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Cookie Trial to Commence in May

by pablofunk » Thu Apr 07, 2011 9:23 am

From Cannabis Digest #28

By Ted Smith
Beginning on May 19 and 20 with the
preliminary inquiry, the bakery trial of
the Cannabis Buyers’ Clubs of Canada
is bound to set precedent and determine
federal policies. We need your help, to
use this opportunity, to educate the public
about the benefits of eating or topically
applying cannabis for various medical
needs. There are many things that you
can do, whether you are a member of the
club or not.
Sending letters and making phone calls
to the local media when the preliminary
inquiry is being held will convince them
that the public is interested in the subject,
and that at the very least they should
be covering the trial. If an error or omission
is made in reporting, we need people
from far and wide to tell the news agency
that their ignorance is inexcusable. Getting
extensive media coverage of this trial
is very important, as each report increases
the public’s knowledge of the medical
uses of cannabis, the efforts of our club,
and the failures of Health Canada’s medical
cannabis program.
Anyone hoping to get a seat in court
should show up early. In fact, it is our
hope that far more people come to watch
than can fit into any courtroom in Victoria.
Several local activists plan to stand
outside of the courthouse on Blanshard
St. with signs and banners expressing
their support for legalization and frustration
with the current laws.
At 1 pm, on both May 19 and 20, we
will also be having a barbeque on the
back lawn of the Victoria courthouse,
serving up 101 free hemp burgers to supporters
who come to help support the
club. Cannabis seeds contain all eight
essential fatty acids and amino acids in
the perfect ratio necessary to sustain life,
making it the healthiest food source on
the planet. Many of the world’s food and
energy problems would be solved if people
could grow cannabis for seed.
While it might seem like we are kicking
off the festivities before we have
something to celebrate, there are many
reasons to make a big scene around the
courthouse on May 19 and 20, when the
bakery trial is getting started. Instead
of fearing the court system, we want to
show the world that the cannabis community
is tired of hiding and ready to
make a stand. In many ways this epic
battle was inevitable.
The CBC of C has been very proud to
develop 29 cannabis food and skin products,
many of which are unique to our
club. Properly making these medicines
creates a wonderful smell that can easily
spread through a building and expose a
cook to complaints. We were looking for
a different location for the bakery, having
already been kicked out of two other
apartments for smelling the place up.
Complaints of smell and music from
neighbours in the downtown apartment
building, which housed the club’s bakery,
led police to the door on Dec. 3, 2009.
After answering the door, Owen Smith
was charged with possession for the purpose
of trafficking THC, and possession
for the purpose of trafficking cannabis.
In a surprise move, the crown, Peter
Ecceles, has subpoenaed my partner,
Gayle Quin. While there is some concern
the crown may be trying to get her
to incriminate herself in the activities, it
is much more likely they are hoping to
simply use her evidence to prove Owen
had intent to distribute the cookies, oils,
and other products found in the fridge.
At the very least we hope her testimony
will result in the return of the jars of extra
virgin olive oil infused with arnica, St.
Johns Wort, and comfrey that was seized
along with the cannabis-infused butters
and oils in the fridge.
Defence lawyer Kirk Tousaw should
have plenty of evidence to convince the
judge that a 20 day jury trial will be necessary
to get through the opening statements,
testimony of members of the
club, expert witnesses, and closing arguments.
Even though the 20 day jury trial
is not expected to happen sooner than
the fall of 2011, fundraising to cover the
anticipated bill of $100,000 has already
started. So far we have raised $10,000
with art auctions, parties, and donations.
Usually people are afraid of going to
court, but that is not the case here. There
are significant problems with the current
regime, and it seems the only regulatory
changes made are reactions to court decisions.
There are many reasons the Marihuana
Medical Access Regulations should be
found unconstitutional. There are significant
problems with people not being
able to gain access to the program, since
the vast majority of doctors refuse to sign
the forms due to fear of harassment from
Health Canada and other professional
organizations, or ignorance of the benefits
of the herb.
The core issue on trial will be whether
THC should be included in the
MMAR. Currently, the MMAR authorizes
people to grow and smoke cannabis,
but if the patient produces resin or extract
the cannabinoids from the plant material
in any manner before consuming it, they
have made an illegal drug. This includes
cooking cannabis into butter and extracting
it with a cheese-cloth, or sifting the
dry plant over a screen to make kief hash.
Synthetic THC, sold as Marinol or
Dronabinol, has been available in Canada
since 1986. According to Burns & Ineck
(2006), “Dronabinol is known to produce
mild side effects similar to cannabis.
Many scientists believe that Dronabinol
lacks the beneficial properties of cannabis,
which contains more than 60 cannabinoids,
including cannabidiol (CBD),
thought to be the major anticonvulsant
that helps multiple sclerosis patients;
and cannabichromene (CBC), an antiinflammatory
which may contribute to
the pain-killing effect of cannabis. Others
have countered that the effects of all
of cannabis’s cannabinoids have not been
completely studied and are not fully understood.”
For many, the side effects of using
synthetic THC are much more dramatic
than edible natural THC, while
the medical benefits are minimized by
removing other important cannabinoids
and the essential oils, in pharmaceutical
versions. Each strain of cannabis has a
unique combination of these chemicals,
which means that different plants will
generate different mental and physical
reactions from a patient. It also means
that each person will react somewhat
differently to the same strain due to their
unique mental and physical needs.
There are several reasons why synthetic
THC is not as useful, for many
patients, as edible whole plant cannabis
products, or the common practice of inhaling.
These disadvantages include increased
cost, negative side effects, minimized
benefit, unpleasant taste, dietary
needs, and the delay of absorption. There
is strong anecdotal evidence to suggest
THC works best in combination with
the other chemicals naturally available in
the plant, and that medicines made from
cannabis compliment other plant medicines
when used together. As Wikipedia
notes,
“It takes over one hour for Marinol to
reach full systemic effect, compared to
minutes for smoked or vaporized cannabis.
Some patients accustomed to inhaling
just enough cannabis smoke to
manage symptoms have complained of
too-intense intoxication from Marinol’s
predetermined dosages. Many patients
have said that Marinol produces a more
acute psychedelic effect than cannabis,
and it has been speculated that this disparity
can be explained by the moderating
effect of the many non-THC cannabinoids
present in cannabis.” Mark
Kleiman, director of Drug Policy Analysis
Program at UCLA stated, “It wasn’t
any fun and made the user feel bad, so it
could be approved without any fear that
it would penetrate the recreational market,
and then used as a club with which
to beat back the advocates of whole cannabis
as a medicine.”
Pharmaceutical companies are quite
aware of the problems associated with
synthetic THC. In fact, they made sure it
did not make people feel good so it would
not be used as a recreational drug. These
companies make money by selling different
pills for different problems, considering
side effects to be opportunities to develop
new drugs. They avoid investment
in drugs that cure because healthy people
do not generate profits for drug companies.
For drug companies to intentionally
minimize the benefits a plant has to offer
because it might make people feel too
good, goes against everything that our
health care system was meant for in the
first place. Proving the benefits of whole
cannabis plant medicines over synthetic
THC in court and to the public is a very
important part of these proceedings.
Pressure is mounting on Health Canada,
from several directions, to include
cannabis resin and THC in the MMAR.
For many people smoking is either not
preferable or maybe even possible. There
is even a place on the forms to check off
if you are consuming cannabis as an edible,
but they do not tell patients that if
they strain the plant material out they
have become a criminal. Other patients
contest that hash is best for them, as the
elimination of the plant material makes
the smoke smooth, and cuts down on
how much they need to smoke. So while
none of these issues will be settled at the
preliminary inquiry on May 19 and 20,
the stage will be set for a battle between
whole plant cannabis medicines versus
synthetic drugs. This is a battle we firmly
believe we can win in court. To maximize
the beneficial impacts this trial will have
upon the Canadian medical system we
need your help. Write letters, make signs,
help with the barbeque, come witness
the trial, or get out in the street with us.
Perhaps you can talk someone you know
into doing it with us. We cannot afford to
wait for politicians to make responsible
policy decisions regarding the medical
uses of cannabis. The bakery trial will
give our club a chance to use the courts
to help form public policy, and establish
our services as a necessary part of the
health care system.
pablofunk
 
Posts: 180
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 10:38 am

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