High times in Canada

Letters to the Boston editor, August 29, 2008
By BOSTON PHOENIX LETTERS  |  August 27, 2008

Two weeks ago, we ran a story about how the seemingly tranquil, inoffensive, and pristine little Canadian province of Prince Edward Island was actually a relative hotbed of marijuana growing. Since the story ran, it has exploded into an international We Said/Canadians Said — the fricking Minister of Tourism of Prince Edward Island blasted us, and scores of Canadians seemed outraged that the Phoenix deigned to replace the beloved maple leaf on their flag with a leaf that is entirely more smokable. Here is a sampling of the outraged comments, followed by a response from the author, Alan R. Earls.

I imagine you’ve received a fair amount of criticism regarding your article on the “explosion” of marijuana production on Prince Edward Island, and your editor, on the Canadian Broadcasting Company, promised some corrections in the next issue, but he didn’t suggest a withdrawal of the “explosive” image you created.

I’m a fairly recent immigrant to PEI, so I have no long-standing attachment. Accurate reporting is still important to me — in fact, reporting that isn’t accurate can hardly be described as reporting at all, can it? More like fiction. Still, I want to thank you for enlivening the Island’s image — even at the expense of accuracy. I understand many visitors ask to see Anne-You-Know-Who’s [of the Green Gables] gravesite, and fail to grasp she never was; a fiction, like the main premise of your article.

“Defiantly dry” communities? Only when the rain don’t fall. Two hundred and fifty marijuana plants seized, compared with 200 last year? Wow! We’re going big-time, eh? Inexpensive electricity from Quebec? Take a peek at my power bill, and weep for me as you take another drag.

Would you mind if I start a campaign to have you given an honourary (forgive my quaint spelling) citizenship for enlivening PEI’s rather staid image? We’re obviously more “with it,” exciting, and “lurid” than I ever imagined. The “Gentle Island” image was never to my liking. The tourism industry’s late blooming will no doubt be attributable to your sexing up the place. The new flag was a stroke of genius.

Good luck in the future, and keep up the creative writing. Maybe you missed your calling.

Glen Armstrong
Prince Edward Island, Canada

Obviously this guy has never been to PEI! Once again another American who doesn’t have a clue about Canada. Worry about your own gun-ridden, crack-infested country and having a complete moron for a president.

Dave Lauzon
British Columbia, Canada

Wow the only person I can think of using pot is the author of this article! Four cities in PEI? I only count two, the largest being Charlottetown with a population of 32,000. Cheap electricity from Quebec? Hardly cheap. One of the most expensive in Canada. And what isn’t generated on PEI comes from New Brunswick. The cheap Quebec electricity gets sold to the US instead of staying in Canada. Emergency staff getting trained in Baltimore? That’s just crap. Just like the article. Pot in PEI? Yeah, I know there is. Does it need to be controlled better? I can think of better places to put the public funds.

Terry W Parker
Prince Edward Island, Canada

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  Topics: Letters , Illegal Drugs, Marijuana, Alan Earls
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