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Cannabis Digest Editorials

by pablofunk » Sat May 08, 2010 12:44 pm

A Note From the Publisher

Ted Smith

These are exciting times for those of us who have been working hard over the years to bring Hempology 101 to fruition. The transformation of our newsletter turning into this newspaper is one of many projects that our group is involved with. Establishing Cannabis Digest as a leading cannabis publication will give the International Hempology 101 Society an opportunity to educate and activate the public on a whole new level. Whether it is mandatory minimum sentences, important court cases, changes to the Marijuana Medical Access Regulations, advancements in science, current events or profiling those trying to help liberate this herb. This new expanded format will help us bring important information to cannabis consumers, building networks between businesses, activists, and enthusiasts. Indeed, these are exciting times for the cannabis world.

In my 14 years of activism, I have never felt so much momentum towards legalization. Though we are struggling with federal politicians in Canada, many positive activities are still happening across the country. On the other hand, the changes we are witnessing in the U.S. are unprecedented, and momentum towards legalization in that country seems closer with every day. With international agreements clearly stating that medicinal use and research of cannabis is permitted, people all around the world are using this plant as an integral part of their daily health regime. Hemp milk and other hemp products we only dreamed of years ago are now available in most stores in Canada. With so many products being produced worldwide, we have already begun collecting for a hemp museum that we hope to one day have at our home base in Victoria.

This newspaper is one of a number of projects that will help take our grass roots style to new heights. For example, I have been working on a textbook for Hempology 101 since 1995, and this could be the year it will finally be available in stores. The newspaper will help us sell our own products, and highlight progressive cannabis enterprises, on-line and in print. Cannabis Digest will provide assistance to businesses and entrepreneurs—in the form of web-pages, YouTube videos, and print advertising—who want to promote products, sales, anniversaries, and other promotional events. Helping cannabis-friendly businesses prosper is critical. People vote with their money. Every dollar you spend supports the politics of the person or business you are dealing with. By highlighting alternatives to corporate goods and services, we are giving cannabis consumers an opportunity to support companies that support Hempology 101 and the Cannabis Buyers’ Clubs of Canada.

As we expand beyond Victoria, Cannabis Digest will strive to focus on creating connections with environmentally friendly, socially conscious businesses that treat employees and customers with respect and concern. If you like what you are reading, buy stuff from people and businesses you see in this paper and tell them you appreciate the fact they support Cannabis Digest. Helping us find new advertisers is another excellent way of building community around this publication, and provide exposure to cannabis-friendly enterprises while maintaining, if not increasing, our distribution levels.

Cannabis has the potential to help humanity deal with many current and future problems. Integrating hemp foods, medicines, building materials, etc., into our bodies, environment, and economy is not as difficult as it sounds. It begins with eating hemp hearts and the occasional pot cookie. After all, you are what you eat. Don’t worry, we are here to help the Cannabis Digest.
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by pablofunk » Sat May 08, 2010 12:46 pm


Cannabis Digest #24

Andrew Brown

Welcome to the freshly revamped Cannabis Digest! I am pleased to be able to help out Ted, the awesome staff and members of the CBC of C, and all the current and future readers. I have spent many hours working on this paper—toiling between all of my other commitments and responsibilities—trying to create something that will reflect properly on the people who are selflessly committed to educating and helping out members of our society.

I met Ted Smith a couple of years ago while writing a story for my university newspaper. I forget what the premise of the article was—and actually forget most of the interview, for that matter—what I do remember was the tremendous sense of community between members and staff, brought together by their passion to fight for their rights to access safe medicine. I was given a tour and had an enlightening discussion about what the CBC of C does. I saw first hand the people who benefit from the club, and the real necessity in our society for cannabis dispensaries.

This leads into the recent blow the med community has suffered. On Mar. 31, C.A.L.M. (Cannabis As Living Medicine) which is a compassion club on Queen St. in Toronto, was raided by the 51st Division of the Toronto Police Department. The club is among the oldest in Canada, and has been operating without police intervention for 14 years. Why now? At the time of writing this, I can only speculate political pressure; but the police have said that they were responding to complaints, without releasing any other details.

Public support for cannabis as medicine is at an all-time high. Depending which statistics you refer to, support is up in the high eightieth percentile; and support for full legalization has broken the fifty percent mark. The public has spoken, but with the Right Wing minority government currently in power, we seem to be shouting in deaf ears while they hit us over the head with their legislation stick—repeatedly ignoring experts, studies, and statistics proving that they are wrong— trying to pass “tough on crime” bills. And who suffers? Everyone.

It is well-known, and supported by expert criminologists, that by increasing the criminality of a substance, they are increasing the value of the substance on the black market. Criminally minded individuals and organized crime “gangs” will be the first to try and get a piece of the, even more lucrative, market that will be created—by any means necessary. If a regulated market is introduced, the means will be in place to provide a safer product and safer access.

Clubs currently in operation, are the only places where patients can feel somewhat safe purchasing their medicine—avoiding the shady alley treatment and the questionable quality of the product. C.A.L.M. members are now being forced to obtain their medicine from other sources, and many being forced to purchase from the black market.

It’s hard to watch our government and police—the people supposed to protect the public—wage war on vulnerable members of our society. The public wouldn’t tolerate the government refusing a cancer patient their morphine for pain control; but for some reason the public is tolerating the governments refusal of a safer, natural, more effective medicine that benefits these same individuals.

The MMAR program for legal access has just over 4000 participants, and is greatly flawed. Many doctors support the use of cannabis as medicine and are fine writing referrals for compassion clubs, but are hesitant to sign the government forms. This reason alone should be enough for police and government to create a legal exemption for clubs, and begin to focus issues far more pressing than somebody “getting high.”
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by pablofunk » Tue Jan 25, 2011 11:33 am

Cannabis Digest Issue 27

By Ted Smith

Heroes make the world a better place. Becoming a cannabis hero may not as hard as your think. Defending the truth, helping the sick and vulnerable, growing medicine, writing letters, wearing cannabis t-shirts, attending rallies, and networking on-line are individually easy things to do. Doing more than one thing to free the weed makes you a hero in my books.
For many, the more active you are, the easier and more liberating cannabis activism becomes. Being part of a community allows us to learn from each other as we develop as individuals and groups. There is a certain joy that grows within us as we work together to make the world a better place using cannabis.
Few heroes have shared as much joy, wisdom, and passion for justice as Michelle Rainey. She taught people that they can be heroes, too—and in so doing became a cannabis superhero in the eyes of many.
From the moment she stepped into the scene, Michelle lightened up the atmosphere around her with her boundless energy, charm, and sincerity. Her presence demanded attention, and not just because she was pretty and glowing with good vibrations. Michelle’s warmth, keen intellect, and bold tactical political wisdom attracted supporters from all walks of life to the cannabis community.
People who suffer from serious medical problems face many challenges. Most of us do not consider our impending death every day, struggling against pain and anxiety that makes every minute seem longer and every hurdle a little taller. Getting out of bed to face the world becomes more difficult for most people as their body breaks down.
Michelle was not one of those who went quietly. She raged into the night. She raged against the drug companies. She raged against Health Canada. She raged against the cancer. She raged against the media.
So come on, join the legion of superheroes. Stand up for truth, justice, and Mother Nature. Make Michelle proud.
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by pablofunk » Tue Jan 25, 2011 11:33 am

Cannabis Digest Issue 27

EDITORIAL: Rolling Into 2011
by Andrew Brown

Happy New Year! This year should prove eventful for the cannabis movement, and we can only hope that the common sense switch gets turned on for our law makers and politicians.
Bill S-10 is digging its teeth into the House of Commons after passing Senate in December. This is the single most important fight the Canadian Cannabis movement has on the battlefront. This bill could throw every single person working at a compassion club, university kids growing plants to share with their friends, or even somebody giving a Tylenol 3 to a friend with a migraine while walking past a school, into jail for up to two years or more. The Conservative government is relying on the lazy stoner stereotype of not bothering to get active using their voting voices because somebody else will do it, so it’s high time the 30 percent of Canadians and 102 percent of British-Columbians who use cannabis make their voices heard. Call your MP, other MPs, Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson, Stephen Harper, or any other influential government official, and let them know that mandatory minimum sentences are not supported by Canadians. It is very important to focus energy on the Liberal party and Michael Ignatieff, as they are the vote(s) that can pass or end bill S-10.
On the provincial side of government, former Cannabis Culture Editor, Vancouver Seedbank and the Dispensary founder, Dana Larsen is in the running for the NDP leadership. We wish him the best of luck in his bid, and hope he can spark some change. At the very minimum, he will for sure create a serious debate during his campaign.
Marc Emery is in prison in the U.S., in Georgia, and could really use some letters of support sent to the Hon. Vic Toews, the Canadian Minister of Public Safety, for his bid to be transfered to a Canadian prison. To find out more information check out <>
The CBC of C’s bakery trial is set to begin this year, also. The ruling of the trial could potentially affect portions of the MMAR, and help solidify cannabis’ validity as medicine. This will be a long and costly battle, so the community is encouraged to come and support the fun fundraising events planned throughout the year.
For the entire year, we must push harder than ever before. The Conservative government, backed by corporate interests, is waging war on our culture and the freedom of all Canadians. Please help anyway you can—pass out a couple of copies of this publication to your friends, buy and wear a themed T-shirt, talk about the last episode of Weeds at the water cooler, attend cannabis-related events, and most importantly contact Your MPs and Michael Ignatieff.
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by pablofunk » Tue Jan 25, 2011 11:35 am

Not and Editorial, but a great letter from Issue 27


Dear Editor,
I write you today as a federally licensed medicinal marihuana card holder. I am only one of a growing number of medical patients who are turning to Marihuana for pain relief.
Not only does the public need to be educated on their rights as patients (and the medicine that they are entitled to), but also, everyone should be aware of the BS politics, bureaucracy, and stigmas still attached to this medicine.
Approximately seven years ago, I was in a motor vehicle accident, where I suffered severe whiplash. I continue to suffer from neck and shoulder pain, as well as regular migraines. After years of pharmaceutical treatments ranging from Tylenol 3, to Oxy-codone, Percocet, Nitroglycerine, and even costly therapeutic Botox, I found my quality of life decreasing due to the side effects—like cloudiness (I couldn’t spell, think, or live any sort of normal life), sleepiness, lack of motivation, and addiction. All of these treatments are also very expensive.
In 2009, I began researching alternative medical treatments, because I was sick of what pharmaceuticals were doing to me. The Medical Marihuana Access Program came to my attention immediately. Once I tried cannabis, I knew this was the medicine I needed to take. No longer suffering from stupidity, lack of motivation, etc., I was able to refocus on the important things in life.
After an extremely long and tedious application (36+ pages!), numerous doctor visits, specialist appointments, passport photos, criminal record checks, hoop jumping, hurdles, and misinformation, I finally received an approval from the Federal Government to become Federally Licensed to possess and grow my own marihuana.
The eight month application delay, hoop jumping hoopla seemed quite ridiculous to me. I, at least, am still able to function, but what about those who are extremely ill, cannot stand up for themselves, and need medicine immediately? Not legally allowed to possess marihuana before receiving a license makes it frustrating for patients, also infringing on basic human rights to medical care and treatment.
Shortly after I received my license, a very close friend, and well established business owner in my area, expressed his interest in medicinal marihuana as well. My friend suffers from terminal liver, lung, and kidney cancer. His application was processed much quicker, as his condition is much more critical. Those with MS and cancer can, and do, (thankfully) receive the license sooner—but they still have to wait months for the application to be approved.
I am now just realizing the true scope of the problems associated with the Medical Marihuana Access Program. Health Canada does not provide any sort of direction. It seems every time I call with a question (to a call center who is sub-contracted by Health Canada, who passes on the messages to Health Canada) I get a different answer. It honestly seems that Health Canada make up their policies as they go along. There is NO SUPPORT from the government for us medical users.
I was forced from British Columbia, as I was simply unable to afford a property to grow my own medicine, let alone the cost of setting up a room. I have recently relocated back to Alberta where I can more realistically afford property, and partnered with another Federally licensed producer/patient.
My partner and I are determined to set up a LEGALLY OPERATING grow facility. Going this route, however, rather than setting up an “underground” facility has lead us to more headaches than we could have ever imagined. Let me just say, it would have been MUCH easier to go the underground route to get and produce our medicine, but we refuse to go that way. Before coming to Alberta, I alerted the RCMP, Calgary City Police, and the Calgary Green team. They knew I was coming, and they know what I am doing. I have nothing to hide. I am not associated with gangs, and am not a criminal. I do not want to make money off of marihuana. I want to help people get better. I should not be treated like a criminal—yet that is what I keep running into.
My partner and I hired professional electricians, got all of the necessary permits, and we have even been inspected by the City of Calgary. I find that I am now being stonewalled by the City Inspector, who seems to be very obtuse with what we are doing. In his views, we are setting up a “grow-op,” which in my mind, has a very dirty and dark connotation. This plant is my MEDICINE—not POT. I am not a stoner, I am a certified Chef, and my wife a Teacher. We are respectable citizens in the community. The City Inspector is obviously in disagreement with what we are doing, and is now doing everything in his power to ensure my partner and I remain unable to access our medicine. Again, going against basic human rights.
My biggest beef with this program is that Health Canada does not provide growers with any general rules to follow. Health Canada only tells you how many plants you can have, not how to safely implement a medical facility. This, I believe, is immoral. I pay my taxes! Our government is here because of us taxpayers! Yet I feel I have NO support whatsoever from them.
I have become a true believer in this medicine. The more research I do, the stronger my belief becomes. I am now clear headed, I have appetite, I can function, and be a contributing member of society again—I cannot say the same while I was on pharmaceuticals.
I recently lost my father to cancer this past August. It was a terrible thing to experience, and I would not wish this disease upon my worst enemy. I watched a healthy, strong, vibrant man deteriorate quickly, taking a booklet of pharmaceuticals every single day—morphine, chemotherapy, radiation—all the while knowing that I was holding the key to a potential cure. There are many studies now that show Marihuana is a possible CURE for cancer, but Pharmaceutical companies would never tell you that—they make FAR too much money ensuring they keep us all sick!
The marihuana plant cannot be patented, which is why this medicine has not been embraced by the pharmaceutical industry. This medicine is a threat because it works.
Sick people all across Canada are fighting illnesses that can be treated with marihuana. The general public needs to know that it is time to change course, but so too does the MMAR program. Major changes need to be made to the Health Canada program in order to better support those of us who are taking our health into our own hands. There are simple fundamental problems that need to be addressed with the MMAR program, including providing safe options for production facilities, and support to build those facilities. Insurance companies are also against growing marihuana for medical purposes. If one could find an insurance company who would carry you, not only would the premiums be astronomical, but so too would the deductibles.
This is why I turn to the media now. I need help. I want to help people, but I need to help myself first. I vowed after my father died, that I would devote my life to ensuring other people wouldn’t need to suffer the same death sentence that he did.
I would be extremely grateful to have this message forwarded to anyone willing to listen. I am also willing to invite you into our facility to view what we are doing, and to show the public how a safe operation can be done. (Making note of the hurdles to be jumped to get to that point.)
I am thankful for your time, and hope this story is one that can be shared with others.
Most sincerely,
Brian Jones

The Cannabis Digest would like to hear from you. What are you concerns, ideas, news, or anything else cannabis related? We normally prefer letters to be around 300 words, but exceptions can be made. Please email them to <>
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by pablofunk » Tue Jan 25, 2011 11:35 am

Cannabis Digest Issue 27

By Ted Smith

Heroes make the world a better place. Becoming a cannabis hero may not as hard as your think. Defending the truth, helping the sick and vulnerable, growing medicine, writing letters, wearing cannabis t-shirts, attending rallies, and networking on-line are individually easy things to do. Doing more than one thing to free the weed makes you a hero in my books.
For many, the more active you are, the easier and more liberating cannabis activism becomes. Being part of a community allows us to learn from each other as we develop as individuals and groups. There is a certain joy that grows within us as we work together to make the world a better place using cannabis.
Few heroes have shared as much joy, wisdom, and passion for justice as Michelle Rainey. She taught people that they can be heroes, too—and in so doing became a cannabis superhero in the eyes of many.
From the moment she stepped into the scene, Michelle lightened up the atmosphere around her with her boundless energy, charm, and sincerity. Her presence demanded attention, and not just because she was pretty and glowing with good vibrations. Michelle’s warmth, keen intellect, and bold tactical political wisdom attracted supporters from all walks of life to the cannabis community.
People who suffer from serious medical problems face many challenges. Most of us do not consider our impending death every day, struggling against pain and anxiety that makes every minute seem longer and every hurdle a little taller. Getting out of bed to face the world becomes more difficult for most people as their body breaks down.
Michelle was not one of those who went quietly. She raged into the night. She raged against the drug companies. She raged against Health Canada. She raged against the cancer. She raged against the media.
So come on, join the legion of superheroes. Stand up for truth, justice, and Mother Nature. Make Michelle proud.
Posts: 178
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 10:38 am

by pablofunk » Wed Apr 06, 2011 7:49 pm

CD #28

EDITORIAL: Growing From Seed
Andrew Brown
So here we are watching as nuclear reactors leak radiation, facing one of the worst years of global food production, with soaring fuel and energy prices, and corporate hands reaching through our governments creating Orwellian laws that defy sanity. It’s hard to be optimistic with all of the chaos around us.
I find myself torn between being rabidly informed on everything going on, to wanting to shut it out of my life. The reality is that neither would do much good. Being actively involved in making change is all that we can do, but this of course means that change must first come from within.
We can see the cannabis/hemp plant as a metaphor for the changes we are seeing, and take the wisdom of the plant and apply it to humanity. Plants need the same basic things as humans to grow—sun light, water, food, and air—and if any of these necessities are compromised, the health of the plant is also. But, the cannabis plant is one of the strongest, most resilient plants on the planet. It is being used near Chernobyl to aid in cleaning up the polluted soil—growing tall on the bed of man’s folly. We need to stand tall and grow from our mistakes, leaving blame and resentment as nothing but the contaminants we are leaching from the soil.
It’s hard to create change, but by surrounding ourselves with people who have the same goals and values we are able to empower each other, and grow our network. Sharing our knowledge helps to plant seeds which will eventually grow and reproduce themselves.
One of the first things I learned while getting further involved in cannabis activism is that the plant represents so much more than the “right” to get high. It’s about freedom. It’s about flushing the corruption that has plague the planet for so many years. It’s about working together and seeing our own flaws and working those out. It’s about learning to respect everybody and everything on the same level. It’s about humility. No wonder the governing system is afraid; it threatens the very core of their superficial value system whose teeth have been tearing into us for so long. As their control slips, they tighten up their reign with tougher laws, and further reaching enforcement. But as long as we keep our seeds alive, spreading and sowing them—leading by example—the more people will taste them. And they will like them.
We’ve been watching as a handful of very wealthy people control and manipulate us, while compromising the very resources that keep us alive. Their favorite tool is fear, and if we replace that fear within us with a willingness to work together and an acceptance of our differences, they will become powerless. It is key that we do not support people that support the tyranny, and build from the garden outwards.
Hemp will save the world.
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by pablofunk » Wed Apr 06, 2011 7:50 pm

From CD#28

Publisher's note

Ted Smith
Time to get in the game, herb lovers!
Seriously, if you believe cannabis should be legal then it is time for you to do something about it. Most people feel alienated from the political structures that created prohibition and are reluctant to become involved in letter writing campaigns, street rallies, or fundraising. Instead of getting involved in politics, it would be easier for most people to bring their message out at sports events they already attend.
Anyone can be a Team 420 cheerleader. If you are a fan already, it does not take any special skill or much effort to wear a cannabis t-shirt when you are going out to an amateur or professional sport event.
These are perfect occasions to show off your favourite pot t-shirt to other people, getting people to laugh, think, and talk about the herb. Buttons, patches, and hats proudly displaying a leaf can help you make new friends that are interested in the same sport.
Public displays of the cannabis leaf are becoming more common. This is wearing down opposition to legalization. When people who do not use the herb see cannabis enthusiasts proudly wearing the leaf, they can not help but feel their tax dollars are getting dumped down the drain in the failed attempt to suppress this weed.
For smokers already involved in amateur athletics there are several ways to help the cause. Even if you can not tell your coach and teammates, you can at least brag to your friends that you are in good shape and can still perform as well—or better—than non-smokers. Prove that smoking cannabis does not hurt one’s ability to run long distances, swim fast, or throw a ball accurately. Teammates, coaches, medics, fans, family, friends, teachers, and skeptics can be very helpful in changing negative opinions of the herb.
While many are active in sports through school, few carry on to play team sports or participate in individual athletic competitions later in life. This is very unfortunate, as being active ensures you will be able to enjoy a multitude of physical endeavours, encourages healthy eating patterns, and builds a sense of community. Traveling to new places to play or watch games is a great way to meet others who have made similar lifestyle choices.
Being open about your cannabis use at these events is generally safe, in part because you are not in your home town where employers, neighbours, family, and others you may want to keep your herb use from, might see you. Moreover, being open about your love of the herb at sports gatherings could lead to new connections, new places to smoke pot, and new strains to try. It might be too much of a risk to take cannabis and smoke it at one of these events, but wearing a pot t-shirt while warming up or at the closing ceremonies will bring a smile to many faces.
Athletes really appreciate it when their friends come to events to cheer them on and enjoy the festivities. Road trips with teams can give you a chance to check out head shops and hemp stores where you can investigate new products, find out about upcoming gatherings, and meet cool people working in herb friendly environments. It also gives you a chance to help spread the word about current cannabis news and events that you are concerned about, while leaving a faint smell of herb along the way.
Though you may not feel confident enough to enter into a competition alone, getting a bunch of old school friends, who you used to smoke herb with, back together to play in a baseball or curling tournament could be a blast. If you cannot afford Team 420 shirts, perhaps you could get a local head shop to sponsor you. Coming up with your own team name and logo is even more fun. For example, Owen Smith (no relation) played soccer in a local league with a bunch of buddies when they graduated from high school—calling themselves “The Blazers.”
Cannabis prohibition continues, despite wide public support for legalization, because our fear of exposure to police and other zealous drug war crusaders has lead to a fear of strangers. This has led people to cut their hair, dress like actors on TV sitcoms, and go to other extraordinary measures just to hide their use and love of the herb. If everyone in North America who believed in legalization wore a pot t-shirt on the same day, the absurdity of these policies would be apparent to everyone with their eyes open.
For cannabis lovers not interested in politics, coming out of the closet at sporting events and competitions might be the perfect opportunity to make a strong statement about the herb, without saying anything at all. Make it “no big deal” that you are the only pot team in the beer league. After all, Team 420 is about having fun,first and foremost, and life should be fun—shouldn’t it? So what are you waiting for? Game on. GO TEAM 420!
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by pablofunk » Fri Jul 15, 2011 8:50 am

EDITORIAL: It’s all About Freedom

By Andrew Brown

There is a power struggle going on in Canada, and most of the world for that matter, about the right to use cannabis. We have a conservative government that wishes to see all use made illegal, we have a majority of the population agreeing that “pot should be legalized,” and a court system that continuously rules that the rights of Canadians are being breached when we are not efficiently allowed to obtain it as medicine.
Now, medical cannabis users are facing big changes to the medical access program through Health Canada—changes that will actually make access more difficult for many people. While some of the changes are positive, like being able to go directly from your doctor to a licensed distribution centre to obtain the medicine, the right to produce your own medicine is being taken away. This removes affordability of the medicine, as these distribution centres are free to set their own prices. It is important to note that the current government supply is of very poor quality, is not organic, is irradiated, and costs $150 an ounce—it even comes with a return slip! So if that, loosely labeled, medical marijuana costs that much, we can only guess at the cost of a product through a private, for-profit corporate system.
The reality is that these proposed changes go against recent court rulings, as having “doctors as gatekeepers” and access to specific strains are still problematic. We can only hope that if these proposed changes come to fruition, that they will be struck down in court (as long as Harper has not stacked the Supreme Court by that time), but this is a long process that forces ill people into stressful court proceedings.
It is very obvious that these changes are simply part of the Harper agenda, and the well-being of Canadians is falling to the wayside of corporate profits and ideological nonsense. The science is there to prove the medicinal value of cannabis, so what does our prime-minister need to change his mind? I refuse to allow personal health decisions to become a matter of the state.
Our freedoms are being systematically eroded. Most people do not to act/react when a freedom, that doesn’t really affect them, gets taken away. Smoking in public places is a good example. Most people find it annoying to smell second hand smoke, and are happy that these bylaws have been enacted, but the reality is that the smoke from the cigarette is far less harmful than the exhaust coming from the cars (in the big picture) that fill our city. But I don’t smoke, so why should I care? Right?
Just remember the famous quote from Pastor Martin Niemöller about the Nazi rise to power:
First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.
This isn’t the
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by pablofunk » Fri Jul 15, 2011 8:51 am


By Ted Smith

Publishing a newspaper printed on trees goes against any of the most important reasons I became involved in cannabis activism 16 years ago. When I first arrived on the west coast of Vancouver Island in fall of 1994, I was stunned by what I saw. It was not the beauty of the Clayquoet Sound that struck me, but the mountains that appeared scraped clean of trees and soil. During university I began writing books, thinking I would eventually have a career as a writer but never considered where the paper was coming from.
Months later, I went to my first Hempology 101 meeting in Vancouver. Coming from seven generations of farmers on both sides of my family in Southern Ontario, I felt a duty to inform the public about “Reefer Madness.” It was not long before I decided to write a textbook for Hempology 101. One day, members of my family will grow some of the hemp that my book is printed upon.
Unfortunately, there are no large-scale hemp fibre processing facilities in Canada, despite being legal to grow since 1998. Waiting for Canadian-made hemp paper to publish this newspaper, or the textbook, is not something I am been willing to do any longer.
One of the main reasons we turned what was essentially the newsletter of the Cannabis Buyers Clubs of Canada into a newspaper, was the threat of mandatory minimum jail sentences for growing as few as six plants, making hashish, or making cookies. After Cannabis Culture stopped printing a few years ago the cannabis movement in Canada was left without a publication focused upon medical cannabis, politics, and law reform in this country. Instead of waiting for a profit-motivated Canadian publication to appear that was more interested in bud shots than activism, we decided to take a big leap ahead with this newspaper.
Another goal has been to share our story. In over 15 years, the International Hempology 101 Society has organized over 2,000 cannabis rallies, board meetings, lectures, parties, conventions, and Reach for the Pot game shows. After starting the CBC of C in a van with a pager and a pamphlet in Jan. 1996, we have about 3,600 patients, over 30 cannabis food and skin products, and a great deal of support, in Victoria.
When our bakery was raided in Dec. 2009, we suddenly had the means, motive and opportunity to print a newspaper. Though the internet has definitely empowered groups like ours with the ability to share information, document activities, and build relationships, it is a very competitive environment and it is not easy to get your message to people who do not seek you out in the first place. This newspaper has allowed us to update our members, patients of other clubs, customers of head shops, and other interested members of the public about details concerning important court proceedings, political developments, and cannabis products. While this information is often already available online long before we print it here, it is our aim to provide readers with interesting insights and perspectives that inspire them to become more involved.
The recently elected majority Conservative government is prepared to wage war against the cannabis community. We intend upon using this newspaper to fight back. Encouraging people to write comments to Health Canada regarding proposed changes to the MMAR, and become involved in other protests against these amendments, is a perfect example of why this newspaper was created.
But now we need you help. There are only a few weeks between printing 10,000 copies of this newspaper and the last day that Health Canada will accept comments, on July 31. Though we will be shipping copies across the country to medical clubs, and some stores, we need help making sure as many copies as possible are handed out immediately. It would be a shame to have the majority of these papers sitting around for a couple of months when the time to flood Health Canada with letters is over very soon.
For those that whant to keep more informed about rallies and other campaigns, the internet facilitates the organization of protests far more efficiently than a quarterly publication ever could. There are only a handful of active webpages that have much focus on Canadian cannabis activities, including medpot, Cannabis Culture, Treating Yourself, and ours.
We have about eight webpages, but without a doubt our forums are my favourite. That is where we post current news, document activities, post interesting things we have found online, archive society minutes, and comment on cannabis affairs. For those who join, we also have a chat room we call the Magic Bus where Hempologists talk about news, weather, and politics.
Whether it is distributing the newspaper, helping others write letters, joining online forums, speaking out at church, making signs and organizing protests, we need your help now more than ever. While the world is inching closer towards drug law reforms and society is becoming more accepting of the herb, our current government is preparing to clamp down on cannabis growers. Every voice in opposition of their plans matters. Every letter in protest of their plans matters. Every person standing listening at a public rally matters. Justice will not come without civil, measured resistance.
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by pablofunk » Wed Oct 19, 2011 11:51 am

EDITORIAL: The Blanket Bill Over Our Eyes

Andrew Brown
It seems as though we are about to embark
on a surreal journey—a journey that
begins with a package wrapped in fairy
tale promises and tied with a ribbon of
puritan ideals. But inside this package is
a socially destructive black hole, or vortex,
with a price tag so high that it must
be convincing teachers and nurses to quit
their jobs and go where the “real” money
It is hard to imagine that the Canadian
government, rather Harper government,
is set to employ laws that have been advised
against by criminologist, the Canadian
Bar Association, law enforcement
officers, among many other relevant experts.
The very laws the United States are
moving away from due to their staggering
cost and ineffectiveness at curbing
the crime they were intended to discourage.
Bill C-10, the omnibus crime bill,
lumps an assortment of completely unrelated
criminal issues together—from
child abuse and gang crimes, to pardons
and small scale marijuana production—
because, according to the Conservatives,
they want to make us safe as quickly as
The bill, having a wide range of criminal
offences covered within it, works well
to help divert attention away from the
controversial aspects of it. The disconcerting
aspects of the bill, like mandatory
minimum sentences for growing as few
as six marijuana plants, are easy to spin
out of the spotlight when they are being
addressed. When asked about such a
low plant number threshold, it is easy to
get most of the population that are too
overworked to be able to put any critical
thought on the issue to agree or nod their
heads complacently by saying something
like this: “We aren’t going after the average
person who smokes a little pot, we
are going after the hardened criminals
and organized crime—the gangsters,
the traffickers, and the ones who peddle
to children. Canadians don’t want drug
dealers selling crack in the neighbourhoods
where their kids play.” I know I
don’t want people selling my kids crack,
so maybe this bill is good. But wait, what
about the six plants? Oh yeah, that’s for
people trafficking. But what is trafficking?
Well, Marc Emery was arrested for
trafficking when he passed a joint. Six
plants can provide a decent stash for you
and your friends, but wait, sharing those
plants is also trafficking. A judge will
not have the discretion to differentiate
between an 18 year old sharing his six
plant stash with friends and a 199 plant
grow headed to an international market
through organized crime.
The courts will back up quickly, as the
only chance to avoid jail will be a constitutional
challenge. B.C.’s bud industry
was estimated at seven billion dollars—
that’s a lot of people growing. The cost
will be staggering. And what about compassion
clubs? Will they be considered
organized crime and have to face even
more severe penalties?
I can’t say that I feel all that unsafe
from the crime that bill C-10 is supposed
to save me from, but I do feel uneasy (often
terrified) about many of the issues
the Conservatives seem to endorse, like
the tar sands, asbestos mines, their lean
towards offshore drilling, the overall environmental
policies, and “our” stance on
Palestine, etc., etc., etc...
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by pablofunk » Wed Oct 19, 2011 11:52 am

CD#30 Publisher's Note

Ted Smith
This fall marks eight years since we first
printed an issue of the Cannabis Digest.
We are very proud of the evolution of
our publication, and every sign indicates
it will continue to grow far beyond its
current form into an even more powerful
tool for cannabis activism.
When I committed myself to Hempology
101 over 16 years ago, one of my
first goals was writing a textbook that
could be used in schools and homes to
explain why cannabis was prohibited and
how we could fight to get it back into
the mainstream economy. Three editions
printed on hemp paper and hand-bound
by hemp twine were printed, though it
was over a decade since the last printing
and I only made 100 copies of the first
three editions.
Now we are on the verge of printing an
edition of the Hempology 101 Textbook
that will be available in stores across
Canada in January. While we hope to sell
textbooks around the world, next year we
plan on focusing on this country, aiming
for the Best Sellers List 2012.
A few years into Hempology 101 it
was clear that we needed more than a
textbook, so we started a quarterly handout
called The BudWiser. It was simply
a two-sided photocopy of short articles,
cannabis songs, announcements, and ads.
However, after getting arrested at the
University of Victoria for sharing some
joints, and then one week later at our annual
pot cookie give-away, I became very
busy at the turn of the century and the
newsletter stopped being printed. Getting
a storefront for the CBC of C a couple
of months later, only made me busier.
Then the CBC of C started to get raided.
Police raided the store in Jan., March, and
June 2002, and finally in Feb. 2003. We
were in a lot of debt. Members were concerned
about how the group was coping.
Soon after joining the club in 2003,
Gayle helped me organize a meeting of
the membership. We called it a Working
Group Meeting to encourage people
to show up ready to help. At the first
meeting, the idea of a newsletter came
up quickly and enough people there expressed
interest along with a willingness
to help, that I agreed to go ahead with it.
A few weeks later, the first issue of the
Cannabis Digest was printed, a large photocopy
folded in half.
Over the years, the newsletter grew as
the CBC of C grew, getting a little bigger
and more in depth. Then, a couple of
years ago, we had the luck of finding Andrew,
who was editor of the newspaper at
VIU, The Navigator. It was an easy decision
to turn our photocopied newsletter
into a real news publication.
Expanding the newsletter into this
format has been one of the best decisions
of my life. Though it is a struggle
for me to get things written on time, and
we need a lot more advertising to pay
for the costs of printing, publishing the
CD has been very rewarding. This paper
has allowed us to educate the members
of the CBC of C and the public at large
about the bakery trial and other relevant
court decisions, new hemp products, activities
in the marketplace, medical cannabis
products, political developments,
and profiles of advocates. We are glad to
hear that other medical clubs are finding
the CD useful, and hope to encourage
even more interaction between the clubs
through our paper.
Entering into our ninth year of printing,
I am very happy with the group of
writers we have gathered, and can see a
bright future ahead for our little paper.
Faced with so many challenges, cannabis
advocates in Canada will hopefully continue
to use the CD to inform the public
about the battle to bring cannabis back
to life. Thanks to all of the writers, distributors,
advertisers, artists, and editors
who have helped make the CD what it
is today.
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by pablofunk » Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:03 pm

Editorial Issue #31

Andrew Brown
Thanks for picking up another issue of the Cannabis Digest. A lot of people work really hard to get each issue out, and we all appreciate when we get the positive feedback from our readers and the kind stores who carry and distribute the newspaper. It helps to keep us going. I also appreciate the help from Owen and Dieter to fill in those last minute gaps when putting the final touches on each issue. I’d also like to thank our advertisers for their support, and encourage our readers to support them, and encourage you to suggest to your favourite canna-friendly stores that they try advertising with us—every penny goes back into activism.
Support is something that we all need, and unfortunately many people do not have enough. As we face one of the most turbulent years in the Canadian canna-political landscape, everybody in the cannabis community needs to be supportive of each other. The hatchets need to be buried and the peace flames lit. There are so many groups across Canada who do amazing work, each doing something a little different, that we should support and feed off of their effective strategies and ideas.
We are always looking for interesting groups to feature, and would like to hear about what you are doing. Please feel free to email me about your events or the general work your group does, and perhaps we may be able to feature you in an upcoming issue.
There is a vast wave of conservative ideals making their way into municipal, provincial, and, of course, federal government. In Toronto, vapour lounges are even being threatened with closure, and bylaws are being enacted in many communities across the country to stop headshops and compassion clubs/dispensaries from opening. It is beginning to feel like the early to mid 1990s again.
I remember after one of the raids on Hemp BC, when I was around 16 or 17, heading into town the following day to show my support by buying a pipe and (I believe it was then) one of the early vapourizers. I wasn’t an activist, but I knew the pot laws were ridiculous, so I did what I thought could help at least a little.
As the laws tighten, we need to—at least—provide this type of support to our canna-friendly stores and activists, so that they can continue a public fight for all of us. And with public support the highest it has ever been, we have the means to send a message to our governments that Canada does not support cannabis prohibition.
Last edited by pablofunk on Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Posts: 178
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by pablofunk » Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:03 pm

Publisher's Note CD#31

Ted Smith
Around the world people are ready for change. This fight for freedom involves daily life-and-death clashes between government forces and citizens no longer willing to stand silent in the face of injustice.
In Canada, we are very lucky for the freedoms, rights, and privileges we enjoy, but those come at a price that must be paid every year. If we want society to improve, we have to fight harder, stronger, and faster with each passing year. Our very lives depend upon it.
The world can no longer afford to pay for the War on Drugs—that much is obvious—but how do we turn things around? How can you make a difference?
Every day you wake up you are faced with a fundamental question: Am I going to try to make the world a better place today, or am I in it for myself?
If you answer yes to the question, then you must decide how to invest your time in a way that satisfies your personal needs while helping an individual or group. If you generally do not even consciously consider the question, then you are not only missing out on the rewards that come from assisting others but you are in fact making the world a worse place for yourself and others.
Of course, if you have read this far you are likely among those trying to make the world a better place, surrounded by those who do not seem to care about anyone but themselves. It seems the world is full of selfish, senseless people, even in the cannabis industry. Turning people from self-centered consumers into caring, Earth-loving gardeners is a great challenge, but it lies at the very core of the major problems faced in the world today.
Telling your story is perhaps the greatest gift you can give to the world, and yourself, if you want to make it a better place to live. Sharing your history of cannabis use, run-ins with the law, the eccentric characters you have met, and what you know of the plant itself, can have a powerful impact upon others. This is especially true if you use cannabis for a medical purpose.
When sharing your story with people who support the War on Drugs, it is often best to avoid adding your opinion and simply stick to the facts. People who support throwing drug dealers in jail generally believe they have the moral authority and duty to protect themselves and their children. They believe they are doing good and do not like being told they are wrong. By sharing your cannabis story with prohibitionists, without pressuring them into thinking differently, you allow them to make up their own mind based upon the mounting evidence that contradicts their negative opinion of the herb. Appealing to their sense of compassion is much more effective than attacking them for their lack of it.
The internet provides endless opportunities for people to speak out more about cannabis, but there are many other times and places when cannabis lovers can help the herb to come out of the closet. Many cannabis enthusiasts feel unable to speak freely about cannabis. For them, the world wide web has become an opportunity to share knowledge about growing, producing extracts, and medical applications, without fear that their neighbors, family, and co-workers will discriminate against them.
Engaging with the media takes time and effort, but it is ultimately where one’s efforts have the greatest impact without actually risking arrest. If we are to continue building momentum towards legalizing cannabis, we need to relentlessly pursue all forms of media to accurately report the effects of prohibition. On one hand, we need to challenge the effectiveness of the continuous stream of reports of police busting grow-ops. On the other hand, we need reporters, editors, and publishers to learn about the extraordinary benefits cannabis can have in the hope that they will share that message in their work.
This will be especially important during the bakery trial of the CBC of C, and other medical clubs across Canada. These trials give us a chance to share our stories with the justice system, but we need to make sure that message is also heard in newspapers, radio, and television if we want to make the most of these opportunities. The courts and the general public are two of our greatest allies in our fight against the Conservative’s War on Drugs agenda.
A small amount of time and effort can have a much greater impact than you first anticipate. To maximize the benefits of your work you need to pick the right time. Well, this trial and the others that will happen across the country this year is that time. The ignorance that prohibition depends upon can only be defeated when we no longer accept our punishment silently. We need your help to speak out against the laws that choke the life out of individuals and governments alike.
Posts: 178
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by pablofunk » Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:07 am

Editorial CD #32
Andrew Brown
It’s pretty amazing being able to sit back and watch the wall of prohibition self destruct. Well, perhaps it isn’t all self destruction, rather decades of dedicated activism persistently pointing out the deceit that the prohibition of cannabis was built on, but nonetheless it is the bold lies of the past eighty years that are truly the cracks in the cement.
Nearly every day there are newspaper articles and editorials, from across Canada and all over the world, pointing to the failure and destruction of the drug war. In B.C., some very prominent political figures have joined together to form the Stop the Violence B.C. campaign (which you can read about in this issue), and this past weekend (Apr. 15) Vancouver Island municipal politicians voted seventy-five percent in favour of supporting this initiative at their annual conference. Other communities across the province are also signing on, sending the Canadian federal government—arrogantly rebranded the Harper government (but that’s another rant)—the message that B.C. does not support cannabis prohibition.
A few short months ago we were seeing a dim future with bill C-10 about to pass, but it has seemed almost anti-climactic. Perhaps that observation is pre-mature, but there is so much light shining on the fight.
Owen’s bakery trial finally forced the MMAR to recognize cannabis extracts and preparations, and as Ted stated: “We took THC and cannabis away from pharmaceutical companies [...] and put it back in people’s backyards where they can make their own medicines.” Next up is Matt Mernagh’s trial in May, which will hopefully add one more blow to the pot laws and sink this dying ship.
Prohibitionists are desperately throwing everything they have at the white elephant they gifted themselves. Nonsense studies like linking pot use to testicular cancer, and constantly using the psychosis/schizophrenia argument—that is easily debunked by looking at the fact that schizophrenia rates have not increased with population consumption rates—are signs that they are grasping for anything.
Look back at the arguments that convinced our governments to instate prohibition, quoting Harry Anslinger: “Marihuana is more dangerous than heroin or cocaine,” “Makes darkies think they’re as good as white men,” and “Marihuana is the most violent drug in the history of mankind.” This stuff is ridiculous, and few, if any, prohibition supporters would dare cite it. So why do people believe the hype now? Question everything, and make up your own opinions through proper research.
The truth is finally seeing daylight again.
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