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Practical Compassion

By Hempology | September 3, 2003

From Cannabis Health Magazine, September/October 2003

As Ted Smith explains, the Cannabis Buyers’ Clubs of Canada is a not-for-profit
organization with locations in Victoria and Parksville BC, and Halifax. The CBCC claims
1200 members and has been providing marijuana to people with incurable medical
conditions since 1996. Ted, the founder of the CBCC, sees the club as a more practical
straight-forward alternative to the traditional compassion club, based more on common
sense and economics than philosophies, ethics and regulations. As stated on their
web site, “You do not need to have legal exemption to sign up with us, and signing
up will offer you no extra legal protection. We are merely a source for medicine.”

That medicine could include several strains of high grade raw marijuana buds, hashish,
cookies, cakes and other marijuana edibles. The club strives to keep costs down and
supplies edibles made from shake donated at cost.

As Ted explains, the traditional clubs are asking patients for a doctor’s recommendation
that many doctors are not willing to provide. Often, patients are aware of their doctors’
objections and are not comfortable even bringing up the subject of marijuana. We are
the alternative to doctors.

The club’s Victoria location os CBCC has been busted 5 times. Ted, always colourful and
controversial, has run for the office of mayor, has taken some heat for his high profile
activist activities, and yet overall Ted feels his relations with his community and
the Victoria police are positive.

Although the CBCC is considered by some to be more liberal, patients are required to
provide proof of diagnosis and show proper identification. Ted explains, “we are
sympathetic to individuals with transient pain problems, the broken arm, menstrual
cramps or just relaxation. The CBCC serves the needs of individuals with long-term
chronic health challenges.” The club takes a hard line with patients who try to
make money by re-selling the marijuana they get from the club. The 13 mostly part-time
employees who staff the club, have been forced to exclude close to 100 individuals
to date for re-selling and other unacceptable behaviors. Marijuana is supplied to the
club by a number of small and discreet homegrow operations. Ted refers to the network
as a family and argues that everyone is a winner in this equation, the patients get
a quality product at a reasonable price, the growers supplement their family income,
and the medical system is not taxed further with unnecessary visits and paperwork.

For more information on the CBCC:

Or e-mail the CBCC at:

(*) [ Scott Johnstone was listed in Cannabis Health as the Webmaster for
the CBCC. He was the webmaster in January and the new webmaster is Tyler MacDonald. ]

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