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CANNABIS LINK DIARIES


[ The diary is a collection of previous homepages and other writings beginning in 2002 ]

October 12, 2002

Canadian Studies and USA Cannabis

Whose responsibility is it to tell the public that the federal government may as well take the $840,000 they are spending on the cannabis study, light a match, and burn it? Call it what it is - a prohibitionist stall tactic or a make-work project for some academics that will serve a very limited useful purpose.

The media revealed patients will be ingesting cannabis supplied by the United States, (a fact conveniently omitted from the official press release (1)) but they fail to mention it is an inferior product that is never normally used and will never be used again once the study is over, so what is the point?

Everyone agrees studies are wanted and needed, and despite all the mistakes and bureaucracy, Allan Rock was bang on for wanting a domestic supply representative of what people were really smoking. But for that he was ousted from his portfolio so the party line could be towed back in from that renegade position. (Put him back and let him finish what he started.) Most people are unaware that no one in their right mind would agree with the decisions of Health Minister Anne McLellan concerning medical cannabis if they had little more than passing knowledge of the issue.

Not long ago we were told that the intended purpose of the crop was just that - for research purposes, not for the patients, and now we are told that the domestic supply is not only being withheld from legal patients, it is also being withheld from researchers. When does this government get a reality check? Every Canadian should know how much the government paid for 500 grams of imported useless sticks and stems when $5 million was committed to grow hundreds of kilos of prime Canadian home-grown which is now ready and available.

The decision also flies in the face of the recently published 600 page Senate Report (2) covering two years of research and compilation of data that is the most comprehensive guiding principle evolving in the trend and push in Canada toward drug reform. It specifically recommends the marijuana used in studies must meet the standards of current practice in compassion clubs, not NIDA standards.

Yet every article appearing so far, from the syndicated CanWest and Sun chains to the Toronto Star, with the exception of the Globe and Mail, recite the party line verbatim, "Although Canada is in the process of developing its own supply of study-grade marijuana, the crop - being grown in an underground facility in Manitoba - isn't ready for use. The marijuana for this study comes from the U.S. National Institute of Drug Abuse, currently the only producer of research-grade marijuana in North America."

Bullshit.

We must stay aligned with our more sane European and Commonwealth counterparts rather than our neighbours who are so steeped in denial that anyone who has dealt with an addicted person (or in the is case entity) knows - their irrationality is their reality - but it doesn't have to be yours. That's something you choose, and Canada can still choose.

Debra Harper

deb@cannabislink.ca

CannabisLink.ca
http://cannabislink.ca/

DrugSense
http://drugsense.org/

(1) http://www.newswire.ca/releases/October2002/09/c9505.html
(2) http://www.parl.gc.ca/common/Committee_SenRep.asp CHAPTER 9 - USE OF MARIJUANA FOR THERAPEUTIC PURPOSES

Ref: Canadian Studies and USA Cannabis


Date: Thu, 15 Aug 2002

To: Selected MP's, Prime Minister, Toronto Police Chief, Senate Committee

Subject: Police raid on the Toronto Compassion Club

There is no way a police officer would participate in a raid like this if someone they knew or loved was suffering, and used cannabis to alleviate the suffering. They would perceive such a raid on the sick as a revolting act against humanity, and rightly so. Too bad they all aren't that enlightened.

The government withholds this herb from those who need it by not dispensing the tax-payer funded supply in Flin Flon and shutting down the only viable options like the TCC, to prove what? Refusing to acknowledge private sector solutions (compassion clubs) which provide a model for cannabis distribution based on experience, a collective knowledge-base, and practical applications, undermines our democratic, just society and Crown prosecutors feel the heat in the courts where the only shred of compassion shown to the sick still exists.

We were recently educated (again) about this very same situation only a month ago:

" I find that while there is no doubt that Mr. Lucas offended against the law by providing marijuana to others, his actions were intended to ameliorate the suffering of others. His conduct did ameliorate the suffering of others. By this Courts analysis, Mr. Lucas enhanced other peoples lives at minimal or no risk to society, although he did it outside any legal framework. He provided that which the Government was unable to provide a safe and high quality supply of marijuana to those needing it for medicinal purposes. He did this openly, and with reasonable safeguards. The fact that he has stated he will continue this activity points to the sincerity of his principles, and points to our need as a society to get this thorny issue resolved quickly by either Parliament or the Supreme Court of Canada. " R. A. Higinbotham, P.C.J. British Columbia July 5, 2002

Arresting the staff of the Toronto Compassion Club and removing access to the safest, most reliable source that compassion club members have, is so merciless, so unimaginably heartless, that we all feel the shame. Left unchecked, this type of action evolves into our blackest spots of history - such as the fate of the Japanese-Canadians, Native and Doukabour children, Dionne quintuplets, child and prisoner drug and surgical experiments, and the list goes on and on.

Won't any government understand responsibility toward citizens, or must we repeat these offensive acts until there's no one left to pick on? Users of some drugs for ill-defined or illogical reasons, have been increasingly targeted as prohibition gains a stronghold over conscience and common sense, causing needless suffering to so many of us. Citizen initiatives like the the Toronto Compassion Club spring up to fill the void and look at the thanks they get.

How many more times do we need to waste our precious tax-payer funded resources recycling the same attack against our poorest, most marginalized members of society? Cannabis has the potential to be a cheap herbal therapy that the majority of our poorest could afford if the stigma, which translates unjustly into prejudical laws, was removed. We are supposed to just accept that it remain illegal?

You have plundered our money while cutting back our access to the justice system through legal-aid cuts, the health system, the education system and anything else that may benefit us, the source of the cash, instead of corporate interests. It makes no difference to us how you slice the pie - federal, provincial, municipal - it all comes from our livelihoods - not yours.

The facts bear out there are no successful convictions anytime a compassion club is involved, so who is going to be accountable for more untold suffering of the 1,200 members of the TCC? See:

British Columbia Compassion Club Society (BCCCS):

R. v. Richardson (January 26, 2000), No.33558 North Vancouver Registry (Prov. Ct. B.C.);

  1. I accept that the accused was a wholesaler for the purpose of providing the Compassion Club Society of B.C. with a quantity of marihuana to distribute to its members;
  2. those members are in need of marihuana for medical purposes in the same way as the Courts in Ontario found Mr. Parker and Mr. Wakeford to be in need;
  3. many people who suffer from a number of debilitating diseases in this society and who derive some benefit from marihuana, are not in a position to grow their own and must rely on such retailers as the Compassion Club Society;
  4. that club cannot secure its necessary substance without the assistance of growers and wholesalers, of which Mr. Richardson is one;
  5. there is no evidence to suggest that Mr. Richardson was involved in any other way in trafficking in marihuana for recreational purposes.

    Therefore, if those who ultimately use the drug for medical purposes may be exempt from the prohibition against possession or cultivation of marihuana, and taking into account the sentences imposed in Czolowski and Lieph, I consider that it would not reflect a just, peaceful and safe society to impose a punitive sanction on Mr. Richardson, who acted as nothing more than a conduit for the provision of marihuana for medical purposes.
See: http://johnconroy.com/druglaw.html

R. v. Small (June 27, 2000), No. CC991259, Vancouver Registry (B.C.S.C.);
R. v. Small (February 9, 2001) [2001] B.C.J. No. 248 (BCCA);

Universal Compassion Centre (UCC) :

R vs Kruse, May 31 2000 - resulted in a conditional discharge after 50 hours of community service for a contracted grower.
See: http://johnconroy.com/druglaw.html

R vs Krieger, Dec 11, 2000. The historic Krieger decision:

[56] I am troubled by the fact that the Canadian government has not made arrangements for a legal source of cannabis marihuana to be made available to persons who require it for therapeutic use. Since Dr. Kalant indicated that he was able to obtain cannabis marihuana for research purposes, it must be available from some legitimate source. I trust that if I put a stay of one year on the effect of my decision, similar to that done by the Ontario Court of Appeal, this problem will be solved within the year.
http://cannabislink.ca/legal/krieger.htm (It's been more than a year and a half now)

R vs Krieger [Kreiger was later aquitted in June 2001 by a jury on trafficking charges related to this case]

The Vancouver Island Compassion Society:

R. vs. Lucas April 12, 2002 (Cited in main text)
http://www.thevics.com/rvlucas.htm

The Montreal Compassion Club:

R. c. St-Maurice & Néron - Pending decision on Aug 29th, 2002

---------------------------------


So what else would it take to convince you to leave compassion clubs alone and let them get on with the job of helping improve the quality of life for many of us? Someone has to do it, and we are hearing less everyday about our $5 million dollar investment in Prairie Plant Systems. Are shareholders always treated this way? I somehow doubt it, they get accountability not blackouts. Why are there no progress reports posted at either Office of Cannabis Medical Access or PPS?

Do the right thing and allow the sick to access cannabis as the courts have ordered, either through a government supply or the compassion clubs. Why is this so difficult?

Debra Harper

[Co-founder - Universal Compassion Centre]

CannabisLink.ca
http://cannabislink.ca/

member, Canadian Cannabis Coalition
http://cannabiscoalition.ca/




MAY, 2002

Canadians should heed the wake-up call given by MP Keith Martin when he exposed the undemocratic reality of our nation on the issue of cannabis. Equally alarming was his message, "Our trade treaties prevent us from legalizing illegal drugs." We no longer seem to be a sovereign nation and corporate interests are more important than the interests of Canadians. Why are we letting this happen?

Medical

A prolific example of fascist tendencies exhibited by our government was the official announcement, "Medicinal-Marijuana Harvest On Hold".

This blatant refusal to cooperate with a court-ordered mandate is foreshadowed by the inhumane, irresponsible treatment of legitimately ill people, "Medical Marijuana Exemptee Jailed Again". Why are we letting the government treat our ill family members this way?

Some medical professionals feel, "Docs should prescribe marijuana to those who need it" and with education, support and workable regulations, they will.

There is a regulated quality controlled market for everything from paint thinner to petfood but when it comes to drugs, it's a different story. Why? (illegal = uncontrolled = unnecessary, avoidable health risks = lawsuits).

When government after government continues to punish adult users, is it any wonder why the majority of voters feel the government is corrupt?

Police Role

It is not surprising that the police continually oppose any change in the law - their jobs depend on the status quo, even when it's inappropriate.

Why are police teaching our children anti-drug lectures ? Why not physicians? Surely doctors are more qualified on the subject and there is no conflict of interest.

No child had their homes ripped apart by a SWAT team of doctors or are subjected to the appalling ritual of their belongings at school searched by physicians. The message and the messenger are not lost on the majority of youth and is yet another reason so many kids have lost faith in adults.

Police can't keep up with 'grow' houses because it is becoming the top crop all over the country bringing the laws into more disrepute tha ever. Despite ongoing pleas for change:

Cracking Down on Marijuana is Dopey
It's Time To Take A Deep Breath And Legalize
Legalize Pot, Travelling Committee Told

the annual arrest rates quadruple in Ontario and elsewhere...

Although Canadians have never shown any particular interest in their IQ's, a nation-wide media frenzy of articles about a Carleton University study with headlines ranging from "Smoking Pot No Risk To IQ, Study Says " to "Pot Does Rot Your Brain" was unleashed on an unsuspecting public, leaving many more confused than ever. Even the media itself remarked, "Marijuana Headlines Are Half-Baked".

The findings of fact that have been accepted by the Ontario Court of Appeal would provide a standard for factual information about cannabis:

  1. Consumption of marijuana is relatively harmless compared to the so-called hard drugs and including tobacco and alcohol;

  2. There exists no hard evidence demonstrating any irreversible organic or mental damage from the consumption of marijuana;

  3. That cannabis does cause alteration of mental functions and as such, it would not be prudent to drive a car while intoxicated;

  4. There is no hard evidence that cannabis consumption induces psychoses;

  5. Cannabis is not an addictive substance;

  6. Marijuana is not criminogenic in that there is no evidence of a causal relationship between cannabis use and criminality;

  7. That the consumption of marijuana probably does not lead to "hard drug" use for the vast majority of marijuana consumers, although there appears to be a statistical relationship between the use of marijuana and a variety of other psychoactive drugs;

  8. Marijuana does not make people more aggressive or violent;

  9. There have been no recorded deaths from the consumption of marijuana;

  10. There is no evidence that marijuana causes amotivational syndrome;

  11. Less than 1% of marijuana consumers are daily users;

  12. Consumption in so-called "de-criminalized states" does not increase out of proportion to states where there is no de-criminalization.

  13. Health related costs of cannabis use are negligible when compared to the costs attributable to tobacco and alcohol consumption.





Keith Martin's symbolic act epitomizes all that is wrong with the Canadian government and for that we should be thanking him. More importantly, we should be doing something about it, which has Canadians thinking about ways ands means of more direct democracy.

The need for regulation to reduce harm to all consumers who are engaged in mass civil disobedience is long overdue




April, 2002

Although there are now between 300 - 1,000 Canadians who are "authorized users" of medicinal cannabis with more than a million others admitting to therapeutic use; the distribution phase of the medical cannabis program appears to be at a standstill due to many factors within the government's control.

Input from patients, doctors and grassroots experts within the cannabis community right from the beginning would have circumvented much resistance from every side to this court-mandated compromise. Seeming lack of communication within Health Canada and pressure from Washington almost guarantee that progress will be impeded every step of the way.

The Canadian Medical Association, who are forced to play a prominent role, are stubbornly resisting while calling for decriminalization instead.

Meanwhile, Prairie Plant Systems, the official supplier, is almost nearing it's second harvest while already storing 150 - 300 kilos of medicinal grade cannabis. Grown at taxpayers expense to benefit research and patients, right now it is benefiting no one despite overwhelming support and determination for a national medical cannabis program with workable regulations.

As Canadians face the fallout from public services cut beyond the core, persecution for ingesting cannabis at a cost of $500 million while allowing others to live on the streets is an abomination, not to mention a sad statement on the evolution of enlightenment in a new millennium. Is the ongoing submission to horrendous home invasions any time of the day or night by police really a message we want to keep sending our kids?

The abuse of power and absolute waste of taxpayer money that is needed to fund our health, education and social service sectors can not continue. Canadians must loudly and aggressively denounce this lack of sovereignty in drug policy that has U.S. agents operating here while their citizens simultaneously seek refuge here from their policies.

We have enough black spots on our history with the persecution of Natives, Chinese, Japanese and some drug users. Let's end the lies and propaganda. Let's end the War on Some Drugs.




March, 2002:

It is obvious to anyone who is attempting to use cannabis medicinally that the terms of theParker decision and the Krieger decision have not been met and possibly for those two reasons, cannabis could become legal by default.

Because the Crown have asked for a stay while they appeal the Krieger decision, it has delayed any action that would make cannabis legal in Alberta at this time.

Instead of increased tolerance, we felt the residual effects of "Operation Greensweep" which set the tone for the last month as prohibitionists spread further fear and hate toward cannabis users. Sadly, nothing was learned from settling lawsuits with Japanese-Canadians, aboriginal people, sterilized women, and other blatantly discriminated persons in any given segment of society at any given time.

We have been stuck in an insanely long era of prohibition that spans four generations. Many Canadians feel our politicians are too susceptible to American pressure and await the Supreme Court hearing in September or October 2002 to define the boundaries of our "Made In Canada" solution.

For Enron-style prohibitionists, it could be the last stab at the pork barrel and they are out to milk it for all it's worth as illustrated by Operation Greensweep. Many of their unwitting opponents - the growers whose homes are invaded - are people just trying to get by and save themselves money, much as someone who bottles wine.

Forcing these people to become victims of the drug war which entails incurring huge legal costs, ruined relationships with friends, employers, family, and limited life choices as a result of a criminal record, reduces many opponents to nothing. The bigger danger which governments seem blind too, is it also means nothing left to lose.

That very concept is exemplified and associated with the terrorist mind so the marginalized can be sublimely and continually associated with supporting terrorism.

The American prohibitionists felt we were incapable of deciding matters of national importance such as drug policy, and have stepped in to lead our government toward disastrous U.S. drug policy.




February 2002:

   Despite vast social acceptance, cannabis consumers are disturbed to find the government less tolerant toward them in the new millennium than previous times.

On one hand we have a precarious medicinal use program about to enter a distribution phase and on the other hand, cannabis prohibition is being enforced more vigorously than ever - whether sick or not. Why?

Bewildered Canadians wonder how prohibition is working in their best interest. People are no longer sold on the dangers of cannabis itself, but most cannabis consumers do not grow their own, so once again ignorance is being exploited.

Now we are told that growing cannabis is dangerous. The truth that growing cannabis is no more dangerous than growing any flower, plant or herb if it were regulated properly is conveniently omitted from official sources.

Operation Green Sweep - The modern day tale of a medieval inquisition. Help end the insanity...


January. 2002:

Another year passes as Canada continues to establish a medical cannabis program by embarking on a new phase - distribution of government-supplied medicine. It's been rumored that THC levels may be as high as 12% while maintaining minimum levels at 5%, which would make it more widely accepted by the recipients.

Our government, under order from the courts, must stand with it's citizens and take bold steps to make medicinal cannabis accessible rather than bowing to pressure from the irrational sabre-rattling USA.

Currently, 680 "authorized users" may possess, either through a regulated government supply, by cultivating their own, or designate someone else, and those numbers will rise considerably once the process is less restrictive, intrusive and bureaucractic. If done properly, the benefits of regulated cannabis to patients, the health care system and society in general are the type of sensible solution we need, but is still lagging behind the current trend toward liberalization of all cannabis use. This year, the Supreme Court has a chance to play a significant role in that regard.

Nationally, Anne McLellan in her capacity as justice minister, has been answerable for the overall disarray and wasting $500 million dollars a year to maintain prohibition which only benefits her associates such as police, judges, lawyers, and prison officials by arresting a member of someone's family every 12 minutes for cannabis. As of January 15, she is the new minister of health which makes her responsible for the Office of Cannabis Medical Access. The new justice minister, Martin Cauchon, inherits the justice department along with her legacy of ignoring injustice.

Internationally, Canada needs moral support and goodwill exchange from other Commonwealth nations and European countries who have liberalized their polices, to help us withstand the opposition from the US government (the people are on our side) which we will experience.

We must also encourage our government to resist US-led attempts to instill a false sense of security and hope by forfeiting our basic rights while throwing billions into efforts to catch phantom terrorists when the solution really lies in balancing the inequities that abound globally. We must remember that a circle only has one side....






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Last Modified:Thursday, 15-Feb-2007 11:07:18 PST
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