Article by Tyler Sookochoff, Lift News
On Thursday, I and many senior Lift staff had the pleasure of handing out thousands of free TTC tokens to those celebrating 4/20 at Dundas Square in Toronto in an effort to raise awareness about making responsible choices when consuming cannabis. The expected arrival (and then arrival) of a massive downpour did little to dampen the spirits of the thousands of impassioned individuals from all walks of life who came to celebrate cannabis and the progress we’ve made as a society in accepting it.
Yet as their dream of a legal cannabis industry slowly but surely moves towards reality, it’s evident that not everyone is entirely comfortable with this progression. Along with the federal government, many provincial and municipal governments and nearly half the Canadian population have questions and concerns about how legalization will impact society as a whole, and what new dangers it may create. Granted, many (perhaps most?) of these fears are a product of decades of misinformation and will prove to be unfounded, but others warrant our discussion. Impaired driving is one of those.
The two extreme positions (that no one should drive after consuming cannabis ever; and that cannabis does not impair anyone’s driving ever) are both unhelpful in moving this discussion forward. At Lift, our purpose is to help people make better informed decisions about cannabis, and this includes decisions about if/when to get behind the wheel after consuming. Our 4/20 token campaign was an effort to reach out to a population who may not as yet be thinking about these types of issues—but based on the responses we received, they’re certainly ready for it. I personally handed out nearly 1000 tokens, and was so encouraged by the hundreds of thank-you’s and appreciative smiles (from those too high to speak…) I received. “Good lookin’ out, Lift,” is what I heard time and again. Even when engaging people with an issue that is arguably controversial and a bit sensitive, I was left with a feeling of community—that we’re in this together and at the end of the day it’s simply about looking out for each other.