Let me start off by saying: I think weed is dumb. I mean, it's definitely not the worst drug - that accolade probably goes to heroin for ruining lives and mephedrone for being shit - but it is arguably the biggest time waster. Like, if I wanted something to make me feel sleepy but also unable to achieve sleep due to a subtle but persistent prang of paranoia, I'd just watch a documentary about Enron. If I wanted to eat five family sized bags of crisps, I'd just eat five family sized bags of crisps. If I wanted to find a Vine more amusing than it actually is, I'd probably see about developing a personality. Anyway, all of which is to say: someone's dad has complained to a news outlet that a festival he went to this weekend reeked of weed, and it is the dumbest thing to happen since smoking weed for non-ceremonial reasons.
The dad in question attended the inaugural Bluedot Festival, which took place at the Jodrell Bank observatory in Cheshire, and was headlined by Underworld, Jean-Michel Jarre and Caribou. Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, the dad - Lee Taylor, 46, from Stockport - said that the festival had "an almost constant smell" of cannabis. He went with his partner and six-year-old daughter, but claims his family day out was spoiled by "extensive and prolific" drug use within the festival's arena.
Before we go on, let's pause for a moment and review the information. Taylor has attended a music festival. A music festival headlined by Underworld, Jean-Michel Jarre and Caribou. A music festival headlined by Underworld, Jean-Michel Jarre and Caribou held in an field housing an astronomical telescope used for the study of natural phenomena and Placebo to film music videos on. Now, I'm no marijuana expert, but if I was going to get high anywhere it would probably be in an outdoor arena linked to the study of space while the music of Underworld, Jean-Michel Jarre and Caribou caressed my five senses. I probably wouldn't contact a regional daily newspaper specifically to complain about it. But, hey, that's just me. What do I know? I haven't smoked weed since 2007 when I ended up watching Priscilla, Queen of the Desert on a very small television set while an iPod dock across the room played five Pixies albums in succession because I was too high to get up and turn anything off.
Anyway, back to Stockport anti-weed dad Lee Taylor.
“The last thing I expected at an event that had been billed as being family-friendly was people smoking cannabis and skunk," Taylor said, in reference to an event The Guardian reviewed with the headline 'cosmic vibes permeate rave revival'. "I’m not stupid and could tell the smell a mile off. It wasn’t just one or two people either." Once Saturday’s headline act, electronica star Jean-Michel Jarre, came on stage, he says, there "was an almost constant smell of it". Taylor then went on to complain about the lack of sniffer dogs, amnesty bins, and security enthusiasm to approach the hundreds of people smoking naughty cigarettes and ask them to please stop not bothering anybody.
“It’s just really disappointing," he continued. "At the end of the day it’s illegal. I would have been within my rights to call the police and tell them I suspected there was drug use in the area but you expect security to handle that. My daughter loves everything to do with space but I would be wary about her bringing her next year because I don’t want her surrounded by that.”
I mean, I guess that's fair enough. Nobody wants their kid inhaling fumes of any sort. But, also, you're outdoors at a music festival. Maybe have a day off? It seems especially pointless to rail against drug use at music festivals the same weekend Secret Garden Party became the first UK festival to offer free drug testing in a progressive effort to reduce the number of drug-related deaths on site, acknowledging that music festivals are one of the few spaces left to have fun without being aggressively policed and people will obviously want to do drugs in them. In the grand scheme of things, a bunch of Jean-Michel Jarre fans smoking hella weed at "a boutique weekend of electronic music, science and stargazing", is probably as far removed from the Babylonian decay of moral society as you're likely to get.
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