Another Level of Freedom
Captain's Log. Stardate 26th April 2013. People smoking marijuana is a familiar site and I suppose a widely accepted "fact of life" in Cuadrilla. The level of taboo surrounding the practice in the Land of Freedom is much higher than in this land of Frankness. For example, if you decided to light up some marijuana in a bar in the Land of Freedom, well, you are certainly taking your chances, to say the least. And if you are unlucky enough to have a police officer nearby, you will probably not be able to enjoy your weed for long. Whereas here, there is at least one dedicated marijuana bar, and people smoke it openly in the streets, pretty much like tobacco (this is only a slight exaggeration). What convinced me to write an entry on it was the sight of a man enjoying some weed within a stone's throw of the main entrance of a local hospital. I don't know if he was coming from the hospital or not, but the contrast between this symbol of hygiene and health, and this symbol of Western decadence and physical degeneration, can hardly fail to impress a stranger to this land. Don't get me wrong: I do not wish to take sides in the pro- and anti- hash debate. This is neither the time nor the place for that. I am simply registering a sociological fact: marijuana is much more socially villified and legally repressed in the Land of Freedom than it is in Cuadrilla, a land that is in other respects far more conservative and culturally homogeneous. Paradoxical but tru
7/18/2013 08:10:15 pm
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David Thunder is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Culture and Society, a humanities and social science research center at the University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain.
visitors since 7 Oct 2012