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President’s Address by Ted Smith 2009

By admin | January 5, 2010

President’s Address by Ted Smith

AGM 2009-10-06

We have just experienced one of the most exciting years in the history of the International Hempology 101 Society. Through trial and error we have learned a great deal as an organization about employee management, board member responsibilities, research institutes, political lobbying, and product design/manufacturing sales. These growing pains have been part of a growing transformation that is building upon the success of Hempology 101 in Victoria. One year ago, we were preparing to hire an executive director to launch a research institute. Many mistakes were made in the process of initiating this project, but in the long run our goals are more realistic. The idea of forming a research institute came after it was suggested by Dr. Paul Hornby. He said that if we hope to publish our research comparing cannabis to prescription drugs then we should start a peer-reviewed scientific journal ourselves. Soon after announcing our intentions we were contacted for assistance by the struggling Journal of Industrial Hemp. After realizing that publication would not print studies on smoking cannabis we decided to continue starting a journal from scratch. We have put off the formation of this new group and publishing of a peer reviewed scientific journal, as Dr. David Pate has expressed interest in being Editor-in-Chief and is expected to move back to the west coast of BC next spring. In the meantime, we are very close to finishing a revised medical cannabis questionnaire.It has been very difficult finding the right people to working with our group, but we believe we have finally found the right staff to build the future of Hempology 101. The first 3 people we hired were not very familiar with the group, and things did not work out very well with any of them.One of the people we originally hired even took the group to Labour Relations. She only received just over $300 after mediation, most of it because I told her to leave 2 days before her verbal contract was complete. In an attempt to clean up the mess left behind from the first 3 employees, and get our finances on track, we have hired Fayaz Kara to deal with Revenue Canada, our accountant, and other accounting details. On the advocacy side, we now have the fortune of working with Kristen Mann as General Manager. Kristen has the energy, vision, and open mind of a leader, and the entire movement will benefit from her work here. Lead by Kristen, the International Hempology 101 Society organized a national phone jam on Sept. 12 against Bill C-15, letting the Senators know how unhappy we are with these mandatory minimums. We have continued to encourage people to call Senators to express their opinions, especially after learning C-15 was sent to committee the first week the Senate got to work. MP’s Dr. Keith Martin and Denise Savioe even came to our 14th Anniversary march to the legislature to protest C-15. Please keep calling Senators when you have a chance! This year also saw the birth of TEAM 420. There are many interesting possibilities from TEAM 420 and we are looking forward to all the fun and games that will come from that enterprise.

We are trying to establish committees to maintain some of the projects of Hempology 101, with monthly meetings for research, science, and fun-raising. Though attendance has at times been small, we have used these groups to brainstorm and work out ideas as a group, with the minutes from all of our meetings now being posted on the forums under “Activities Organized by the Society.” One of the outcomes of these meetings has been the creation of a street quiz. Every Friday at noon we are now sending a small group of volunteers out to ask people a few questions about hemp, cannabis, and prohibition. It is a chance to meet the public, pass out information about things like the C-15 phone jam, and learn about the public’s knowledge of various issues. Next year will see many new things for Hempology 101. We have just started our second post-secondary club at Vancouver Island University, and expect to be at UBC and the University of Toronto by next Sept. If we get the textbook for Hempology 101 published next spring as we hope, we could see more student clubs start across North America quickly. We are also preparing to change the format of our newsletter Cannabis Digest, printing in the same format as most school newspapers, something that will both increase advertising revenues and readership. It has been a great honour to be involved with the interesting collection of active minds that have gathered around the International Hempology 101 Society. Our grassroots activism style is unique, our techniques are raw, and our passion bountiful. I am very proud of our work and looking forward to this next year of challenges and growth.

Ted Smith

President, International Hempology 101 Society

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