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Letter to B.C.C.C.S.

By Hempology | September 22, 2006

Friday June 29, 2006

Friday June 29, 2006 Rielle Capler and the B.C.C.C.S.

Friday June 29, 2006Rielle Capler and the B.C.C.C.S.In an attempt to introduce and explain ourselves, we are sending you this letter and package of information about the CBC of C. We hope that this may help facilitate communication and cooperation between our club and the BCCS.

First, we would like to thank you and congratulate your group for the leadership that the BCCCS has provided over the years. Watching you bring the issue to national attention with your determined professionalism has been greatly appreciated by everyone working in the medical cannabis field.

Our story in Victoria is filled with much more struggle. When we started the CBC of C in Jan. 1996, I was living in a van. As you can imagine, it took many years to accumulate enough resources and members to open a store. To help give you an understanding of our efforts, we have included all 9 issues of our newsletter, Cannabis Digest, a copy of our most important court decision and some other information.

Included in this package are letters of correspondence between our club and VICS from a few years ago. From these letters you can see that we have had difficulty being accepted by the “compassion club” community since our beginning. This was in part due to our strong mandate that requires proof of doctor’s diagnosis of a permanent, physical disability or disease but does not require a recommendation to use cannabis from a doctor unless it is for a mental health issue. The other main reason Phil Lucas seems to have a problem with us is because of our proactive efforts to legalize cannabis through our International Hempology 101 Society. This problem exists despite the fact that he has attended many of our rallies when it suited his purposes, and continues to support other groups that advocate for the legal distribution of all drugs. 

Last summer I tried to pay an unannounced visit upon Rielle Capler. The staff at the front desk had never heard of our club and expressed concern that I wanted into the club. I tried to explain that I had started the oldest medical cannabis club in Canada in Victoria but was not known of, in part, because VICS claimed to be the only “compassion” club in town. Unfortunately, I lost my cool at one point in the conversation, and I should have apologized in writing for my behaviour before now. I am very sorry to have created a disturbance in your sanctuary and am truly embarrassed about the lack of professionalism and tact I showed that day. I promise I will never behave that way in your space again.

Recently someone else from our group became upset after being treated rudely by your staff and refused medicine. Apparently there is some confusion about your policy to sign a release form so that we can send you medical information. He was aware that I had made a phone call to Rielle to confirm that he was a member in good standing and I thought there was an understanding that he could be served without any roadblocks. At some point in the conversation when our member was trying to get medicine, it was implied that our club did not demand to see medical information before signing someone up. Given that he works the front desk at our club, our member was very insulted and disturbed that such dangerous, vicious rumours are being spread by the compassion club community. Unfortunately part of his response was to write a letter in anger, a letter in which he makes some accusations and incorrect statements, and after cooling off, he regrets the angry and unproductive tone with which he responded.

It is very regrettable that incidents such as these occur when we should be working together. However, it is difficult not getting upset after having been excluded from the ‘compassion club’ community for so long when the courts and City of Victoria consider our mandate and functions to be constitutionally sound and morally responsible. After all, is a ‘compassion club’ an organization that sells cannabis products to sick people, or does it need to be incorporated with the name ’compassion’ included?

We believe it is important for our organizations to learn how to work together to provide better services to our members and the country at large. For that to happen, there are a few things we would like to see. First, if someone from your group wanted to visit our store we would be happy to show them the inner workings of the CBC of C as much as possible. Second, it is important to us that we become acknowledged as a legitimate club by the BCCCS when articles are written like the recent article in Cannabis Culture. Finally, we are the oldest public medical cannabis club in Canada, and while the BCCCS will likely always be the largest compassion club in the country, the CBC of C deserves credit for being the first group to form. While we realize that it will not be easy to give up the title of the oldest club in Canada, the fact is we began operating in Jan 1996, over 1 year before the BCCCS formed. Accepting the truth and the CBC of C will make the movement stronger and will not take away any of the hard work and professionalism that has made the BCCCS what it is today.

Many of the issues I have raised have bubbled under the surface for years. The recent incidents where I and others have lost their temper should be turned into opportunities to learn more about each other and build a better movement.

If there is something we can do to improve or clarify the situation, please do not hesitate to call me at 381-4220. We look forward to our future relations. by Ted Smith

Topics: Articles, CD-10th, Summer 2006 | Comments Off

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