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Cannabis Digest Issue 26 Editorials

by pablofunk » Thu Nov 04, 2010 3:58 pm


Ted Smith

Though the last edition was dedicated to Jack Herer, it seemed appropriate to me to wait until we were celebrating the 15th anniversary of the International Hempology 101 Society to pay tribute to him.
You would not be reading this if Jack had done something else with his life.  Hempology 101 would not exist, at least not in its present form, if The Emperor Wears No Clothes had never been printed. Indeed, hemp might not have become legal in Canada, with farmers in the U.S. trying to do the same, if this man had not become a cannabis crusader decades before me.
When I first went to Hempology 101 in Jan. 1995, I wanted to legalize cannabis because it was far too obvious to me that the drug war was a failure, and I loved smoking herb. Going into Hemp BC was almost overwhelming for a newly arrived, small-town Ontario boy who had never been into a hemp store. It did not take me long to decide I should move from Vancouver to Victoria to expand upon Hempology 101, and write a textbook so others could empower themselves with knowledge of this plant and its many benefits.
It was ten years after The Emperor Wears No Clothes. Experimental crops of hemp were already being grown in Ontario, with signs indicating it would become legal soon. Numerous hemp products were available, but it was clear that only the surface had been scratched. My training in economics helped me understand the vast potential of hemp. Developing hemp industries for environmental and economic benefits seemed an admirable goal.
My family, on both sides, have been farmers in Canada since 1804 and 1806. Reading The Emperor Wears No Clothes made me realize my family, society-at-large, and Mother Nature had been coerced by special interest groups. Hempology 101 taught me how to fight back, for my family, my government, and my home planet.
Since the first Wednesday night meeting at the Whale Wall in Sept. 1995, we have organized about 1,800 rallies, lectures, conventions, game shows, press conferences, Team 420 games and parties, as well as meetings of the board of directors and various committees. Recently we turned our newsletter into this newspaper, the Cannabis Digest, giving us the ability to inform the public about various legal and medical issues while building a network of cannabis-friendly, small businesses.
Not being allowed in the U.S., I never had the chance to meet Jack Herer and personally thank him. It would have been an honour to tell Jack all of the things I have done to try to bring the cannabis plant back into mainstream society. I would have loved to show him the CBC of C, and it would have brought me great pleasure to introduce him as the keynote speaker at a Hempology 101 Cannabis Convention. He would have laughed watching me test contestants in Reach for the Pot, and gotten a good sleep after eating a couple cookies. Sadly, I will never get that chance. What I can do, though, is carry on his legacy.
If Hempology 101 has been successful at anything, it has been in building community. Our work with the CBC of C has created a direct link to medical users, compassionate growers, and those brave enough to be on the front line. Our gatherings have helped cannabis lovers connect with each other in ways that would not otherwise be possible, giving devoted activists a chance to share their message. Helping people lose their fear of the law by publicly smoking herb in small groups while flying cannabis flags and denouncing cannabis laws on a loudspeaker, has further undermined any hope these laws are really enforceable at all.
Thank you, Jack. Thank you for bringing hope to the world, for reminding us of our past, and for inspiring others to help make this a better world.
Posts: 178
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 10:38 am


by pablofunk » Thu Nov 04, 2010 3:59 pm

EDITORIAL: Activate Your Activism

Andrew Brown

Thanks for picking up this issue of the Cannabis Digest. I have had a great time putting it together for you, and encourage you to write us letters and become engaged with the paper. We want to tailor our content to suit our readers’ interest, so feedback is important.
I’m pretty lucky to be able to work with the Hempology 101 Society, and put my education to use in a way that allows me to do something positive in the world, rather than feeding the machine and coasting along with everybody else. I think it is important to push for change every day, in any capacity we can, and use our varied skills to hit the current system from every angle we can. After all, bill S-10 is looming around terrorizing all Canadians, and it’s up to the cannabis community to educate the public about the true nature and costs—both monetary and human—that this bill will bring upon Canadians. We need to figure out how to use our skill sets productively.
I write, so that is a big part of what I do to contribute. I work on this paper, I write letters to MPs, senators, the PM, the Justice Minister and other political figures, newspapers, and any other place I can think of.
Letters are very important. The more letters, or even emails, our MPs receive regarding cannabis policy, the more likely they are to address it. They want your vote, and if they feel that the majority of their constituents are likely to vote for them on a pro-cannabis platform, you can be assured they will be bringing the subject up. Newspapers seem to love the cannabis topic lately. Over the past year, I believe that only one of my letters was not published, and quite often my letters are in the company of another one or two cannabis-friendly letters. Educating the public is a crucial step in gaining support from politicians and law-makers.
I will try to paraphrase something I heard David Malmo-Levine say once, that I thought was really motivating to get people writing letters. If you don’t write letters, try writing one; if you wrote a letter last year, try writing two this year; if you wrote five, try 10 or 12 this year; and so on. Letters don’t have to be long, in fact, short and to the point seems to be what really gets the message out.
Besides writing letters, you can incorporate activism into the more routine parts of your life, like work. If you work at a convenience store, try to have cannabis-friendly publications brought in; if you work at a coffee shop, tune the radio to the reggae station; If you work at a video store, bring in a few quality documentaries; if you are in a band, write a song about the herb; do some art, write a poem, make a video, dance a jig, do something. Do it well, do it respectfully, and have fun. Any amount of activism is productive, and the more varied the techniques we use, the more people we will reach.
It’s not a secret how many million people use cannabis, and if we all become vocal about it, we will be heard!
Posts: 178
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 10:38 am

by grateful » Wed Nov 10, 2010 7:01 pm

To Ted, Andrew, Gayle, and all the other angels that help you in raising a voice to make change, we thank you.
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2010 6:22 pm

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