Friday, August 15, 2008

Pot Edward Island?

An article from the Boston Phoenix has some of my fellow Islanders very upset, branding Prince Edward Island as a pot grower's paradise.

A link to the story here

A local CBC story about the Tourism Minister expressing rage here.

The article is based on one shooting of an elderly gent who was operating a grow op in rural PEI. Thing is, that was in 2004 and this is not.... not that I blame a farmer for trying out new crops, potatoes don't fetch what they used to.

Plus, the writer is a little overwrought, if you get my drift. Here is the lead paragraph:

When you think of PEI, you probably come up with crisp, clean-cut tourist-brochure images: lush and rolling hills, tranquil ocean beaches, villages of whitewashed cottages and, inevitably, the smiling face of the island’s indefatigably cheery heroine, Anne of Green Gables. But while Lucy Maud Montgomery’s fictional Edwardian character maintained her Pollyanna disposition on the strength of nothing but her spunk and a cheerily romantic vision of how life should be, it seems modern-day islanders have discovered another way to smile through the summer and avoid the blues during the bleak local winters.

Try to read it starting at the second line, and see if you can make it through without a breath. Then he gets into describing a "lurid" story in The Guardian... really, "Hey everybody, watch out for grow ops" isn't that damn lurid.

Want to see something lurid, how about this description of PEI, describing four city police forces (there are really only two) and "dry" communities in PEI. I live in a territory with actual dry communities, and there is not a dry community on PEI, unless they mean without a liquor store in the community... just drive for 15 minutes, you'll hit a LC on the Island.

Getting an authoritative picture of the province’s pot industry is difficult.

No kidding, especially when you are writing from Boston and can't get simple facts right, like the amount of cops and the legality of alcohol.

The writer also says that PEI pot is fueled by cheap electricity from Quebec... untrue, so untrue.

something that may be deep-rooted in the largely libertarian attitudes of PEI and the Maritimes in general.

So, are Islanders "largely libertarian" or are they scared of the big bad dope growers? Anyone who has lived in the Maritimes can attest that the residents are far from libetarians.

Then the writer quotes The Guardian's comments section... because anonymous message board posts are clearly the best look into a community's psyche.

Officialdom is not immune to such sentiments either. In July 2003, when Marc Emery, a Vancouver activist on a crusade to make pot legal in Canada, performed his trademark stunt of getting high in public, Charlottetown police looked the other way and refused his invitation to arrest and prosecute.

That part is true, but they are adding motive where none exists. Emery wanted to get arrested, and the City Cops couldn't be bothered to arrest him.

The City Cops really don't much care about weed. I remember being outside the backdoor of a wellknown Charlottetown nightclub with a group of people who were, as Black Thought would say, "huffing on the tenth letter".

A woman officer for the Charlottetown PD started making her way carefully down the alley, acknowledged us, and kept on creeping.

We found out the next day that there had been a stabbing a few blocks away and she was chasing the stabber. Good work City Cops, keeping your eye on the ball.

Why give Emery any more free publicity?

Many of the mainstream farmers Nabuu represents — for the most part a prosperous bunch in this “Garden of the Gulf” — aren’t paying much attention to the burgeoning industry.

This one gets a big FUCK YOU from me. PEI's farmers are not prosperous. A few factory farmers are for sure, but I've visited with potato farmers getting less than one cent a pound.

If you are going to make sweeping statements about a province, at least show up, douche.

The article finishes with:

Alan R. Earls is a Boston-area writer. He can be reached

He can also go fuck himself... not for promoting PEI Red-Hair, the jewel of the Million Acre Farm, but for taring the province with a brush -- weilded without art, grace, style or substance -- and he couldn't even be bothered to visit.