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The Need For These Clubs (Part 2)

By Hemp | January 18, 2002

more by Lee Morrison


CBCoC Member

During the recent holiday season, I personally dealt with three
suicidal clients, several individuals battling their addictions to
drugs and alcohol and many more clients dealing with depression. Often
what was really needed was a sympathetic ear and knowing that someone
cared whether he or she lived or died.

Ted began the CBC of Canada because he saw that need. When I first
met Ted , almost 5 years ago, Ted was there for myself and
approximately a couple dozen members.. He did not need to provide a
safe emotional haven to the people who came to him. That is what
separated him from the “Back-street dealer” that we hear so many
horror stories about. He actually cared about the individuals who
sought him out for their medicine.

The CBC of Canada is about to celebrate its sixth anniversary.
This is an amazing feat. How one individual created this
organization from the back of a van is certainly a tribute to one
man’s strength of will and incredible ingenuity.

The organization has now grown to over 850 members. That is a
little much for one person to support individually.. (He’d like to
though.) That is where the membership comes in. The healing
process of one is often a catalyst for many others. It became
obvious that with so many members with such a variety of illnesses
that they were a tremendous resource. It is gratifying to observe
members at different stages in their recovery supporting each other.
Communicating the highs and lows of life is all part of the healing

I would also like to stress that although the CBC cannot supply
medicine for people who suffer from depression it is a common side
effect to any long-term illness. In this club, I have observed many a
friendship forged by the support that has been given freely.

On an average day, around 150 people enter the club to purchase
their medicine. Some of them are lucky and have a positive “support
system” available to help them to endure .Remember that these are
individuals with serious medical issues to contend with.

It is ridiculous to assume that the affects of a chronic illness
occur in a bubble. Depending on the illness, it could be closer to a
Tsunami. Whole life changes are common. The three “F”s are affected;
Friends, Family, and Finances.

Friends often have a difficult time dealing with the physical and
mental changes that occur with their buddy. Suddenly, their companion
is no longer able to carry on their previous activities. Depression
is common and this invariably puts a strain on relationships.
Illnesses always place a tremendous weight on the household finances.
As an illness progresses, such as with Multiple Sclerosis, the
individual eventually is unable to continue to function in the
workforce. Poverty becomes a nightmarish everyday factor in their
lives. It is extremely difficult to raise children on a disability

When an individual is dealing with crisis in every area of their
lives it is extremely overwhelming. Now, the Club, the second family
and the support system for many of our clients is in jeopardy. It is
time for the Government of Canada to recognize that the prototype
has already been created. It has been successful and has continued to
grow. We are not a bunch of “drugged-out dope dealers”. Many of us
are well educated, intelligent and highly motivated. We need to be.
Members rely on us for support.

Without this organization, I fear what will happen to the people we
serve. The support systems are not available in Victoria on a wide
enough basis. Too many people fall through the cracks. I would assume
that under the present Liberal Government the situation would become
worse. We have evolved over 6 years as a club. What government agency
has willingly taken over that responsibility or ever could?

The ill do not need to have another dispensary for our medication.
We have chosen how we would like to have our medicine presented to
us. We have helped to create the environment to utilize our medicine,
learn about our illnesses and socialize in a positive space.

We would appeal to the Government to come and take a look at the
Cannabis Buyers’ Clubs of Canada and what we have here. It’s been
built on lots of determination, hard work and caring.

Lee Morrison

B.A. Psych., B.A. Eng Lit.

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