Adirondack Mountain High

Regardless of what you think of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, he has an impeccable sense of timing.  Otherwise, how to explain his push to legalize adult recreational use of marijuana in the Empire State this coming year which … coincidentally … is the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock.  

Cuomo’s effort to make marijuana legal in New York is part of a magical confluence of events leading up to August, 2019, when the Anniversary of Woodstock will be celebrated at not one … not two … but three separate venues in that larger region.  First, of course, is the “official” get together at the original site in Bethel, New York … second, is the Michael Lang salute to this iconic event to be held at Watkins Glen, New York … and, third, Ottawa, Ontario, will host a Canadian shindig called “Woodstock North” during that same period.

Imagine the possibilities … if the New York initiative is successful, one could have a “high” time at all three celebrations (the Ottawa event is several days earlier than the others, and marijuana is already legal for recreational purposes in Canada).  One note of caution: don’t transport any amount of weed across the border … possession of marijuana remains a federal offense in the United States, and handcuffs are a definite buzz kill. 

By the way, those visiting upstate New York for the first time should expect to  be overwhelmed by the gorgeous scenery of the region.   As the map below shows, connecting the locations of the three events just mentioned delineates a triangular swath of spectacular vistas including the majestically beautiful Adirondack Mountains.  One of John Denver’s biggest hits was “Rocky Mountain High,” and while the jury is still out on whether he was singing of the beauty of the Rockies or the potency of marijuana, the Adirondacks (I am told) have a similar effect.

The area within the “Adirondack Mountain High” region covers some 11,000 square miles (see map), and anyone in that geographical area during August of this year ought to take certain precautions.  For example, those with respiratory issues should heed long range predictions of elevated air pollution levels consisting of pollen, mountain cedar and pot.  And, hopefully, the FAA will remind pilots that the cloudy haze covering that part of the United States and Canada during that period is not fog … nope, that will be pot as well.

Those of us in attendance at the original Woodstock in 1969, have vivid memories of the weather … rain … turning to rain … followed by rain.  The downpours were, in fact, so pervasive, that conspiracy theorists speculated that the government might be seeding the clouds to make it rain on the hippies.

While event organizers keep their fingers crossed in hopes of good weather this time, the brilliant comedian George Carlin addressed this issue years ago.  In a classic sketch from the 1970s, one of Carlin’s characters, Al Sleet, the “Hippy Dippy Weatherman,” provided a memorable forecast with a Woodstock ring to it:  “… our weather is dominated by a large Canadian low … not to be confused with a Mexican high.”


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