Jack Knox: Of pot and putts, Moodini and campaign bucks

Heading off for a bit, time to update some earlier columns:

Do pot and putting mix? Depends who you ask.

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You might recall the August column about an online survey in which the B.C. Golf Association asked players what they think golf courses should do when recreational marijuana becomes legal Oct. 17.

Here are the final results, based on the responses of more than 5,400 golfers:

The survey found one in seven golfers — and this applies to both green-fee players and club members — plan to smoke marijuana on the golf course. It skews by age: Half of those under the age of 35 plan to light up, but less than one in 10 of those over 55 do.

• A slim majority — six-in-10 — expressed discomfort with anyone smoking dope on the course.

• The older you are, the less likely you are to be comfortable playing with someone smoking marijuana. Three-quarters of those under 35 are OK with it, and those aged 35 to 54 are evenly split, but only 25 per cent of those over 55 would be happy with a puffing partner.

• Three-quarters of golfers don’t think pot should be smoked within sight of junior players.

• Of those who plan to toke up on the course, nine in 10 see it as no different than drinking alcohol or smoking cigarettes or cigars. That drops to six-in-10 for non-tokers.

Few golf courses have figured out how to handle the issue yet, says B.C. Golf CEO Kris Jonasson. “To a large extent, everyone is waiting for municipalities to set rules.”

On the bright side, maybe we’ll see golf nut Snoop Dogg at the pro-am in Victoria next year.


While staggering around the fairground after judging Metchosin Day’s pie and cake contests on Sunday (yes, I know what you’re saying, the sacrifices I make for our community are inspirational) I tripped over a sequel to the story of the Rogue Cow of Metchosin.

Remember the Rogue? She was a previously placid Angus-Hereford heifer who suddenly bolted for freedom one day in the spring of 2017, hurdling a Happy Valley Road hedge and hot-hoofing it into the bush.

For months she remained at large, Huck-Finning off the land — grazing in convenient fields with her friends the deer, startling Galloping Goose trail hikers, hot-wiring unsecured farm vehicles. Basically she was a Far Side cartoon come to life. And the longer she remained loose, the larger her legend grew — right up until this time last year, when she simply reappeared one morning in the same field from which she had made her Shawshanksteak Redemption escape.

While I called her the Rogue Cow of Metchosin, someone from that community came up with a name more reflective of her elusive nature: Metchosin Moodini. That’s also the name The Farmer’s Tan Boutique’s Heather Buchanan used in designing a stylish poster on display at Metchosin Day. The artwork ensured that while the cow herself might have mooved on — perhaps to another farm, just like your parents told you happened to your childhood dog, or perhaps to your dinner plate — the legend will live.

The Rogue/Moodini lives on in another way, too. Word at the fair was that when the cow reappeared last fall, she was pregnant. Her calf is frolicking in a Metchosin field at this moment. No word on whether it was born half bovine, half bear or whether it has horns or antlers.

I wrote about new campaign financing rules for local elections the other day. Donations to candidates from individuals are capped at $1,200. Donations from corporations, unions and other groups are banned altogether. (Good. They never did pass the smell test.) Candidates face spending limits that vary by population.

The population-based formula — when combined with the balkanized nature of Greater Victoria governance — produces some weird anomalies, though. The TC’s Bill Cleverley already pointed out the effect on Victoria’s mayoral campaign, where candidates’ expenses will be capped at $54,121 this year, compared to the $88,564 spent by Lisa Helps, the $128,636 by Dean Fortin and $108,120 by Ida Chong in 2014.

Here’s another twist: the ceilings for school board candidates. Because the Saanich district uses what is effectively a ward system, the population-based limits mean a relatively low cap, ranging from $5,347 to $9,514. By comparison, candidates in the populous Greater Victoria district may spend (don’t choke on your gum here) $68,534 apiece.

That’s way out of line with what candidates actually throw around. Trustee Peg Orcherton’s $11,832 campaign cost almost twice as much as that of the next highest-spending candidate in Greater Victoria in 2014.

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