Sunday, May 31, 2009

Be Offended! Zero Tolerance!

Bill Maher, host of HBO's "Real Time" speaks out about America's War on Cannabis to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) annual conference, San Francisco, 2002. His friend Todd McCormick was in a California prison at the time - serving 4 years for researching a book to help medical marijuana patients grow their own medicine, as a collaborative effort with motivational author Peter McWilliams.

Bill is right, everyone can do their part.

When siblings David and Elizabeth Gregory were laid off from their jobs in January, they used the time to create an iPhone application focusing on the legalization of Cannabis. CHRONIC-les was released for sale May 21 and has had more than 1,000 downloads. If you have an iPhone, please check it out in the Appstore - it's only 99 cents! It also includes a pre-written letter to President Obama that can be sent by pushing a button. The app can also locate the nearest NORML chapter for you. Follow along with this dynamic duo on Twitter @CHRONIClesApp


"Penalties against drug use should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself. Nowhere is this more clear than in the laws against the possession of marijuana in private for personal use."
~President Jimmy Carter: Message to Congress, August 2, 1977


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Help Stop Bill C-15!!!

Bill C-15 has left committee and has received the support of the Conservatives and the Liberals. The bill has been minimally amended so that now 5 marijuana plants, instead of 1, trigger mandatory minimum sentences of 6 months in jail.

Bill C-15 will only be voted on one more time before it passes out of the Parliament and into the Senate. It is absolutely imperative to tell your Member of Parliament to vote No on C-15.

Email senior Members of Parliament on

For more information on Bill C-15: Click Here and Here.

For more information and to get involved in ending cannabis prohibition, create an account on

Please take the time to let politicians know you do not support Bill C-15, every letter and e-mail and phone call they receive is often viewed as representing the views of many voters.

How Can This Happen?

Law Enforcement gone mad! This is honestly one of the saddest stories I have ever heard of. In the name of Government Asset Forfeiture, Francis Scott's Husband Donald is murdered right in front of her eyes.

"We put him down."

In Malibu, California, the National Park Service tried repeatedly to buy the home and land of 61-year-old, retired rancher Don Scott, which was next to national park land. Scott refused. On the morning of October 2, 1992, a task force of 26 LA county sheriffs, DEA agents and other cops broke into Scott's living room unannounced. When he heard his wife, Frances, scream, he came out of his upstairs bedroom with a gun over his head. Police yelled at him to lower his gun. He did, and they shot him dead.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Marijuana popular among educated, middle-class: study

This article is just a little over a year old, but deserves another run.

A variety of educated, middle-class Canadians are "making a conscious but careful choice to use marijuana" to relax or focus on leisure activities, say researchers behind a new study spotlighting pot smoking behind the nation’s picket fences.

Marijuana popular among educated, middle-class: study

Monday, May 25, 2009

Cannabis - Our Common Bond

On May 2nd. I had the great fortune to attend The 3rd. Annual Toronto Freedom Festival & 11th. Global Marijuana March. It is a day I shall never forget.

I exited off of the Subway and grabbed a Timmie's. It was shortly after noon and I followed the 50 or so people I could see ahead of me. I arrived at Queens Park North just as it was starting to really come alive.

The sun was trying to come out and tents were popped up throughout the grounds. People were lounging on blankets and chilling in lawn chairs. As I made my way towards the stage the sweet smell of Maryjane pleasantly drifted through the air. I followed the casual pace of the growing crowd, taking note of the numerous business vendor booths and food stands. Funnel Cakes! Wow, I thought, the people selling munchies here today are going to make a bundle. Genius.

Admittedly, it felt a little weird being there by myself, but it afforded me no distractions - I wanted to take it all in. After wandering around a bit more I headed back towards the main stage. They were asking that people start lining up for the Marijuana March. Buzz from High Times Magazine started to speak and the crowd listened.

It was then I cursed myself for not having had my Camcorder fixed, and berated myself for not getting a tape recorder. Costly rookie mistakes I thought, and put my faith that all of this was going to pop up on YouTube anyways. (and it did, Thanks Internets!)

Then, Marc and Jodie Emery appeared. Now I've read much about the "Prince of Pot" and of course have watched him on TV and the web, but being there, hearing him speak right in front of me was a pretty cool thing.

At one point during Mr. Emery's speech I even started to tear up. I was sad that millions of us across our country are STILL having to fight to utilize nature. I mean, how absurd is that? A plant - we have to fight to use a plant! We are criminals for choosing nature over synthetic drugs. We are called criminals because our Canadian Government has decided that we shall not have autonomy over our own personal bodies, demanding of us that our only legal alternative is to keep popping those doctor prescribed pills, effectively making politicians the gatekeepers of our health. You don't send a lawyer in to an operating room to perform open heart surgery, so why should anyone other than Physicians and Scientists write and influence our laws concerning our health?

I could have listened to Marc all afternoon, and from his enthusiasm I'm sure he would have gone on. But it was time for The Global Marijuana March and literally right before my eyes a sea of people peacefully gathered and lined up for the trek throughout Downtown Toronto.

It was hard not to notice that throughout this mass of people were members of all races, creeds, nationalities and religions. Young and old, Hippies, Yuppies, Rastafarians, Jews, Christians and Muslims. Able-bodied pushed people in wheelchairs, straight and gay couples stood side by side, Goths and Jocks, Punks and Preppies, you name it, they were there. Yes, this mass was a true representation of the wonderful diversity of Canada. All had come together as one in a show of peace and solidarity with a common goal - True freedom in the face of Government oppression.

Now I'm not sure about you, but for me, being a part of such an event is literally life transforming. Witnessing people come together in peace and love regardless of where they came from, well, the only way I can possibly describe it is emotionally overwhelming. Pride fills you up because in the moment, you cannot help but feel more a part of the Human Race than you even thought possible.

As I marched I snapped photos along the route. Motorists honked in approval and pedestrians and shopkeepers stood back in awe of over 20 000 people unified in a cause we deeply believe in. For those of you who may scoff & think this was just about people wanting to get high in public, you could not be further from the truth. While admittedly there is some novelty in the act of partaking in the use of Cannabis openly while police respectfully stood looking on, our message is so much more complex.

We marched in hopes of being recognized by our Government, and to bring awareness to those who may not know that our rallying cries "go deeper than Pot". We marched to bring forth that we as Canadians, as Humans, deserve the freedom of making choices for ourselves. We marched in hope that every one of us as individuals could one day soon let go of the fear of incarceration for utilizing Nature. We marched for the sick who are deemed Criminals for choosing Cannabis over prescription narcotics. We marched because our Government convicts us as criminals because we wish to use Cannabis as our method of medicine and recreation. We marched because this War on Drugs is, and always will be, a War on People.

Prohibition of Cannabis instantly proves that we as Canadians are not living in a free society. If we were truly free we wouldn't be hunted down by police for using a plant that is less harmful than alcohol, nicotine, prescription drugs, poor eating habits and caffeine.

Laws are necessary, we understand this. They are put in place to encourage people from inflicting harm and pain on others. But why must our Government become "Big Brother" when it comes to our very own selves? What right does Government have to demand that we abstain from one substance, and not others? Especially when they hold their hand out, collecting billions of dollars in tax revenue from alcohol and cigarettes? How dare they give full support to big pharmaceutical drug companies while crushing those of use who grow and consume Cannabis as our choice of medicine? Persecution for Cannabis is more harmful than the plant itself.

While yes, it is true that Medical Marijuana is legal in Canada, actually getting a prescription from a brave Doctor, getting through the pages of paperwork that may take over a year for Health Canada to process, and being able to afford the 1500% marked up Government Marijuana is a very real obstacle for most.

When faced with such highly demanding obstacles, is it any wonder why most of us choose to obtain our medicine through the black market? Can you blame us for cutting through ridiculous government red tape and just taking care of ourselves?

Stephen Harper et al have no right to tell me what I can, or cannot put into my body. Just as Government has no right to tell a woman whether or not she can have an abortion, Government has no right to tell me what I things I can ingest. I would go to jail for this belief. I would give up my life as I know it for this belief. I would die for this belief. Extreme? Not for me. I have been a victim of Big Pharma, I have been a victim of synthetic drugs wreaking pure havoc in my body, and I refuse to be a victim any more. I refuse to have any politician tell me they know my own body better than me. The mere notion of that is ridiculous.

When Government enacts Prohibition, it conveys "We do not trust Canadian adults to make decisions for yourselves. We're politicians, not Doctors, but we know what is best for your health."

So I marched along with the thousands of others on that day because I want to be a part of the movement to change Canadian law. I marched to show my disapproval of the Conservative Governments' introduction of Bill C-15 and Mandatory Minimum Sentencing. I marched on behalf of those who are currently incarcerated, torn away from their families and communities in the face of draconian drug laws that were born of racism and corporate greed and later fueled by Big Pharma and the Prison Industrial Complex.

At the Main Stage the countdown began and right at 4:20 the crowd cheered and I lit up with the rest of the festival goers around me. Rebel Emergency started to play and even though we were soggy and wet it didn't matter. We danced, we sang, we watched the lead singer ride the crowd on a Surf Board!

The organizers of the festival did a truly remarkable job, and deserve much thanks from all of us who enjoyed the days events. While I had a few cringe-worthy moments throughout the day (all my notes getting soaked, missing the "Brownie Booth", my Camera - Nooooo!) it was a truly awesome life experience. The peace and love shared by upwards of 25 000 was electric! It gave me hope that one day in the near future Canadians will once again regain our right to use Cannabis. Prohibition must end - our world will be a much better, safer, happier place because of it.

Needless to say, I can't wait for next year!

Video I made with my pics from the day.
~You would think the cover of the next days' Toronto Sun would have shown the sea of almost 30 000 marchers filling up the streets of Toronto - but no. Featured was a picture of retired figure skater Elvis Stojko - casually talking to someone about Karate.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Show Me The Facts

Update: Eric @ gives you the lowdown, aka, the facts, regarding John Walters and his "Stats". Go read it. It's awesome.

Last night (May 6/2009) on AC 360, Anderson Cooper's guests discussing the re- legalization of Cannabis were Harvard Economist Jeffrey Miron, and John Walters, former President George Bush's "Drug Czar".

The following is the Transcript of the segment. While I'm quite confident that Mr. Miron can back up everything he says, where John Walters is getting his statistical information is beyond me. He used one that was "60, 70, 80%"

John Walters -" Studies have now shown 60, 70, 80 percent of the people who are arrested for violent crime have drugs in their body. One of the most prevalent drugs they have in their body are marijuana."

And what do you think of Walters statement: ... "In California, where medical marijuana has been used as a kind of a wedge issue, or kind of phony effort to try to say, "It's only going to go to people who are sick."...

Medical Marijuana - a "phony effort"?

And as far as Drug opponents disagreeing with Legalization, saying any new revenue could be swallowed by new problems for law enforcement and health officials, in my opinion they are discounting the fact that millions and millions are already using it. The damage created by the war on drugs far outweighs the effects of the plant itself.

My favourite part is at the end, where Miron responds to Walters statement of increased non-medical use because of more medical marijuana dispensaries in California.

Jeffrey Miron - "But if there's been an increase in use, then where's the surge in violence? California is just as peaceful and just as normal a place as it's been for a long time, despite this alleged surge in use from the medicinal marijuana. So then, doesn't support the claims being made by the prohibitionist in any way, shape or form.

Hopefully the video of the segment will be posted soon, until then, here is the full transcript.

I'm sending it right on over to Eric @ if there is anyone who knows just how to handle a discussion like this, it's him.

UPDATE: Video has been posted, hat tip to @NatlNORML on Twitter for posting the link.

AC 360 Transcript:

Also ahead tonight in California, the growing debate over marijuana. It seems just about every politician has an idea on how to get the economy going again, but few have generated the reaction that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is getting tonight. And here's why.

The California governor thinks it's time to talk about making marijuana legal. Now, this is him back in 1977 in the movie "Pumping Iron." You can see him smoking a joint right there. Two years ago he told the British version of "GQ" magazine that is not a drug; it's a leaf. The spokesman downplaying the remark at the time as a joke.

But now he's speaking out as governor, favoring a debate over legalization. Not because it might reduce violence or make the border safer, but because it might create more revenue. Tom Foreman has more.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Nearly 15 million Americans smoke marijuana each month. The U.S. government says 44 percent of high school seniors have tried it, and some adults openly use it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I do. I'm not afraid to admit that.

FOREMAN: Now amid rumbles that legalizing and taxing marijuana could bring California $1.3 billion a year, lawmakers there are considering just that. A poll shows voters favor it, and the governor wants to talk it over.

GOV. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER (R), CALIFORNIA: And I think that f we study very carefully on what other countries are doing that have legalized marijuana.

FOREMAN: In New York, the Drug Policy Alliance, encouraged by more than a dozen states that have already approved medicinal marijuana, has long argued for full legalization, comparing the costly war on drugs to prohibition.

ETHAN NADELMANN, DRUG POLICY ALLIANCE: The No. 1, two, and three factors that brought alcohol prohibition to a rapid end in 1933 were the depression, the depression, the depression. And what's driving things very quickly right now with ending marijuana prohibition is the recession, the recession, and the fear of another depression.

FOREMAN (on camera): Drug opponents disagree, saying any new revenue could be swallowed by new problems for law enforcement and health officials. Because, as the marijuana trade has grown lucrative, the drug itself has been reengineered to be stronger.

(voice-over) Drug Watch International is a nonprofit group against legalization.

JOHN COLEMAN, DRUG WATCH INTERNATIONAL: No question about it. I mean, it's the difference between having maybe a 4 ounce glass of beer versus an 8 ounce glass of Jack Daniels. It's far more potent today than it was back in the '60s.

FOREMAN: The president himself doubts the positive economic impact of legalization.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't think that is a good strategy to grow our economy.

FOREMAN: But the drum beat to consider it is growing.

Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.


COOPER: What do you think? Would making marijuana legal help our economy? Send us a text message with your question to 94553. The message has to start with the letters "AC", then a space, then your name and question. If you don't include "AC" first and then a space, we're not going to get the text.

Let's talk -- let's talk about the issue right now. Joining us tonight Jeffrey Miron, a senior economics lecturer at Harvard University. He's for legalization. And against it John Walters, executive vice president of the Hudson Institute. He's also the former drug czar under President George W. Bush.

John, people who want to see marijuana legalized say it's not addictive as other drugs are, that it doesn't increase violence, and by some estimates legalizing it could bring up to $7 billion of income a year to the government. You don't buy that?

JOHN WALTERS, EVP, HUDSON INSTITUTE: Well, I don't think the facts sustain that. I mean, the fact is that marijuana is the single biggest cause of treatment need among illegal drugs in America based on the same -- on the same studies you talked about.

We just ran an earlier piece on this show about violence in Chicago and the killing of kids that are students in elementary school and middle school and high school. Police made the point, drugs are a factor in this. Guns, violence, and out-of-control behavior that fuels and is made worse by drugs.

We already have too many people who suffer from dependency and addiction. Having more people who use only makes that worse. And would the country be better if, instead of 14 million users, as you talked about in the setup piece, you had 20, 30, 40, 50 million users?

COOPER: Jeffrey, what about that? Would legalizing marijuana increase violence? JEFFREY MIRON, SENIOR ECONOMICS LECTURER, HARVARD UNIVERSITY: Absolutely not. There's not a shred of evidence or any good reason to think that legalizing marijuana would increase violence. Just the opposite.

Most of the violence we associate with marijuana is because, when you force a trade underground, people in that trade resolve their disputes with guns rather than with lawyers and advertising, the things that people do in legal industries. So it's prohibition that's creating the violence, not marijuana creating the violence. It's just completely preposterous to suggest that marijuana use causes violence.

COOPER: John, what about the economic argument, though, that this would help our economies?

WALTERS: Well, first let's talk about the violence. Studies have now shown 60, 70, 80 percent of the people who are arrested for violent crime have drugs in their body. One of the most prevalent drugs they have in their body are marijuana.

There's this view that people who smoke marijuana are kind of cute Cheech and Chong characters from old-time movies. In fact, it's a source of agitation. It's a source of impaired judgment. It's a source of, in some cases, making people whose behavior already erratic get more erratic. So the greater potency has something to do with that.

The revenue that you would get from having tens of millions of more marijuana users is going to be offset by the cost of this to society. The cost not only in addiction treatment, but also the lost productivity of those individuals, the damage.

Let's think of it this way: many of our families have experience with this. They have loved ones who have had suffered from substance abuse. Many of them from marijuana dependency, many polydrug dependency. Many alcoholism and marijuana. How many of those families think America or their family or their community would be better off with more of that?

COOPER: Jeffrey, what do you think?

MIRON: The key assumption is being made by Mr. Walters is just completely not supported by the evidence, is that legalizing it would lead to some dramatic increase in use. The evidence suggests that there would be, at best, modest increases in use, and those increases that occur would be from responsible moderate users, just as we observed with legal alcohol.

For alcohol we have a huge range of potency. The vast majority of people don't consume extremely potent forms of alcohol, and they don't do the -- there are less potent ones to excess (ph). The vast majority use responsibly. That's exactly what we should expect and what the evidence suggests would be true of marijuana.

COOPER: John, we've got a -- we've got a text question from John in Pennsylvania. He asks, "Won't legalizing marijuana get petty offenders out of our already-crowded jail system?"

WALTERS: Well, in fact, there is an old wives' tale view that possession offenders are a big part of the jail system. In fact, there are 0.3 percent of those in the state prisons, the largest prison population, are there for simple possession of marijuana. Most people are there for violent crimes. Drugs and violence do fit together.

But let me go back to the professor's point about there won't be more use. In California, where medical marijuana has been used as a kind of a wedge issue, or kind of phony effort to try to say, "It's only going to go to people who are sick." It's not going to people who are sick. In fact, in San Francisco it has been reported in the news there are now more marijuana dispensaries than there are Starbucks in downtown San Francisco.

That's more use under a regime that's already halfway disassembled. If you took the lid off altogether, there are 100 million people who drink alcohol once a month or more frequently, and there are about 13 million who are needing treatment for alcoholism.

There are 20 million who use an illegal drug. Most of them use marijuana once a month or more frequently, and a third of them need treatment.

COOPER: We're almost out of time. I just want to give Jeffrey the chance to respond to that -- Jeff.

MIRON: Well, the mere fact that these medical marijuana dispensaries may be dispensing widely to people who are using for reasons other than medicinal is undoubtedly valid. But if there's been an increase in use, then where's the surge in violence? California is just as peaceful and just as normal a place as it's been for a long time, despite this alleged surge in use from the medicinal marijuana. So then, doesn't support the claims being made by the prohibitionist in any way, shape or form.

COOPER: We do have to end it there. I'm sorry. It's a fascinating debate and one we want to continue having.

John Walters, appreciate your time.

And Jeffrey Miron, as well. Thank you.

Let us know what you think. You can join the live chat right now at And also, Erica Hill's broadcasting during our commercial breaks there.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Mixing Politics And Morals

A video of Canadian politicians that have admitted to consuming cannabis. None were arrested.

Politicians are the people that make, shape, and write our laws. Why is it that many of them tell us "No, no, no." when they themselves puff, puff, passed...? And I wonder, how many great minds has our world missed out on because they had the unfortunate luck of being caught for simple possession and their true career paths were derailed because of a possession conviction?

Millions of good, otherwise law-abiding citizens use cannabis, we are only "criminals" because common men and women judge us as "immoral". What right is it of theirs as to impose their beliefs on us? When it comes to individual rights, we should be allowed to govern ourselves and our own bodies. Even if people don't always make the right decisions, (like drinking too much) they are our decisions to make, and we shall own the consequences of those decisions. (like the hangover and puking that can accompany too much drinking)

What I also do not understand, is how when alcohol, cigarettes and caffeine are legal, politicians dare to tell us that cannabis, which is proven to have killed no one ever, is "wrong" and "illegal" or "immoral". They are drugs too, which cause tens of thousands of deaths every year, if government was serious about "keeping us safe from ourselves" then many more substances, prescription drugs and activities (hockey concussion, anyone?) would be on the banned list and face criminal penalty.

We have learned from our own history that prohibition does not work, in fact, prohibition is unrealistic. It is just not possible. Humans are fallible and have been breaking laws since the most popular one was commanded (Don't eat the Apple!). Of course it is not right to harm others and laws that punish people for physically and financially hurting others are justifiable, but face it politicians, your constituents are not "perfect" - no matter how much you expect or want us to be.

We should be trusted though, an October 2007 Zogby Poll asked "If hard drugs like heroin and cocaine were legalized, would you be more likely to try them?

Poll: 99 Percent Wouldn't Use Hard Drugs If They Were Legalized

Posted in Chronicle Blog by David Borden on Wed, 12/05/2007 - 11:09am EDITORIAL ADVISORY -- December 5, 2007

If Heroin or Cocaine Were Legal, Would You Use Them? Zogby Poll Suggests Prohibition Doesn't Reduce Hard Drug Use

Washington, DC -- Marking the 74th anniversary of the repeal of national Alcohol Prohibition, today released polling results suggesting that drug prohibition's main supporting argument may be simply wrong. Drug policy reformers point to a wide range of demonstrated social harms created by the drug laws -- crime and violence, spread of infectious diseases, official corruption, easy funding for terrorist groups, to name a few -- while prohibitionists argue that use and addiction would explode if drugs were legalized. But is the prohibitionist assumption well-founded?

Zogby polling data released today asked 1,028 likely voters, "If hard drugs such as heroin or cocaine were legalized, would you be likely to use them?" Ninety-ninety percent of respondents answered, "No." Only 0.6 percent said "Yes." The remaining 0.4 percent weren't sure.

You see, Politicians, we CAN be trusted to make our own decisions. Please stop treating adults like children. It's not your place to interfere in our lives: isn't that what the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms states?

7. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.

"except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice." is where things get tricky. Some excerpts from The Parliament of Canada Web Site: (Please read the whole report, it is quite informative.)



Andrew D. Hathaway, Ph.D.

Rights and Freedoms of Drug Users Under the Charter

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Part I of the 1982 Constitution Act herein referred to as the Charter) states that everyone has such "fundamental freedoms" as "freedom of conscience and religion" and "freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression." No formula is provided, however, by which the selection of particular rights and exclusion of others might be explained. In this context, the right to use one’s drug of choice can be promoted in one of two ways: "First, such a right or freedom can simply be proclaimed as part of the basic rights package. If such a proclamation is lacking, the second possibility is to argue that a specified right, such as the ‘right to liberty’ guaranteed in section 7 of the Charter, extends far enough to cover the disputed action."

University of Western Ontario law professor, Robert Solomon accordingly observes:

If the right to liberty in section 7 protects personal decision making (and it seems to me if the state wants to intervene, it should do so in a principled fashion), if they wanted to draw the barrier in terms and death decisions and did it consistently, I could understand that, but it doesn’t…. I am overwhelmingly of the view that if section 7 allows you to die for your religious beliefs,...if a law prohibiting access to abortion interferes with your right to life, liberty, and security as a person, if the courts recognize a realm of private decision making in the area of health and autonomy, then there is no way you can justify our current laws criminalizing possession of many drugs which are now illicit.

Since the final report of the Le Dain Commission inquiry over a quarter-century ago, a legal-political stalemate has arisen around cannabis, leaving policy reform advocates in limbo awaiting the next opportunity to press the issue back into the judicial or political forum. Steadfast resistance on the part of our law enforcement institutions has proven all the more resilient in view of the apparent ‘easy out’ option available to policy makers in passing the issue back and forth between the two forums. Although constitutional challenges are expensive to launch and would seem to stand little chance of success legally, however, Osgoode Hall law professor Alan Young underscores their importance in maintaining the media spotlight and public attention, "...because the press is very interested in the issue, and if the press is interested and the public is interested, the politicians may have to respond."

Citing recent international developments in progressive law reform and a general interest in society regarding recreational drug use, Professor Young characterizes the 1990’s revival of the cannabis reform movement as a "Renaissance period" wherein (following the repressive drug policy "dark ages" ushered in by Presidents Reagan and Bush in the US) public discussion and debate on the issue has been able to ensue once more. Since interest in drug consumption and policy ebbs and flows over time, he suggests the timing of challenges may be crucial, and that today’s socio-political climate presents a prime opportunity for law reformers to take advantage of favourable public opinion and press coverage.

While the date this report is written is not posted, I believe much of the same can be said today. With so much recent conversation regarding our prohibition laws, it is now our time once again to massively campaign for our right to use Cannabis responsibly. It must be now as Bill C-15 (UPDATE: Bill C-15 has been reintroduced as Bill S-10 and requires defeat in the House of Commons.) has been tabled into Parliament by Stephen Harper's Conservatives. While the Liberal Government is also tabling Bill C-359, (marijuana possession would still be illegal and people would receive a fine for small amounts of Cannabis) it is still not enough. Decriminalization does not stop the problem of the Black Market or the violence and drug cartel profiteering that comes from it. The only way to ensure our citizens true freedom and a safer country in which to live is to legalize Cannabis.

Will Bill C-15 kill the twin scourge of illegal drugs and gang violence?
Libby Davies, NDP MP, Vancouver East answers on

“There’s a lot of information, both in the United States and in Canada, that shows that mandatory minimum sentencing regimes for drug offenses are ineffective. This is all about window-dressing for the Conservatives’ crime agenda. They want to impress people with their tough-on-crime approach. One thing that will happen is that it could very much overcrowd our prisons. We find the bill to be misdirected and based on a very faulty premise. It’s based on the U.S.’s war on drugs, which has been a complete failure.”

Tomorrow, I will be joining an expected 25 000 people at the 11th. Annual Global Marijuana March. I'm hoping to be a part of history, a part of a movement that contributes to the end of prohibition. To me, persecuting Canadians who choose to use cannabis as medicine and for recreation is unethical and immoral. Our politicians must hear our cry for justice and legalize our gift from Mother Nature. Puff, Puff, Peace, everyone.... Pass It to The Left.

IMPORTANT UPDATE AUGUST 2011 - The Conservatives are now trying to pass all of their "Crime" bills in one large Omnibus Bill. Please visit and for more info. Thanks, MJ (Article updated August 19, 2011, as Ontario provincial Conservative candidate Tim Hudak has admitted he "grew up normal" and smoked pot.

Big $$$, Big Pharma

For those of you who haven't yet seen or heard of
"Big Bucks, Big Pharma - Marketing Disease & Pushing Drugs" I recommend viewing it to everyone. The Official Selection of the 2008 Catalysts for Change Film Festival and the 2006 Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montreal is eye-opening and informative and really, just one of those things you would consider a "Must See".

The YouTube Info:

"Big Bucks, Big Pharma pulls back the curtain on the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical industry to expose the insidious ways that illness is used, manipulated, and in some instances created, for capital gain. Focusing on the industry's marketing practices, media scholars and health professionals help viewers understand the ways in which direct-to-consumer (DTC) pharmaceutical advertising glamorizes and normalizes the use of prescription medication, and works in tandem with promotion to doctors. Combined, these industry practices shape how both patients and doctors understand and relate to disease and treatment. Ultimately, Big Bucks, Big Pharma challenges us to ask important questions about the consequences of relying on a for-profit industry for our health and well-being."

Below is Part One, please follow this link to view the whole documentary. It is worth taking the time to watch it.

From the video: "The companies that make up the Pharmaceutical Industry are among the largest corporations in the world. In 2004 their combined global sales were over half a TRILLION (emphasis is mine) dollars, with Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson leading the pack. Together these business have come to be known as "Big Pharma"."