Cannabis, Curling and You-Coming to Your Club This Fall!

I thought it might be nice to let Curl BC off the hook for a bit and delve into something in a lighter, more humorous vein yet still dealing with the roaring game.  So without further adieu, let’s look into the future.  The near future.  October 17th, 2018 to be precise.

That’s right. Pot, Ganja, Reefer, Mary-Jane, Maui-Wowee, Grass, Weed, Thai Stick or whatever name you want to use, is about to become legal across the Great White North on October 17th, 2018. With that comes a whole bunch of questions and concerns. And, guess what? it’s going to have an impact at your friendly neighborhood curling club as well.

Full disclosure: Unlike old Billy Clinton, I actually have inhaled. I’ve enjoyed the green stuff in limited amounts and on rare occasions. Mainly because I’m a non-smoker and one puff usually reduces me to a fit of coughing that never ceases to amuse my more frequently imbibing friends-there’s more than a few readers of this blog who’ve witnessed this. Yet I have to admit that the notion of legal edibles is indeed an intriguing one. I find the idea of less coughing and no stink very appealing.

I also do not partake pre-game. My sole experiment resulted in the uncomfortable feeling that the sheet I was playing on was tilted slightly on its side-not unlike a villains lair was back in the old 60’s Batman show. It was not pleasant. So any toking I might do takes place after a game.

And I have to say that the stuff has come a long way since I took my first, hacking hit back in the late 70’s. Then it was so bad that you didn’t know if it was the real McCoy or somebody’s lawn clippings. Often more than one joint was required to get even a slight buzz, but it did make watching Battlestar Galactica (the original, cheesy series) fun. Now, the stuff is like 90 proof Moonshine. One inhale and you’re looking for a bag of Cheetos and tossing Blazing Saddles into the Blue Ray machine.

Originally Bill C-45 was supposed to pass through the House of Commons and become law by July 1, 2018. Thanks to a bit of a filibuster delay in our Senate, that date is now October 17. Which I prefer, by the way. I’d rather July 1 remain historic and celebrated (or reviled if you’re First Nations) as Canada Day as opposed to; “The Day Everyone Could Now Get Stoned Legally in Canada Day”

It has long been my personal belief that Recreational Marijuana should be legal. From my perch, it’s in the same ballpark as alcohol. Prohibition in the USA failed miserably almost a century ago. Bootlegging, rum-running, bathtub gin, speak easies. You name it, people found a way to get their hands on booze until the Yanks realized the futility of the whole effort. Better to regulate the stuff, make it safer for consumption and get some tax revenue from its sale.

And the same thing, virtually, has been going on with Cannabis since things really went crazy with the stuff back in the 60’s. Only we call it Drug Trafficking, not those fun, swaggering, buccaneer terms applied to booze back in the 1930’s.

It makes sense to do the same thing as we did with alcohol. With Cannabis out of the shadows and safer, perhaps we’ll see some in-depth and proper research into the many claims of the plant’s medicinal and other benefits. There is, like all things, a lot of truths, half-truths and outright fantasies attributed to Weed, primarily from the CBD chemical found within the plant.

(Which for you non-informed folks, has little or no impairment effects. The fun side comes from THC. That’s the stuff that makes you ponder the deep, inner meaning hidden in an episode of Sponge Bob Squarepants and order 10 Baconators at the Wendy’s Late Night Drive Thru.)

So it would be nice to find out just exactly what good CBD can do, but all this has been discussed by better and smarter people than this blog writer and I’ll leave it up to them to continue the debate. I’m here to give you a preview as to just how this new bill might impact your local curling club in the near future.

And just so we’re crystal clear on this; a lot of curlers-recreational and competitive-indulge in Weed. I’d be willing to wager on a number upwards of 75% of your membership likes a hit now and then. They just don’t do it on club premises because of that little legality issue and the public stigma which comes with it. Sure, it’s still more acceptable in society for you to get blind, staggering drunk and topple down the stairs at your club then it is to share a post-game puff with your team and opponents in the parking lot, but make no mistake; there is already a whole bunch of folks at your club getting down and jiggy with the 420.

So, sorry to shatter your illusion but this also means a whole bunch of your curling heroes imbibe in the leafy, green stuff. Some of whom would likely surprise and shock you. They just keep it quiet and on the down low since it’s still on the WADA bad boy list (but you can still dodge a positive test with the classic, Ross Regliatti ‘second-hand party smoke’ ploy. It still works).

But we curlers shouldn’t be wary of the impact on legal Cannabis on our clubs. In fact, we should be embracing it and taking advantage of the opportunities it presents. Now, obviously this does not mean club lounges are going to fill up with smoke again. No, we’ve been down that road with tobacco and it’s where it belongs-in designated outside areas. The same of which will happen with Pot. Pre or post-game puffing will be done outdoors. Most likely in the same area you use for your cigarette. So you have no worries that your club is going to smell like a 1968 Volkswagen camper van.

The opportunities I refer to are the ones you might reap in your bar and kitchen courtesy of our good friend Cannabis.

I mentioned edibles earlier. Those are the wonderful, Pot laced food items you can find online and in some legalized dispensaries. They come in many forms; candies, cookies, brownies, you name it. You can even purchase (or make yourself) potent butter in which Pot has been steeped so you can whip up your own THC fuelled culinary delights.

Edibles aren’t a part of the initial legalization but they are on the radar for clearance once proper testing and regulations can be formalized (which only makes common sense so food products aren’t out of control and possibly harmful). Since most provinces are using their established Liquor Control Boards to control and distribute Cannabis, it’s just a matter of time before your club will be able to order up a stock of Pot goodies in addition to your monthly alcohol delivery.

Which means extra products for your bar to sell and gain revenue. Fancy a cookie buzz after a game? No problem. You’ll be able to get one at the bar along with a jug of draft and split it with your teammates.

You might even see packaged Joints for sale (but you still have to take it outside boys and girls). For folks that don’t drink but puff, this might open up a stream of cash you didn’t get before-unless you charge for tap water that is. So you can see some potential financial benefits in the lounge from legal Pot. But how does this help the kitchen?

One word: Munchies

Yes, lampooned across generations first in Cheech and Chong and now Seth Rogen/James Franco movies, the munchies is that humorous (and somewhat proven by the way), side-effect to Cannabis indulgence. Even if you’ve just had a 10 course meal, Cannabis somehow sends a message from your stomach to your brain to: ‘Feed me Seymour, Feed me!’

Interestingly, folks I know all have different munchie cravings and preferences. Self example: while I don’t normally have a big sweet tooth, I have been known to destroy a box of Presidents Choice Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cookies when the mood hits. Others will go for a large pizza, or chips, or 7-11 fried chicken. You name it, someone wants to devour it when the munchies are upon them.

So here is where your kitchen can prosper by having a solid selection of appetizer foods on the menu. Nacho’s, wings, mini-pizzas, anything deep fried-all are potential winners for those with the munchies. Don’t have a kitchen? or it operates only in the day time? No problem. Get an industrial microwave installed in the bar and add a freezer with a stock of frozen goodies that you just pop in the nuker.

Can’t afford that? or have limited refrigerator space in the bar? Well at least have a big supply of chips, nuts, popcorn, pepperoni and pickled eggs on standby. Because in absence of microwave foods or a kitchen, those suckers are gonna move.

If there’s a downside, its Driving Under the Influence laws. I work a second, part-time job for a Valet service that drives folks and their car home after they’ve had a few wobbly pops. It’s a great service that allows people to have fun, a few glasses at dinner or other social outing and still get home safely and responsibly.

With Cannabis, the same laws and penalties for DUI will be applied-and they should. I know, I know. There are some of you who say Pot doesn’t impair my driving ability or the other tired old nugget: I have a high tolerance for THC so it doesn’t affect me.

News flash: That’s all bullshit. You’re stoned and impaired and you should not be behind the wheel of a vehicle. Those two excuses I noted in the previous paragraph? If they sound familiar it’s because the same things were said about alcohol when serious Roadside testing began in the late 1970’s. They didn’t work then and they won’t work now.

The only edge a Cannabis user has-for a short time-is the lack of proper testing equipment. But, mark my words, it’s coming and very soon. And if you think you’ll dodge a cop when you cruise by in your buddies hot-boxed and reeking car, think again.

For my part-time job this means an increase in our business (and probably my laundry bill from climbing in and out of those hot boxed cars) as DUI’s for Cannabis become more frequent. For the curling club it will most likely mean a new addition to the Serving It Right program so bar staff become attuned to who has had too much Pot as well as too much beer. (First big clue you’ve had too much?  Requesting that the bar put on any, I repeat: any Pink Floyd album and play it in its entirety)  Either way it comes down to making sure you stay responsible while having fun.

Now not all, or likely any of what I speculate is going to occur immediately. It’s more realistic that these changes will come in gradually with time and debate in the halls of power. But make no mistake, legalization will impact curling clubs across the country. Even if you try to fight it.

So come October 17th-or whatever date Ottawa finally settles on-celebrate in the fashion you deem appropriate and get ready to smell a lot more hemp around the club. After all, isn’t it apt to be stoned at a club where the sport uses rocks?




8 thoughts on “Cannabis, Curling and You-Coming to Your Club This Fall!

  1. Good post, Jamie

    I don’t really think much will change in curling on October 17th.

    From the 70s on, marijuana was smoked by a significant percentage of curlers and competitive curlers. In the 80s, probably 30% at least. On my competitive teams, probably 80% of my teammates over the years did smoke, but certainly not before games. I’m fairly sure if I was back in competition, I’d like to be curling against stoned opponents. It’s an ok lifestyle, not a good gamestyle.

    It will be interesting to see how the CCA deals with competitive drug testing. I don’t know if they test for pot, but it’s a new issue when pot is legal to consume. I’m at the end of my flying career, and there is quite a bit of chat about some idea that Transport is going to mandate pee tests for the guys and gals up front in the plane. That isn’t Transport’s plan. I was recently the workplace impairment policy coordinator at the last place I worked, and I had a chance to raise this with one of those who know at Transport. I was told “We expect pilots to have a clear head at all times when carrying out their duties”. That pretty well covers it.

    Common sense dictates the same for competitive curlers. Friday night league, well, probably a different story.

    Good insight into new sales lines for the bar. Quite a ways away from that, though.


    Yeah I know, some of you reading that “workplace impairment policy coordinator” and thinking “Whaaattt the….?”


  2. Very interesting. I have just had to stop curling after almost fifty years of competition at every age group. Never made better than 2nd at national (Scotland) competition. I have also been a near daily pot smoker since I was 18. In all those years I never met anyone else in the ice rink carpark smoking a joint. Well, except at a couple of Uniroyals in Toronto.

    The problem with stoned curling is the sweeping, not the throwing. It takes the edge off how much you have to give. I am pretty sure all of my curling peers know I am a stoner, its just not a topic of conversation.

    I am REALLY looking forwards to coming over to watch the Brier! Way to go Canada, sliding deliveries and now this!


      1. Very reasonable — after all they have their reputations to keep, plus, we musn’t let them get hounded for deals and trades by their fellow curlers 😉


  3. Nice post. Just so you know, the BC Liquor Control Board is now the BC Liquor & Cannabis Regulation Branch. As the manager of a curling club, and the person who deals with BCLCB I can let you know on no uncertain terms that we have been told we can serve alcohol, or trade in our alcohol license for a cannabis license. But we cannot serve both…


    1. Thanks for the comment Keith. I’m not surprised by the actions of our provincial government. They are, after all, trying to sort things out just like the rest of the country and I expect the next 2-3 years to be very interesting times indeed. However, I do believe that in time they will relax the licensing restrictions and allow businesses to sell both products. Curlers will simply bring their own weed to the clubs and imbibe it there (in whatever designated-or non designated-areas they can find). Ultimately, the province will recognize the futility of not allowing you to sell both and give you the chance to grow your bar revenue by offering both-just remember you heard it here first, lol!

      Lastly, and just because I like to say ‘I told everybody so…’, this past week saw the federal government approve the hand held, Dragen Drug Test 5000 unit for the police to use in road side Cannabis testing. Something I foretold back in the blog so, I told you so! lol!


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