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By Ted | February 6, 2002

more by Ted Smith

A plea by Ted Smith

Coordinator, Cannabis Buyers’ Clubs Of Canada

On Mon Feb. 4, 2002, I received notice that I have been charged with
possession for the purpose of trafficking because of the police raid, which
happened at the head office of the CANNABIS BUYERS CLUBS of CANADA on Jan 3,
2002. Unless I somehow end up in jail earlier, I will be appearing in court
on Weds., Feb 27, 2002 at 9:00 a.m. After I enter a plea of not guilty, the
court will revoke my bail and keep me in jail. At a bail hearing the next
day we will have an opportunity to show the court that I am a valuable and
respected member of the community and that I should not be kept in jail
until my trials. I need as many letters of support as possible from the
general public, people who need medical marijuana and in particular from as
many professors, doctors, lawyers, politicians, police officers and other
highly respected members of the community as possible. These letters will
be collected at Ted’s Books, 826 Johnson St., Victoria, B.C., V8W 1N3 and on
the web-page at and we can be reached at 250-381-4220.

The police claim they took 7 pounds of cannabis during the Jan 3 search
and seizure, though we were able to convince the officers not to immediately
arrest anyone. Charges against 3 people were recommended by the police to
the crown prosecutors one week later. A compromise was proposed by the CBC
of C where HEALTH CANADA was asked to simply take this cannabis from the
police and give it to those whom have received government exemptions or
licenses to possess or grow marijuana for personal medical use. While
HEALTH CANADA has given over 600 people the right to possess or grow
cannabis, they have not given anyone a gram or a seed, nor have they
authorized anyone to otherwise distribute this herb. Therefore, even those
legally allowed to possess cannabis are forced to look to illegal sources of
medicine. This puts morally responsible individuals, who are fully aware of
the suffering caused by the lack of availability of medical grade cannabis,
in a position where our sense of civic duty forces us to act in defiance of
the law. It was our hope that the government would take the middle ground,
that giving the cannabis to HEALTH CANADA, not giving us a license and not
charging anyone at the CBC of C seemed like a reasonable option.

The situation is further complicated by the fact that in Nov, 2000, I
was arrested twice for giving away joints and cookies, and have rather
strict bail conditions set upon me. The courts have granted me
constitutional trials to challenge these charges where we will argue that
the laws prohibiting the use of cannabis compromise our liberty unduly, are
unreasonable, unmanageable, arbitrarily applied and counter-productive.
While I have dramatically eliminated many of my personal activities since
then, it became clear immediately that to step away entirely from the CBC of
C would put the group and many people’s lives at risk. We continued to
operate the CBC of C as normal after my arrests, with others helping to
distribute the medicine as I focused upon advocacy. In March, 2001, we were
told quite bluntly by the police that we had far too many people coming and
going from the residential location the club worked out of, that the courts
were providing a limited amount of protection for us to operate in public
and that we should get a commercial space. After years of watching my
activities, the police have a lot of evidence to prove that I have been
doing the best job possible under some very difficult circumstances and they
have no evidence to prove that we distribute for anything but strictly
personal medical use. However, no matter how strong my arguments may be in
favour of the medical use of cannabis, the fact that I have broken my bail
conditions means that I am in serious trouble.

While I have known all along the risks involved in directly engaging in
a struggle against the government’s ‘War On Drugs’, I do not want to spend
any more time in jail. Please help by sending letters of support, showing
up at my court dates and otherwise adding your voice to the growing number
of people who are unwilling to sit quietly while government policy causes
misery and premature death. The time for action is upon us.


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