I’ve never smoked or consumed marijuana. You don’t have to believe me, but I can say that with my head held high. I’m aware of the “Everyone has done it at least once!” mentality in mainstream society, but I’m not part of that person. I’m in the minority. I don’t fancy the stuff that smells like dog poop when it’s burned and I have no intention of trying it when it becomes legal. I have hung out with people who use recreational marijuana but only to eat their snacks when they’re not looking.
Representatives from the Government of Nunavut came to Arctic Bay from Iqaluit to hold a community meeting about marijuana legalization on February 21. I decided to attend the meeting and see what legalization would mean for the community. Marijuana use is already happening in Arctic Bay but behind closed doors. Some of my students are users.
The meeting took place at the community hall in the evening. The representatives sat at the front behind a line of tables and a large white screen hung behind them. Rows of chairs had been set up for community members. The meeting would be held in Inuktitut & English. Free coffee & tea was available. I jokingly asked one of the representatives if the coffee & tea was spiked with marijuana. He said no.
The representatives did a brief overview of the marijuana legislation brought in by the federal government and explained what will happen when marijuana becomes legal. They explained that nothing big should happen except people will now be able to smoke & consume it freely and out in the open. Each person will be allowed to carry up to 30 grams of marijuana with them. A 30-gram bag of oregano was passed around to show the amount. I have to say that 30 grams is a lot. The representatives also said that rules regarding ordering & delivery in Nunavut are still being written. I heard rumours that the Northern Store does not want to be a dispensary.
The second half of the meeting was devoted to questions and answers. A microphone was passed around and people were given the opportunity to ask questions to the panel and/or share their thoughts & opinions about marijuana. I chose to chill and listen. The concerns I heard were: increase in use, increase in crime, less money for food, less time spent in school, and more discussions are needed. Unfortunately for the detractors, legalization is inevitable and happening this year, so everyone will have to adapt once the big day comes.
The 2018 Winter Olympics took place in PyeongChang, South Korea, from February 9 – 25. The first week of the international sports extravaganza occurred during PD Week in Nunavut. While I was attending the PD Conference in Iqaluit, I did manage to catch some Olympic highlights on TV, but mostly used the Internet to keep up to date with Canada’s medal count. Olympic fever continued with the resumption of classes the following week.
JF, the high school science & math teacher, set up a large Olympic display in the high school section. The main board displayed the competition schedule, a medals counter, and pictures of the Canadian athletes who won medals. Around the main board were posters of the Canadian athletes and the Olympic flag.
JF encouraged all classes to visit the Olympic display and kept everyone up to date on Canada’s progress. It was great to see the medal counter steadily increasing with each passing day. JF was able to stream the Olympics in his classroom using the Internet. I took my entire class over to watch the Men’s Hockey match between Canada & Germany on February 23. The game would decide if Canada would advance to the finals. The atmosphere in JF’s class was energetic as everyone cheered for Canada to win. Unfortunately, we all watched as Canada lost the game. We were all greatly disappointed. In the end, Canada faced off against the Czech Republic for the Bronze and won.
Speaking of bronze, Canada ended the games in third place, with 11 golds, 8 silvers, and 10 bronze. Norway came in first place and Germany came second. Hopefully, Canada will do better in 2022, in Beijing.