The beauty of motorcycling is that you are in contact with the outside world; not shut up in a box on wheels.
You are alert to the things happening around you; you have to be because drivers sometimes “didn’t see you mate” as you lie on the floor head to toe in hi-vis clothing.
But more than that, you are alert to the including the smells of the world around you. So I will know if someone has cut their grass; or get that musky odour after rain permeating my visor.
And there is one smell that really annoys me – when I’m riding along in traffic and I get that pungent aroma of cannabis wafting into my nostrils from the car in front. It has happened several times now and it seems to me it is occurring more and more frequently. Drivers toking on their spliffs as they go ‘merrily’ on their journey.
I have no doubt in my own mind (although the evidence isn’t quite there yet) that the use of skunk and weed has increased during lockdown – my rather large proboscis tells me so.
Now don’t get me wrong; I am, in general, a libertarian. In general, freedom of speech, thought and actions are entwined in my DNA. That’s why, I suppose, I am not a very good Christian; could never abide all those ‘thou shalts’ and ‘thou shalt not!’
For me, mostly, whatever people choose to do in their private lives is fine by me as longs as it does not hurt others or is not illegal. Cannabis, of course, is illegal being a Class B drug under the misuse of drugs act (apart from the trials for medical conditions.) Now there are good reasons for not using cannabis apart from the legality. As a former drug counsellor or 10 years standing, I have seen the financial and emotional effects on cannabis users. I have seen patients have psychotic episodes; and those whose health has gone downhill quickly. I have seen those who have moved from recreational use of one drug to dependence on it and exposure to a wider range of drugs. And, of course, drug money is responsible for organised crime, slavery, oppression and violence around the world. But if people make those choices, so be it.
But to be puffing on a cannabis spliff whilst driving seems to me the height of irresponsibility. We can’t control the deaths caused by the two legal drugs sanctioned by our society (tobacco and alcohol); so we have little chance of controlling a third drug. It won’t be long until there are a spate of children and adults killed on our roads by drug drivers. The law, in this instance, must be enforced.