It’s getting cold out there. The first waves of geese have begun their southern pilgrimage, the trees are turning out their carnelian wardrobe, and everyone on the bus has a runny nose. Amidst the autumnal fanfare of nature, we as a nation come together each year to celebrate all there is to be celebrated, and to gain back the calories we burned off at music festivals all summer.
The first Feasts of Thanks in what is now Canada were held by a group of French settlers in Acadia (now Nova Scotia). Calling themselves L'Ordre de Bon Temps—The Order of Good Cheer—the group of settlers held feasts with their indigenous neighbours to celebrate harvest seasons as early as 1604 (fun fact: the first crops of hemp in North America were planted two years later, just a few kilometres away).
Not much about the tradition has changed over the last four centuries. But with the Cannabis Act having been introduced earlier this year, for many Canadians this marks the first year in their lives with thanks to be given for a holiday season that includes cannabis sans stigma.
Here we examine a few reasons why Thanksgiving and dank ganja go together like turkey and gravy.
1) Best munchies of the year
Other parts of the world don’t dress the holiday up with a fancy name or try to attach some altruistic sense of gratitude. They get straight to the point, simply calling it the Harvest Festival. This nomenclature seems much more honest.
Let’s face it, Thanksgiving in modern context is less about giving thanks and more about striving to push the limits of elastic waistbands. We ostensibly give thanks for the bounty of life, while cheating death by seeing how close we can get without actually rupturing our stomach walls.
That’s where cannabis comes in. Empowered by the munchies we can shovel more food through our face-holes faster than bears getting ready for hibernation
Every year you find yourself eyeing down that last drumstick, futilely trying to convince yourself you have room to finish it. Now, you do.
2) It’s cold season—everyone else’s eyes are red too!
In previous years this would have mainly been a boon for closet cannabists whose families clung to the “it’s bad because it’s illegal” argument, and whose holidays tended to go best without puritanical conflict.
Now it’s an opportunity to have a matching theme for family photos! Ugly sweaters for Christmas, and for Thanksgiving, red eyes and a bit of a cough...
3) Cannabis can add a nice layer to the lethargy stack
It’s universally observed that Thanksgiving dinner brings with it a lethargy that can only be compared to glacial movement, or the pace of government.
While the myth that turkey contains elevated tryptophan levels has been busted, the massive doses of carbohydrates we consume at Thanksgiving do result in abnormally large releases of insulin into the body, neutralizing amino acids in the blood and allowing higher than usual amounts of tryptophan to pass into the brain.
The effects can be similar to those of cannabis edibles, and for those who enjoy leaning into the lazy, the combination of a tryptophan high and some cannabis can be the perfect recipe for a night you’ll never remember.
4) Something something FOOTBALL!
The heightened lethargy surrounding the holidays can slow the brain to such an extent that Canadian football may seem entertaining. Don’t be alarmed, those effects are usually only temporary.
If you find yourself saying something along the lines of, “double-header? More like doobie-header, am I right?” You’re right, but you sound like a jackass. Cheesy puns have no place in sports (he said, convincingly).
But you know what does have a place in sports? Cannabis. Just ask Canadian skeleton racer Dave Greszczyszyn. (We swear that’s his real name.)
The CFL is one of the many Canadian sports leagues that allow players to smoke as much weed as they want. But even better than that, you too can smoke as much weed as you want at home while you watch. And you probably should.
5) That one uncle who won’t shut up about politics
One of the finest and best upheld traditions for Thanksgiving and Harvest Festival in countries the world over is to secretly place bets on which relative will go on the first drunken rant of the evening.
The ceremonial First Rant is most often a turning point for the occasion, with the savvy citing homework and early mornings as reasonable grounds to make a hasty exit before volleys of politically charged sarcasm and sniping lead to outrage and, if things go well, the complete decimation of civilised discourse.
But a preemptive cannabis strike could alter the course of such a conflict before it begins. It may not bring about world peace, but if the offering is accepted, at the very least your uncle will be ranting about aliens instead of politics.
6) Giving thanks for the dank
Harvest season is the perfect time to give thanks for the growers of decades past, whose risks and efforts brought about this billion dollar industry capable of captivating the insatiable lust for tax revenue needed for government regulators to see that legalization was a good idea.
And let us give thanks as well for the dank itself, and the mad scientists whose clandestine farms helped develop the plant into the medical and psychotropic powerhouse we know today. Without them, we’d never have had room for that last drumstick.
Featured image by Ingrid Taylar.