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Letter from Hempology to the Vancouver Island Compassion Society

By Ted | December 3, 2002

more by Ted Smith

By Ted Smith

Victoria’s Hempology 101 Society

Vancouver Island Compassion Society

Box 130

2017A Cadboro Bay Rd.

Victoria, BC


Hello, VICS Board and Staff

We have attempted to develop a working relationship with your organization since meeting Mr. Phillipe Lucas
in the spring of 1999. Instead of returning our efforts to cooperate, we have been excluded and discredited
by Mr. Lucas. It is our hope that through a process initiated by this letter we can encourage Mr. Lucas to acknowledge our existence and stop attacking
our integrity.

There were no clubs in Canada and very few in the world when we started the Cannabis Buyers’ Clubs of Canada
in 1995. Initially, we chose not to form a non-profit society for the club because we wanted to wait
until it could be fully and legally licensed. As an interim measure we incorporated
Victoria’s Hempology 101 Society as an umbrella group.

While the club operates as a coalition of individuals committed to providing help to people with permanent,
physical medical problems diagnosed by a physician, the non-profit society educates the general public.
Throughout the past 7 years we have made several presentations to city council, written letters to the
Chief of Police in 1997 and the Attorney General in 1998 and have been featured in local media. The club’s mandate
has been recognized by the courts, Health Canada, and, recently, the City of Victoria. In the near
future we hope to be able to work with all levels of government as we establish a fully licensed and
regulated medical buyers’ club.

When Mr. Lucas first came to our organization we seriously considered giving the club and all of it’s
resources to him. After he demanded that the Cannabis Buyers’ Club’s name be changed, payed for a storefront
in Oak Bay and seriously altered the club’s mandate, we decided it was best for Mr. Lucas to start his own
group while we continued on with the Cannabis Buyers’ Clubs of Canada. We require a doctor’s diagnosis, with photo ID, as opposed
to a doctor’s recommendation like VICS demands. Many people with permanent, physical medical problems have doctors
who will not sign a recommendation for cannabis due to threats from the BC College of Physicians
and Surgeons. While we knew it would be difficult to justify having two clubs in Victoria, we refused to turn our back on sick people with reluctant doctors.
We have stuck to our mandate for 7 years, and look forward to the near future when
these activities become fully legalized.

We continually tried to maintain
a good relationship in the early days of the Vancouver Island Compassion Society, inviting Phil and Colleen
to many meetings where they were able to meet Ron Ranger and Eric Young, among other members, who signed up
as founding board members of the VICS. After a few months it was apparent that the new organization viewed
us as competition, not allies, in the war on drugs.

Last spring, while testifying in his defense, Mr. Lucas stated clearly that in his opinion there was no one
but criminals selling bad drugs for profit in Victoria before he appeared in 1999. We did not expose this
lie at the time so as to not risk creating difficulties for Mr. Lucas in court.

The fact is that the Cannabis Buyers Clubs of Canada have been
struggling towards providing adequate services in the most open and transparent way possible. Mr. Lucas would
have been fair to suggest that the services provided by the Cannabis Buyers’ Clubs of Canada in 1999 were
less than ideal. However, for him to imply that we are no more than common criminals is wrong. The Cannabis Buyers Clubs of Canada strives to
provide the best quality medicine at the lowest possible cost, and every one of the approximately 1,100
members has a serious incurable medical condition with proof of diagnosis from their physician.

Though Mr. Lucas and the VICS received a very favorable court decision last spring, the precedent
was set by Grant Krieger in Calgary, who in the summer of 2000 received a not guilty verdict from a jury.
We expect a similar decision in February of 2003 when we go to court to answer charges that were made
as a result of the police raid at the Victoria branch of the Cannabis Buyers’ Clubs on June 21.
Through the proclamation of November 15,
we have proven to Victoria City Council that Health Canada has not approved any source of cannabis for
medical purposes, while at the same time recognising that people with permanent, physical medical
problems should have access to cannabis.
While medical cannabis is considered legitimate by the courts and the community at
large, Health Canada has refused to cooperate with anyone but the pharmaceutical industry. However, in reaction to the continued police raids we have started a process which should produce
a licensing arrangement between our club, Health Canada, VIHA, the police department and City

Unfortunately, it became even more clear to the public that the local medical cannabis movement was not working together
when Mr. Lucas ran for city council under the banner of the Green Party and supported Ben Isitt for mayor
during the recent municipal campaign.

It is our intention to resolve the outstanding problems that Mr. Lucas appears to have with the
Cannabis Buyers’ Clubs of Canada in the most professional and reasonable way possible. If we could
agree upon a third-party mediator who could help the two sides work out their differences, that might
be the best step towards a peaceful resolution. We understand that both clubs have been invited to
a benefit concert on December 21 and would invite Mr. Lucas to make a public apology at that event
as part of his attempt to resolve our problems.

While we regret to create any more negativity between the clubs, after over three years of lies,
slander, exclusion and otherwise being taken advantage of, we will no longer silently withstand the
harsh criticisms of Mr. Lucas. It is our hope that Mr. Lucas and the VICS realise that they have
caused great harm and confusion in the community as a result of their past actions and are willing
to start to work in good faith with the Cannabis Buyers’ Clubs of Canada.

We look forward to your suggestions of a third-party mediator and to the apology on December 21st.
Please do not hesitate to give us a call.


Marie Christofferson , Christian Bell

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