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International Medical Marijuana Day, Nov 15

By Hempology | November 17, 2007

Victoria, B.C.: On Thursday, Nov 15, 2007, a rally will be held at noon at the Ministry of Health to highlight International Medical Marijuana Day.  This will be followed by the conclusion of the 5th Annual Silent Art Auction in support of the Cannabis Buyers Clubs of Canada at 4:20 pm at 826 Johnson St.  The City of Victoria is expected to officially declare Nov 15 as International Medical Marijuana Day, something they have done at our request since 2002.  Since 1995, the International Hempology 101 Society has hosted various events on International Medical Marijuana Day to highlight the medical benefits of cannabis and the legal challenges faced by those who use the herb for serious medical problems.  Soon after the first event in 1995, it was determined that a Cannabis Buyers Club needed to be formed in Victoria to provide cannabis products to people with permanent, physical disabilities and diseases.

Founded in Jan 1996, the CBC of C operated out of a van for a few months before getting an apartment where the group worked for 5 years.  In 1999, I decided to give away 101 pot cookies in celebration of International Medical Marijuana Day and all the media attention brought the police along to watch the event.  The next year, though, when I was prepared to give out 420 cookies, they were not so docile and arrested me as soon as I got to the library.  In Oct 2005 I was convicted by a jury with trafficking THC and given a 1 day jail sentence (which was about 3 hours in the court cells).  Within a year of opening a store in March 2001, the club suffered police raids in Jan, March and June 2002 and finally in Feb 2003.  All charges laid in those raids were beaten in court using various constitutional arguments.  Though we have continued to operate through these raids, it threw the club into debt that eventually totalled over $75,000.  Thankfully, the debt is now less than $70,000 and is being paid off, primarily due to the growing membership at the club.  This year we plan upon using the proceeds from the art auction to help pay more of the debt down. 

Next year, though, we expect the CBC of C to be in a much better financial position and plan to use the money generated in the 6th Annual Art Auction 2008 to pay for the first month’s wages for a full-time researcher at the club.  This person job will be to focus upon the research project initiated by the CBC of C that compares the risk and benefits of cannabis products to prescription drugs.  So far we have collected several hundred stories.  Our researcher will help more members write their stories and compile the information into useful statistics that will show health care savings from using cannabis.   This person will write personal stories about the medical benefits of cannabis and the history of the CBC of C for publication in magazines and newspapers.  The statistics will be used to prove to the provincial government that using cannabis products significantly reduces prescription drug costs and other health care expenditures.

This is important because provincial governments mange health care and should be involved in regulating the cultivation and distribution of cannabis for medical purposes.  Meanwhile, the events held this year to celebrate International Medical Marijuana Day on Thurs Nov 15 will be relatively low-key this year, though we hope to get some media attention without anyone being arrested giving away cookies.

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