Cannabis Buyers' Clubs of Canada

The Cannabis Buyers' Clubs of Canada, Victoria BC, has been providing cannabis products to people with permanent, physical disabilities or diseases since 1996.

Cannabis Digest

A Quarterly Medical Cannabis Journal published by
The International Hempology 101 Society
Cannabis Digest  CBC of C logo    Second Edition, Spring 2004 

Cannabis Buyers Club Up-dates

We would like to make a mass submission to Health Canada for the medical licenses to possess medical marijuana this spring. Many people have taken the forms, but most seem to be saving them or mailing them in themselves. The biggest challenge most of us face is finding a doctor to support the application process. Without back up from the College of Physicians, most doctors seem reluctant. Two of the main clarifications we've made are there are three separate health categories to apply under: and you do not need your landlords permission to grow if you are using your primary residence. If you have any questions please contact Gayle Quin or Steve Palmer at the club, or Health Canada at 1-866-337-7705.

We were very please with the results of the silent art auction. We raised SI200 for our wonderful, competent lawyer Robert Moore-Stewart. Robert was moved to tears when he accepted our efforts. Everyone enjoyed it so much we are going to try and make it a yearly event.

The November 15, 2003 Rally had a smaller than expected crowd due mainly to a very cold and wet day. We had a great time though, and the highlight of the day came when a Victoria Constable came and shook Ted's hand. He was concerned with our well-being and wanted to make sure no one was harassing us.
On Feb 20 the Victoria News wrote that, "Victoria Police Inspector Bill Naughton said police have backed off enforcement on the clubs for two reasons- the presences of much more harmful drugs and the lack of clear direction from the courts. The courts have required that people have a document to obtain medical marijuana, but there is no source for them."  While this is no guarantee the club will not be raided again we all feel much more at ease in the store.

Santa Cannabis Party raised $400.00 for Robert Moore- Stewart. The music had brief tech difficulties, which unfortunately resulted in us not being able to listen to Green Law Avenue. With the help of some Cannabis Carolers, things got fixed and soon forgotten as we rocked the night away with The Delegates, Zola Bud, and King Bong. On January 28, 2004, the C.B.C.of C celebrated it's 8th anniversary. The night was full of good music, great food brought by one and all, and an ounce of roach joints rounded the evening off to a point of no return, until next year!

A Twisted Tale of Justice:
Ted Smiths Trials to Begin Soon

A complex series of pre-trial arguments has led to a peculiar arrangement for the trials facing Leon 'Ted' Smith, which are now scheduled to begin on May 26. Ted was first arrested on November 8, 2000 at the University of Victoria sharing a small number of joints with students, and one week later on November 15, 2000, before the annual cannabis cookie give-away on International Medical Marijuana Day. However, the first trial he could face in court may be from the charges stemming from the first police incursion at the CBC of C, a medical cannabis provider with a storefront in Victoria, which occurred on January 3, 2002. The developments in preliminary hearings have seemed much like a chess game at times, with the outcome potentially having an impact across the country.

The current order of the trials is now completely different than the actual chronological order of the arrests. It started when Ted was arrested sharing joints at the University of Victoria on November 8, 2000 and just before a pot cookie giveaway on November 15, 2000. His lawyer entered a not guilty plea with the inclusion ... of several constitutional arguments against the prohibition laws. After accepting the plea, Administrative Judge Smith forced the proceedings into his private chambers where he told Robert Moore-Stewart that the Constitutional Question Notice would be held first and separate from the criminal trials. This unfair process violates Section 11 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms because it is more difficult to prove the police and the state have acted irrationally, applying the law arbitrarily and punishing select individuals in a manner that is grossly disproportionate considering current social norms, without the evidence of police behavior from the criminal trials being introduced into court.

Now, after years of delays with the Constitutional Question Hearing, the crown wants to proceed with the criminal trials, primarily because the Supreme Court of Canada recently considered whether the law violates the harm principle, which is dealt with in Section 7 of the Charter. While the harm principle argument alone failed, in a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court acknowledged that constitutional issues around whether the law is rational, arbitrary or grossly disproportionate have not yet been explored.
While waiting for the Supreme Court, Ted was arrested with Colby Budda at the CBC of C on January 3, 2002 and then he was singled out with a warrant a few months later on March 21, 2002. In fact, the CBC of C has survived five police raids at it's storefront in Victoria, though Ted was only arrested in the first two, leaving the group over S30,000 in debt. The last raid was February 19, 2003 and that trial should occur on May 5 and 6.     

After agreeing with the Crown Prosecutor in January of this year that it would be the most efficient use of court resource if the Constitutional Question Hearings were held at the conclusion of the criminal trials, we persuaded Administrative Judge Smith to change the process that had allowed for a three-year delay. Originally when the four trial dates were set not enough time was granted for all of the witness, police, expert witnesses, and constitutional questions from the first arrest. A scheduling problem with a police officer made the Crown ask that the January 3 trial is held before the cookie trial. Therefore, when we asked for a delay of the Uvic trial, which has been put off until September 29 and 30, without delaying any of the other three, it changed the order of trials around significantly.
There are many reasons why it seems advantageous to have the January 3 trial first, primarily because the courts have strongly supported the medical use of cannabis (see Cannabis Digest issue #1, Hitzig decision). No one can be convicted of an unconstitutional law and there could be no more clear an example of an irrational and harmful law than those prohibiting the use and distribution of cannabis to the incurably ill.

Also, Ted was told by the Victoria police to get a store in the first place and that is why he was not initially charged when the raid occurred.

Fifth Annual Cannabis Convention

On Sunday March 14, the International Hempology 101 Society will host it's Fifth Annual Cannabis Convention at Camosun College. The event is on the Lansdowne Campus in the Young building's Gibson's Auditorium from 1 pm to 4 pm and admission is free. This years speeches include:
Michael Straumietis: Brian Taylor:
Chris Bennett: Mathew Elrod:
Brian Johnson: Steve Palmer: Leon 'Ted' Smith:
Advanced Nutrients Co-Owner.
Cannabis Health Editor,
Mayor of Grand Forks, BC, 1996-99. Webmaster, author.
Drug sense cyber activist
Transglobal Hemp Corporation rep Disabilities advocate. International Hempology 101 Society President.

The general theme to this convention is 'growing together' with a focus on the history of cannabis activism on the BC coast and how the sub-culture is becoming a legitimate industry.

Featured in the November 10, 2003 edition of Forbes, Advanced Nutrients has been more openly supportive of medical cannabis growers than any other fertilizer company in North America. With 86 different products grossly generating $12 million in sales in 2003, the company has plenty of incentive to improve upon fertilizers for medical cannabis users and is keenly interested in being a leader in the industry. Co-owner Michael Straumietis is looking forward to explaining why his company has been so supportive of the medical use of cannabis and what new products will soon be available for growers.

Opening the day will be Chris Bennett, as he has done all five years. He will talk about his work over the past fifteen years learning and teaching about the history of cannabis and prohibition. His story touches many people, as well as aspects of the movement, including the fact that his wife, Rene Boje, is a well known refugee who could be sent back to the US to jail for helping medical cannabis users in California.

Brian Taylor will talk about the recent proposed changes to Health Canada's MMAR and how the cannabis community can use the media, like his magazine Cannabis Health, to help the movement become an integrated part of mainstream society.

Covering the scene of hemp on the island will be Brian Johnson who will focus on the successes and challenges faced by the Canadian hemp industry.
Mathew Elrod will update the audience with Internet sources of international news and political commentary, acknowledging changes in cannabis laws around the world.

Steve Palmer will discuss his need for medical cannabis clubs and how people can advocate to the government.
Ted Smith will conclude the symposium with an overview of constitutional challenges to the prohibition of cannabis in Canada, followed by a summary of his court cases, which should begin May 26.

Ted faces six trafficking-related charges stemming from the four times he has been arrested since November 8, 2000. His lawyer, Robert Moore-Stewart, has prepared arguments against the law based upon six different sections of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Other information booths and activists are expected to attend and join in on one of the best annual functions the cannabis culture offers on Vancouver Island.

Supreme Court Decision
R. v. Malmo-Levine; R.v. Caine

Upholding opinion:
pp 3: Even if the "harm principle" relied upon by the appellants could be characterized as a legal principle, it does not meet the other requirements. First, there is no sufficient consensus that the harm principle is vital or fundamental to our societal notion of criminal justice. While the presence of harm to others may justify legislative action under the criminal law power, the absence of proven harm does not create an unqualified s.7 barrier to legislative action. Nor is there any consensus that the distinction between harm to others and harm to self is of controlling importance. Finally, the harm principle is not a measurable standard against which to measure deprivation of life, liberty or security of the person.

Pp 5: A criminal law that is shown to be arbitrary or irrational will infringe s. 7.However, in light of the state interest in the avoidance of harm to its citizens; the prohibition on marijuana possession is neither arbitrary nor irrational. Marijuana is a psychoactive drug "whose use causes alteration of mental function", according to the trial judge in C's case. This alteration creates a potential harm to others when the user engages in driving, flying and other activities involving complex machinery. Chronic users may suffer serious health problems. Vulnerable groups are at particular risk, including adolescence with a history of poor school performance, pregnant women and persons with pre existing conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, schizophrenia or other drug dependencies. These findings of fact disclose a sufficient state interest to support parliaments intervention should parliament decide that it is wise to continue to intervene, subject to a constitutional of gross disproportionality. While parliament has addressed some of the harmful conduct elsewhere in the criminal code, one type of legal control to prevent harm does not logically oust other potential forms of legal control, subject as always to the limitation of gross disproportionality. Moreover parliaments decision to move in one area of public health and safety without at the same time moving in other areas (e.g. alcohol and tobacco) is not, on that account alone, arbitrary or irrational.

Dissenting opinion
pp264:   Arguments solely based on vague general costs to the health care system cannot justify imprisonment for any kind of risky undertaking. There is hardly a net benefit to society in imprisoning; on the basis of the costs they impose on the healthcare and welfare systems, those very persons who may need access to and support from such systems. Canadians do not expect to go to jail whenever they embark on some adventure which involves a possibility of injury to themselves. J see no reason to single out those who may jeopardize their health by smoking marijuana.

pp 268 Most if not all of the arguments before this court have focused on possession for personal use. On this record, it is virtually impossible to determine whether possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking causes more than little or no harm to others. 1 am aware of the health risks associated with marijuana use could be used to demonstrate the trafficker, involving third parties, such as, for instance, the issue of consent. Pp 30]: The harm caused by using the criminal law to punish the simple use of marijuana far outweighs the benefits that its prohibition can bring. LeBelJ. notes that the fact that jail sentences are rarely imposed illustrates the perception of judges that imprisonment is not a sanction that befits the inherent dangers of using marijuana. In the case of the appellant Caine, Howard J. also observed that the prohibition had brought the law into disrepute in the eyes of over one million people. These are exactly the kinds of reactions that are indicative of the arbitrariness of the impugned provisions. As I have already mentioned and as Howard J. observed, when a state prohibits socially neutral conduct, it exposes itself to the risk of eroding it's credibility.

Trial Dates in Victoria

May 5-6 Raid of CBC of Feb 19, 2003 Scott Johnson and Ryan Fink May 26  Raid of CBC of Jan 3,2002
Ted Smith and Colby Budda June 16 Cookie giveaway of Nov 15,2000
Ted Smith June 28, 30 Raid ofCBCofMar 21,2002
Ted Smith Sept 29,30  U of Vic arrest of Nov 8, 2000
Ted Smith


After struggling in a new location, the Coombs/Parksville branch of the CBC of C has permanently shut closed, though a new group is already trying to replace it. While the area is renowned for a tolerant attitude, moving close to a school proved a fatal mistake to the reputation of this club. Though no police activity or emergencies occurred because of the lack of tact or professionalism of the Coombs club, the situation has unfortunately digressed to the point where the headquarters of the CBC of C has no choice but to protect it's reputation and integrity by cutting all formal relationships with those still providing medicine in Coombs. The new group is providing a delivery service with the same old phone number. We wish this new group good luck as they try to provide this valuable service to the sick and disabled.

Member Profile: Ian McArther, by Kelly McPherson

My name is Ian McArthur and I am 53 yrs old. At age 26, I graduated as a trained Chef in Vancouver. I moved to Victoria and began working as a Chef at the Oak Bay Marina. At that time of my life I was extremely agile and rode my bicycle everywhere. After 6 months in Victoria, on my way from the corner store, BAM! , I was hit by a car without headlights on.

On arrival at hospital, I was in a coma, my heartbeat over 220 beats a minute. I was wheeled directly into the operating room for surgery by Dr. G. S. Cameron, the best neurosurgeon at the time. In the operating room I hemorrhaged and died twice. After the surgery I remained in a coma with an unchanged heart rate for 2 months.

When I awoke, I was severely mentally disabled. I was unable to speak or move and I was in agony. I suffered extensive damage to one side of my brain and I could not feel my left side. Over the next 20 yrs, I learned sign language, relearned to speak and graduated from my wheelchair.
My right hemisphere is primarily scar tissue and when the membrane around it swells, I get severe traction headaches. I have tried painkillers to no avail. Luckily, I met some friends who have infused medicinal cannabis into cookies, cakes and more. When I ingest these items, my pain decreases considerably, sometimes to nil. As a chronic pain sufferer, I highly recommend the use of medical marijuana.

Elvy Musikka, by Gayle Quin

Elvy Musikka is the only female-one of eight people in the United States of America-who are supplied medical cannabis federally.
I had the great pleasure of meeting Elvy before the break for Christmas. She gave me more to think about over that holiday season than I care to think about most times. She gave me a present that can't be wrapped, but that can definitely be shared.

She shared with me time, stories, pieces of her life. The most precious things that can be shared. But what she gave me was courage. The kind that does not come easy. It's the courage it takes to stand in front of your friends and ask for help with arms outstretched. The courage it takes to cross boarders and ask of friends when you know they have been shot for helping their friends, for doing the very same things you are doing. The courage it takes when your son looks you in the eye and says "But Mom, you could get arrested!" These are the things Elvy and I shared, the things I believe all people share if they are brought up with a healthy love and understanding for their fellow mankind.

Elvy was not a pot head in the beginning. In the beginning she was a woman who was blind. Born with congenial cataracts, she later in life developed glaucoma. She underwent numerous operations, painful drops and medications that she had acute reactions to. Almost to the point of suicide she said before she allowed her own doctor to talk her into trying something that was illegal. He himself had to procure some for her before she would try it. The first couple of joints didn't do anything. The next time he got better medicine and Elvy noticed a difference before she finished the first joint.

Cannabis keeps the internal fluid pressures of the eye from building up and blocking the optic nerve, thus helping to retain vision. Now her big problem is getting through the night. THE is fat soluble and so goes through your bodies system in four hours. Most of us like to sleep for six to eight hour's undisturbed to have a sunny disposition in the morning. If your medicine only lasts for four of those hours you're either going to wake up with further impaired vision from the previous day, or you are going to have to set an alarm to get you up in the middle of the night to take more medicine.

The next bigger problem she faces is her illness is degenerative, meaning it's going to keep getting worse according to doctors. I'd like to add here that this is now a point that Elvy herself likes to argue. It seems the vision in both of her eyes is slowly improving over the years since she started to use cannabis. She smokes cannabis, eats cannabis, and uses it as a poultice not only on her eyes, but also to heal her arm when she broke it last year. The federal government doesn't think she needs increasingly stronger medicine for her decreasing vision. They would not give her anything else to try, so when she heard about our B.C. bud she decided to come and try for herself. Her suspicions were confirmed and B.C. cannabis made her more comfortable right away. She loved everyone's medicinal baking and was eagerly going to try Ryanol as a way of helping throughout the night.

Also, because of their war on drugs (and other related issues), Elvy and a lot of other American citizens are very uncomfortable with their government right now and are turning to their neighbors to the north and south for refuge. Elvy, many others, and myself were very disappointed with the fact Steve Kubby's hearing was turned down. We have already seen the beginnings of a migration similar to that of the Vietnam war draft dogger epidemic. I myself welcome them with open arms because these are the people who dare to stand up for what's right and not for what's easiest. Every night I hear Elvy's last words to me "We have to find a way to work together, to unite and beat them." And I believe that time is almost here, that lots of people from around the globe are thinking the same way.
Elvy is the best kind of activist we have, not because she knows more, or cares more or is braver than anyone else, but because she has endless courage And what helps her, myself, and many others through lonely nights is knowing that the next day we'll be with people who care, and share, and dare.

Thank-you Elvy Mussika for being you. For more info on Elvy's history please look up Musikka, Elvy. Pages 52-57 of Lester Grinspoon,M.D., and James B. Bakalar."Marihuana The Forbidden Medicine." Elvy makes herself available for Court trials, Interviews, and Presentations whenever possible and can be contacted through the club.


Bob Marley smoked ganja to be closer to Jah, and sang songs of freedom for his people. Grant Krieger ingests cannabis to alleviate his pain from Multiple Sclerosis, and smokes weed on the front steps of a Calgary courthouse for his people.

Grant Krieger's fight began in December 1994 when he attempted suicide. He began to build a ladder out of the darkness, toward theprohibition porthole. For those who haven't heard about Grant'strials upon trials and his many, many, triumphs; allow me to updateyou with the sequence of events that sprung forth after he hit rock bottom.

After one year of regularly ingesting cannabis, Grant's seizures reduced dramatically and his doctor visits dwindled to a mere three, from the thirty-eight odd visits the year prior. His crusade began in 1996 when Grant Krieger and his wife, Marie, decided that he should venture to Holland to obtain a doctor's prescription to ingest. After obtaining his prescription, he tried to enter Canada with it filled and was arrested in Holland and detained for several days. The event made international headlines and inspired many, who require, to fight for their rights. Even though Grant arrived in Canada with his prescription empty, his perseverance was overflowing.

One victory led to another. In 2000, Justice Darlene Acton entitled Krieger the right to grow, ingest and possess. According to Krieger, "that's one helluva victory". What the Crown continues to contest is that no limits were set on what Krieger is allowed to grow.

Recently, on December 23 2003, the Supreme Court of Canada denied the Crown's second appeal on the Acton ruling. The ruling may be Krieger's saving grace from a bust earlier this year.

On January 09 Grant was pulled over in Manitoba for an obstructed registration sticker. Cops seized $7500, pot and a Tim Horton's gift certificate from his vehicle despite his constitutional exemption.
  Nevertheless, Grant and Marie continue to build the ladder for people who choose to medicate with natures remedies to ease their suffering. The Krieger Foundation operates in nine communities across Canada and aims to double that in 2004. Established to honour the Canadian charter of rights of freedoms, the Krieger Foundation is responsible for supplying to those who require clean, medicinal grade cannabis.

Maintaining the foundation is Grant's greatest challenge, due in part to the lack of federal support and recognition of "alternative" medicine. To help finance the foundation Marie Krieger wrote "cooking for life" which can be found on their website at . The bulk of the funding for the foundation comes from the people, for the people - a concept that is far to "alternative" for our present state of political leadership to comprehend. Regardless of the walls built by our federal government, Grant Krieger is still building his ladder, and with every success, we are all climbing one-step closer to the

"If I have been given the right to ingest for my illness, everyone should be given that right to self-medicate with Cannabis. It should be every (adult) Canadian's freedom of choice whether or not to ingest this beneficial plant in which ever form they wish, and the Krieger Foundation is here to make that possible". Grant Krieger

Tanya Brown
The Krieger Foundation: Calgary 403-235-1244, 272-5204; Edmonton 780-432-0827; Lethbridge 403-328-4264; Regina 306359-0357;  Winnipeg 204-785-8613; Kenora 807-467-8651; Saskatoon 306-668-3941; Airdrie 403-912-9167

Pot'litical Corner, By Steve Pittner

As a federal election looms across Canada, Cannabis Health Journal interviewed some federal N.D.P candidates in British Columbia, in their spring 2004 edition. Here are some excerpts I feel deserve to be repeated, to show that an alternative to Paul Martin's liberals is out there.

Alex T. Atamanenko N.D.P (federal party representative for the B.C Southern Interior riding), proudly states," The N.D.P. remains faithful to the 1999 resolution, calling for the Decriminalization of Cannabis. We want Canada to take steps, that reflect a more intelligent and compassionate direction for marijuana use". In the C.H interview of Libby Davies, an outspoken Federal N.D.P candidate for Vancouver East, and supporter of drug policy reforms, to prevent criminalization and the harm caused by Canadian prohibitionist policies. States, "Health Canada's record is appalling". Regarding the Medical Marijuana Access program, "They have to be dragged kicked and screaming, towards a more rational and accessible program. Compassion clubs and other groups who know what is happening on the front line, are not being consulted or listened to." Drawing on her own experiences from working with chronically ill people, Libby claims." All they are asking for is a clean quality and affordable supply."

Recently, the Federal N.D.P had pushed for several amendments to bill C-38, in the fall of 2003. Key issues raised at that time were; Amnesty Provisions, for over 600,000 Canadians with criminal records of simple pot possession, Non-commercial Transfer of Marijuana, to make passing a joint or up to 30 grams not a trafficking offence. Also of concern is the Controlled Drug and Substances Act, that needs amending, regarding Reasonable Grounds Required for Searches, and Records Sharing with foreign jurisdictions for personal possession or cultivation fines. Unfortunately, since February of 2004, bill C-38 has now  been re-introduced as Bill C-10 at the same level of debate it was in the fall of 2003. It would appear the current programs and proposed changes to the law are deeply flawed, and lack a long-term strategy with a vision beyond decriminalization .The economic potential for an assortment of local communities with regulation and a non-punitive approach (like liquor and tobacco) would have a more desirable effect. However, if any of these changes are to become a reality, it will take the masses during the next Federal election to get out and vote.

Published Mandates

CANNABIS DIGEST is a quarterly publication by the International Hempology 101 Society, which provides current legal, medical and political updates concerning the use, growth and supply of cannabis to those in medicinal need. CANNABIS DIGEST will focus upon the members and supporters of the Cannabis Buyers' Clubs of Canada.
The CBC of C mandate is to provide cannabis to people with incurable physical medical problems or as otherwise directed by their doctor. This includes individuals with rare, obscure medical conditions where either the symptoms or side-effects of prescription drugs can be alleviated by using cannabis. Also, for people suffering from permanent physical pain or diseases, the ability of cannabis to induce relaxation, stimulate the appetite and help with sleeping is fundamental to maintaining a tolerable lifestyle.
THE INTERNATIONAL HEMPOLOGY 101 SOCIETY is an incorporated non-profit society dedicated to educating the public about hemp, cannabis and prohibition. We educate about the agriculrural, environmental and industrial advantages of growing hemp and using other eco-friendly products, as well as the medicinal and spiritual uses of cannabis and other plants and substances. We educate about the roots of prohibition, who or what we are up against and what we need to do individually and collectively in order to change the laws and misconceptions, which are suppressing the remarkable cannabis sativa plant.

Member Profile: Shawn Saunders Time for reason

Imagine for a second, that you are going to the grocery store to buy Tylenol for an unrelenting headache. You search high and low, shelf-to-shelf but don't see it anywhere. You make your way to the cashier to ask where they it is, he tells you that it's illegal to sell them to you because it has been prohibited. What do you do? Aspirin just doesn't cut it and you don't want to get hooked on the prescription drug from your local pharmacy. 1 guess you are going to have to go to the dreaded "black market' to get varying degrees of quality Tylenol. This is the feeling a medical marijuana user would have if they encountered a shut down buyer's club. I am a 30-year-old man suffering from Multiple Sclerosis. 1 have been on every drug imaginable, from a three time a week injection (Rebif) to the (counteract the effects of the injections) Tylenol (for fever) and Gravol (nausea). The injections made me so depressed that I had to try a couple different types of antidepressants (Luvox and Zoloft) to no avail and became suicidal. I figured there is no way M.S. was going to make me kill myself! I quit everything for a couple of months and started to get very achy and crampy, so I figured, after a year or so hiatus, that 1 would rediscover cannabis. I can't begin to describe how good it is for my muscles which are sore in perpetuity. The people at the CBCoC have potentially done God's work by making it easier for people to get the medicine that they need. It is naturally occurring, has yet to be responsible for a single death. Where as even something as legal Tylenol and alcohol has killed and will continue to kill on account of it being readily available to just about anyone astute enough to get it. It is infuriating to see such naivety when "they" have been studying cannabis since at the very least the Ledain commission. It seems very silly when put into that perspective and it seemed that way for quite some time. Hopefully society will soon embrace something that should have never been pillaged from us in the first place.
Shawn Saunders

Advocates Corner, by Steve Palmer Disabled Advocate

Last week, the Auditor General tabled a scathing report on the Ministry of Human Resources "reassessment" of People with disabilities, in British Columbia.

The new MHR Minister, Stan Hagen, was quick to defend the ministry's reassessment of some 14,000 clients, and with a whopping price tag of more than $5 million find just 46 people who did not qualify no wonder!

Although the Minister denies the reassessment had anything to do with money, few I think... will buy it.

In this old Advocates humble opinion, this unnecessary waste of scant taxpayer resources, demonstrates the prejudice of this government towards PWD, and will no doubt, continue to put saving money, above giving us the equality and respect we deserve.


Dr.Ethan Russo, Melanie Dreher, & Mary Lynn Mathre
Pg. 118 The possibility of a "drug free society" is unrealistic. People seek and use drugs to feel better. Medications/drugs are not risk free, but the risks can be minimized only with accurate and readily available information on the harmful effects prior to their use. Compared to most medications available today, cannabis is remarkably safe and effective and therefore should be available as an initial option to patients. As a social/recreational drug, the effects of cannabis are pleasant for many with little personal or societal risks and therefore may be a safer choice compared to other social/recreational drugs used by adults. While concern is justified about the dangers involving children and teenagers using drugs, the lies and cruelty of the marijuana prohibition are confusing to young people who learn not to trust their government. The harm resulting from the prohibition of cannabis costs individuals and our society as a whole much more than the drug itself.

When viewed from a nursing perspective, cannabis can be a useful therapeutic agent if it were legally available. Cannabis could be a useful harm reduction agent for substance abuse if it were regulated. The greatest harm from cannabis is the threat of legal consequences related to its illegal status. Nurses and other health care providers can play a vital role in reducing the harmful effects of medication/drug use. Health care professionals can teach patients and the public how to minimize the potentially harmful effects of cannabis when it is used as a medicine or social/recreational drug, but as long as cannabis remains in schedule 1, health care providers will be reluctant to talk with their patients about this drug. The role of the healthcare provider is severely compromised by cannabis prohibition and society suffers from this unjust, cruel, and costly policy. Published by Haworth Press, 2002.

Given that this is the first editorial in Cannabis Digest, it is appropriate to explain the intentions of this fledgling publication. We hope to allow Cannabis Digest to grow into a 16 page, black & white medical cannabis journal which provides personal stories, court transcripts, research updates and current information about Health Canada and the medical cannabis community. This format should enable anyone on or off the Internet to print and/or photocopy mass copies. Many professionals are looking for current, accurate and relevant information about the medical uses of cannabis, how the prohibition laws are changing in court and the activities of organizations involved in the fight to legalize the herb. Cannabis Digest wants to produce material which will enhance the communities understanding of the people and issues involved in the struggle to secure access to medical cannabis. Please contact us if you think you can help CANNABIS DIGEST.

Thanks to all our contributors: Ted Smith, Steve Palmer, Rev. Joe, Gayle Quin, Christiaan Bell, Steve Pittner, James Luker, Shawn Saunders, Tyler MacDonald, Tanya Brown Kelly McPherson and Authors: Dr.Ethan Russo, Melanie Dreher & Mary Lynn Mathre

Advertising Information: call Ted Smith: (250) 381-4220

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