Earlier this month, there was an obit published in Chicago that not many people noticed. Mack Herron who once played football had died at the age of 67. He starred at Kansas State, but chose to play pro ball first in Canada. He had two tremendous seasons with the Blue Bombers in Winnipeg. He was immediately labelled the mini Bomber because he stood 5’5” and weighed 170 pounds, about the same dimensions as Brendan Banks of today’s Hamilton Ti-Cats.
Mack grew up in a very touch ghetto in Chicago, and became familiar with drugs at a very early age. In the spring of 1973 in Winnipeg, he was busted by police with small amounts of cocaine and marijuana in his possession. It was the end of what would likely have been a Hall of Fame career. He caught on with New England in the NFL and led that league in all purpose yards one year.
Eventually, Mack again ran afoul of the law over drugs, many times over the next quarter century. I couldn’t help but wonder what might have happened if he had been in Canada in 2015, especially if his drug use was limited to marijuana.
Within the last half dozen years, a CFL general manager told me that if the league tried to eliminate pot smoking they would have a very difficult time finding enough players.
The drug is now almost available ‘on demand’ in British Columbia, and before too long it may be sold alongside vodka and scotch at your favourite liquor store in Manitoba and Ontario.
Once again we’re following the lead of the Americans. Colorado and the state of Washington have legalized pot, and just like booze, they’re pulling in millions of dollars in tax revenue. The clock moves very fast on this issue it seems. A year ago, Justin Trudeau was being roasted by Stephen Harper and the Conservatives for promising to decriminalize the drug. By the time the election came in October, the Liberals had lots of things to talk about that Canadians cared more about than mary jane.
I’m Roger Curie