KIDS and Cannabis
ISSUE # 40 SPRING 2014
Ted Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Andrew Brown <email@example.com>
Owen Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org>
UN Changing View...................................P.03
Dieter MacPherson <email@example.com>
Jim Mooney <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Updates, Warnings, Suggestions..........P.06
Gayle Quin Owen Smith
Acceptance of ECS in Med Schools........P.09
Ras Kahleb Debbie Stultz-Giffin Diane Walsh
Alberta Hemp Plant.................................P.14
Kids and Cannabis...................................P.16
Cover by www.ivanart.net
Cannabinoids Matter................................P.17 For editorial questions, letters, or information on submitting: <email@example.com>
826 Johnson Street V8W 1N3 Phone: 250-381-4220 www.hempology.ca
Rastafari Settlement at Pinnacle...........P.20 Wordsearch / Comics..............................P.22
The Cannabis Digest will not be held responsible for claims made within the pages of the newspaper, nor those made by advertisers. We do not suggest or condone illegal activities, and urge readers to research their country’s laws, and/ or talk to their doctors, before engaging in any activities that could be deemed as illegal or dangerous to one’s health.
Colour the Cover Contest!!!! Colour in the cover of this issue—with markers, pencil crayons, paint, crayons, or anything spurred by your imagination—and you could win a prize! 1st prize: a 55/45 Hemp/Cotton printed T-shirt 2nd prize: a special prize pack 3rd prize: a Hempology 101 gift pack Bring your entry to the club, or take a picture and email it to <firstname.lastname@example.org> by June 15th, 2014 Winners will be contacted shortly after—make sure to include some contact information. Entries will be judged on originality, effort, and all around hempiness.
Cannabis Digest • Spring 2014
Growing Demands for UN Drug Policy Reform
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime discouraging criminal sanctions for drug use By Phillip Smith The United Nations’ Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) has wrapped up the High-Level Segment portion of its annual meeting in Vienna. The session revealed schisms among countries about future steps on global drug control even as the global drug bureaucrats gave signs of softening in some policy areas, especially around emphasizing public health as opposed to criminalization. An indication of relaxation came when a key working group of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) announced the release of groundbreaking recommendations discouraging criminal sanctions for drug use. The Scientific Consultation Working Group on Drug Policy, Health and Human Rights of the UNODC— which includes Nora Volkow, head of the US National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)—released the recommendations as the session got underway. The working group recommendations say ‘criminal sanctions are not beneficial’ in addressing the spectrum of drug use and misuse. Getting down to business at the CND in Vienna (unodc.org) The meeting ended with a formal joint ministerial statement agreed to at the last minute after months of contentious wrangling, but one where countries failed to agree on a common approach and where certain fractious issues—such as the use of the death penalty for drug offenses or even the mention of the term “harm reduction”—were omitted entirely. Countries critical of the global drug policy status quo, particularly from Europe and Latin America, were joined by an ever-stronger civil society presence at the CND. The message of reform grows ever louder and presages an especially contentious next step, the UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on Drugs, set for 2016. It’s not just change in the halls of the UN drug bureaucracies, but changes on the ground that are helping to drive the debate. Uruguay and two US state, Colorado and Washington, have legalized marijuana in apparent contravention of the global drug treaties, and Latin American countries in particular have for several years now expressed growing dismay at the drug war status quo. Uruguay’s decision to legalize marijuana commerce was “not a solution to dealing with the world’s drug problem,” UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) head Yuri Fedotov said just days ago, and the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) called the Uruguayan government “pirates” for going up against the UN drug conventions. But the UN drug bureaucrats were singing a slightly softer tune last week in Vienna. Taking in the discussions in Vienna (idpc.net) “My impression from the debates so far is that the prevailing mood is to say no to dismantling the provisions of the conventions, but yes to returning to the original spirit of the conventions: protection of health, welfare, and safety of people,” Fedotov said in anodyne remarks at the release of the ministerial statement.
“The provisions of the conventions indeed are flexible, human rights based, and founded on the protection of health. I would like particularly to stress the need of strengthening the public health in a comprehensive, balanced, scientific evidence-based approach, that is very important, and fully consistent with human rights standards,” Fedotov continued. “There is also a growing need for every country to move away from compulsory treatments and punitive measures and towards embracing these approaches, including protection against HIV/AIDS, as envisaged by the Conventions.” The ministerial statement itself, a compromise document, for the most part blandly supported the existing international drug control regime, although it, too, signaled a shift toward a more public health-oriented approach, and it obliquely referenced ongoing dissent by noting “the ongoing discussions in some regions on how to address the world drug problem, in light of the current situation and policies, and emphasize the importance of a broad, transparent, inclusive and scientific evidence-based discussion among Member States, with inputs from other relevant stakeholders, as appropriate, in multilateral settings, on the most effective ways to counter the world drug problem consistent with the three international drug control conventions…” But behind the smooth language of the official statements, there was real anger and dismay at the toll of more than a half-century of global drug prohibition. “People have been sacrificed in our actions to tackle the drug problem,” Colombian Justice Minister Gomez Mendez told delegates. “We call for more effective ways to achieve the objectives stated in international agreements. Alternatives are needed. Drug policies cannot travel at the speed of a telegraph while drug problems develop at the speed of broadband Internet.” ENCOD’s Coffee Sniffer Brigade reenacted prohibitions of yore, to the bemusement of CND security. (encod. org) “We should not be driven by ideologies and wishful thinking. We unfortunately know today that the idea of a drug-free world based on the belief that, if we eradicate supply, we will reduce demand, is not achievable. We should look to and evaluate alternative regimes appearing in North and South America and in Europe rather than just be silent about it”, said the Czech Republic delegate, echoing the calls for drug policy reform made by not only Colombia, but also Guatemala, Ecuador, Mexico and Uruguay. “Since 1961, due to a rigid and narrow interpretation of the UN drug conventions, there has been one single means to control the use of cannabis— criminalization has been imposed, “said Diego Canepa, representative of the delegation of Uruguay. “We have don’t have a magic recipe, but we are trying to find a way out and snatch the market away from traffickers. We have a responsibility to represent our citizens, and not to take the challenge and act accordingly would be an unforgivable error.”
The Mexican delegation said that health policies should be encouraged instead of the criminalization of drug use and that a thorough review of the international drug strategies is required. The delegation of Guatemala highlighted that “the revision of the UN drug conventions is needed and that the Latin American hemispheric debate is ongoing.” “The failure of present drug policies has generated questions from governments, policy-makers, intellectuals and civil society organizations from across the region,” said the Ecuadorian delegation. “Many voices are calling for a change in paradigm in the understanding and approach to the drug phenomenon.” Even the US delegation was sounding eerily reformist. Acting Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP—the drug czar’s office) head Michael Botticelli called for continuing down “the path of criminal justice reform” and cited recent Obama administration moves to minimize mandatory minimum drug sentences. But the call for reform came most loudly in the person of Eliot Ross, representing the International Network of People Who Use Drugs, who noted that human rights law and drug control law continued to be inconsistent, and called for a comprehensive overhaul of the treaties and amnesty for drug prisoners. Changing the global drug control system for the better is agonizingly slow work—it’s been 16 years since hundreds of global intellectuals signed an open letter in The New York Times calling on the last UNGASS on Drugs to begin to adopt fundamental reforms. But, under the weight of rising pressure, the creaky machine is starting to move. “We derive hope from the fact that, contrary to earlier CND meetings, there are now countries openly condemning prohibition as the basic answer to drug problems,” said ENCOD (the European NGO Council for Just and Effective Drug Policies). “More than ever, not just governmental but UNODC officials see the writing on the wall. Instead of insisting on the need to create ‘a drug free world’, they refer to the need to protect people and societies from the damages of drugs
and drug trafficking. We continue to urge governments to put these words into action and steadily direct their policy towards legal regulation as the only way to reduce harms and increase public safety. We hope for and expect major change at the 2016 UNODC meetings in New York. Prohibitionary drug laws are the problem. Removing them is the solution.” In a theatrical jab at prohibitions gone by, ENCOD activists reprised the strange saga of the Coffee Sniffer Brigade, a group of disabled soldiers who had to enforce the ban on coffee roasting and brewing that was imposed by the Prussian King Frederick the Great in the second half of the 18th Century. Delegates reacted first with reservation, then with support, the activists reported. “The remaking of the system is happening before our eyes. For decades governments used the United Nations to push a one-size-fits-all approach,” said Joanne Csete, deputy director of the Open Society Global Drug Policy Program. “The dissent we’re seeing today is the deconstruction of the international drug war.” “This is the beginning of a serious re-think on drug control,” said Ann Fordham, executive director of the International Drug Policy Consortium. “Billions of dollars have been wasted, millions of people have been criminalized, thousands of lives have been lost and the drug cartels carry on getting richer. Given this reality, the charade of a global consensus on drugs is now unacceptable, and some governments have found the courage to speak out.” Article reprinted usuing the Creative Commons Attribution license, and was first published on <www.stopthedrugwar.org>
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Issue Number 40
Injunction Conjunction A p a t i e n t ’s p e r s p e c t i v e o f t h e l e g a l a r g u m e n t s
By Debbie Stultz-Giffin You could almost hear the sound of thousands of cannabis seeds sprouting the weekend after Justice Manson ordered Health Canada to cease and desist with the full implementation of the Medical Marihuana Program Regulations when he provided legal protection to those patients who had been enrolled in the Medical Marihuana Access Regulations as of Sept. 30, 2013. Justice Manson “grandfathered in” these patients while they await a trial to examine the constitutionality of the MMPR. Interestingly, Health Canada is eager to preserve the vested economic interest of the major cannabis corporations as opposed to offering some of this country’s sickest citizens protection under our Charter of Rights and Freedoms. To force patients to worry about their personal health maintenance versus their liberty is unconscionable. Perhaps this governmental department should be renamed. “Wealth Canada” sounds more appropriate. The heartless approach of the Federal Conservative Government would have seen patients destroying all excess medication and cannabis plants, and mixing the debris with kitty litter to be deposited in the green bin curbside for refuse collection. Furthermore, patients had to notify Health Canada of what and how much they destroyed, and forward them verification of the same, or face a visit from the local constabulary at the request of the Federal Government at the end of Apr. All of these measures were promoted in the interest of “public safety.” Susan Boyd, drug policy and law expert, at the University of Victoria, says in her affidavit prepared for Allard V. Regina, “it is my opinion based on my past research and in particular my research for the book Killer Weed that the situation across Canada with respect to the
dangers from “grow ops” generally and “medical marihuana grow ops” specifically have been greatly exaggerated and overstated and are undoubtedly limited to a few exceptional cases, at least in relation to the medical marihuana situation. Most studies reported in the newspaper have overstated the situation and exaggerated the alleged problems leading politicians and others to seek to prohibit them instead of ensuring public safety, including safety from electrical, fire and mold hazards through appropriate regulation and inspection, including proper construction and ventilation and alarm systems as are available and in use for many other activities that are conducted in and about dwelling houses or outbuildings without any negative impact upon neighbours or others whatsoever. There does not appear to be any significant evidence of significant impact from fires, mold or public safety that has been documented and supported by peer reviewed research in Canada.” Further on in the affidavit, Boyd states, “June 11th, 2011, Health Canada announcement with respect to the proposed improvements and found once again that they were typical of news media claims with no evidence being provided to substantiate how many Canadians or what groups of people had concerns about the medical marihuana program simply making the usual assertions about exploitation by criminal elements, electrical and fire hazards and excess mould and poor air quality.” Boyd, and co-author Connie Carter, point out in Killer Weed that the RCMP are squarely to blame for painting the current landscape regarding the “growing” public concerns about the “risks” posed by indoor cannabis gardens in Canadian communities. I can clearly recall the sense of exasperation I experienced in 2004, when I read the remarks by Royal Canadian
Mounted Police Commissioner Guiliano Zaccardelli in the Vancouver Sun, now contained in the opening paragraph of Killer Weed. Zaccardelli alleged that “marijuana-growing houses are not ma and pa operations,” but were basically the devil’s work, heavily involved with organized crime. Anne MacLellan, then the Public Safety Minister, sang from the same songbook as she declared “grow-ops as one of the single biggest problems we face in our communities–they do represent a threat to public safety.” This article was a game-changing moment in the history of medical cannabis in Canada. Two short years after the release of the Canadian Senate Committee Report on Illegal Drugs proclaimed, “The continued prohibition of cannabis jeopardizes the health and well-being of Canadians much more than does the substance itself,” the head honcho of the RCMP and the Public Safety Minister of the day, appear to have conspired to re-launch a Reefer Madness campaign that would ultimately be used in an endeavour to discredit medical cannabis patients and trample their rights to retain their personal gardens. Couple that with mainstream media unquestioningly accepting what the RCMP convey to them in press releases and media interviews as being gospel truth. These unfounded concepts, like cannabis being wrapped up in organized crime, have been allowed to perpetuate through the media like wildfire at the behest of the RCMP ever since the appearance of this 2004 article, dressed up with allegations of copious amounts of cash, violence, and intimidation being associated with the majority of grow ops, followed by the exaggerated claims about the number of joints being kept away from our children. Ten years later and these allegations are being used as the warped rationale
for sacrificing critically and chronically ill patients to feed the coffers of government-sanctioned corporate cannabis producers. Yet according to the Mar. 18 edition of The Chronicle Herald, the crime rate was down in Nova Scotia by nine percent in 2013. Patients are your friends, neighbours, and family members. They are not criminals. Currently one in 380 Nova Scotians are “legal” cannabis patients. Health Canada have determined that in ten years, it will become one in 38. However, governmental statistics illustrate that one in 38 patients are actually in our midst now, struggling to locate a supportive doctor, or still too fearful due to Health Canada’s approach to patients and medical cannabis. The fact that the catalyst for this program was a court order has been evident since day one. Health Canada’s medical cannabis program has a lengthy track record for incompetency and patient abuse. Rona Ambrose has admitted this fact on at least two occasions in recent months. The time is long overdue to revisit R. vs. Parker, Ontario. In July 2000, the federal government was granted a twelve-month reprieve to create a program equitable for all patients requiring cannabis as medicine, or cannabis would be legal for all Canadians. Terry Parker, the defendant and a gentleman with epilepsy, is still unable to navigate the original medical cannabis program to gain legal protection. This charade of a program should be dead in the water and the cannabis laws repealed from the CDSA.
Cannabis Digest • Spring 2014
Our world is a changing place, and for those of us working in the cannabis field, change has never happened so quickly. Being able to adjust to changing environments is critical for the survival of an individual, organization, or even idea. Indeed, being able to help prepare the way for change to happen often allows one to be positioned to take advantage of the evolving situation. Opportunities to enter the legal cannabis industry are cropping up all over. With the legalization of cannabis in Colorado and Washington state unfolding before everyone’s eyes, investors are frothing at the mouth at the prospects of making vast profits. Jurisdictions around the world are reconsidering the policies regarding medical cannabis, recreational cannabis, or both. Often lost in this heated discussion
is the hemp plant. Lost, but not forgotten. Many farmers are also anxious to see cannabis lose its bad rap so they can start growing it on their farms. It is with hemp that the true potential for this plant comes to life. Here in Canada, things seem to be going backwards, sideways, forward, and upside-down all at the same time. Certainly the general population seems ready for change, though there are some pockets of resistance. Unfortunately, the biggest opponent of legalization here is the reigning Conservative government. New medical cannabis regulations that turn patients into criminals for growing their own medicine are going to wreak havoc. Licensed Producers seem poised to develop massive grow-ops across the country, but dispensaries are left out of the picture again, forcing patients to purchase their herb by mail order. Hope for the future seems to lay with the Liberal party and their young leader. With growing support for legalization within the party, it seems they are the logical choice for many herb-loving Canadians in the next election. Certainly the NDP have been disappointing. But the next election seems far away. In my own life, the past few years have seen many changes. After the bakery trial, Revenue Canada came after me for not collecting GST and paying employee taxes, which forced me to declare bankruptcy and turn the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club into a nonprofit society. This has been a dream come true, as the group, under the leadership of Dieter
5 Times They are a Changin’ Macpherson, has slowly flourished. When my book came out around the same time, I hoped to lead the life of a famous author, traveling the world and bringing light to the plant. That has not worked out, as sales have dwindled since its release. For better or worse, it seems the age of books is drawing to an end. Meanwhile, the newspaper has slowly improved to its current state. We have built a solid team of writers and advertisers. Hopefully, the paper will continue to grow in size and distribution as the legalization train rolls in. Though it has taken a lot longer than I expected it would take to get the paper breaking even, now that we are close to paying for it, there should be nothing but blue sky ahead. On the other hand, some things in my personal life have not been so great. My lover, Gayle Quin, has had the cancer spread throughout her body. Most of my time now is spent looking after her and enjoying the time we have been given together. She is seeing the best doctor in the world, Dr. Neil McKinney, and we are doing everything we can to help her fight this battle. In order to spend as much time with Gayle as possible, I am going to be ending a number of Hempology 101 activities that I have organized over the years. This includes the free non-credit lecture series I taught at the University of Victoria, the annual tournament of my game show “Reach for the Pot,” the annual anniversary march of Hempology 101, cannabis caroling, and the annual cannabis contests. While these events have
EDITORIAL: Buying Into Legalization
Andrew Brown Editor
It’s pretty crazy sitting here finishing off issue 40. The past years have seen a lot of changes in the movement towards legalization, and well, the world in general. In the U.S. with Colorado and Washington enjoying full legalization, we are
able to see that the pros of legalization that activists have touted for years have happened, and the negatives prohibitionists have cautioned really haven’t come to fruition. Some unexpected positives have also occurred, such as out of State applications to the University of Colorado going up by 43 percent, which may or may not be directly related in full to the State’s cannabis laws, but I would like to think so. The State of Colorado in January alone brought in $3.5 million in tax revenue, which is reason for governments to celebrate the idea of legalization. Yet, here in the Great White North, the Conservative government is as puckered as ever, while continuing on their reign of terror over medical pa-
tients. (Read more about this in the centre spread) It is mind twisting to fathom the logic our government is using to maintain prohibition, while at the same time pushing through MMPR regulations designed for corporations to profit from sick Canadians. It is as if they are trying to allow law enforcement and every other industry that benefits from prohibition to enjoy the fruits of illegality, while opening the floodgates to big business to enjoy the profits from a new medical industry. It is difficult to hear dollar amounts, for tax revenue or potential profit, constantly thrown around as reason to legalize or change laws. Crime reduction should be considered, as should government resource re-allocation. With both
been interesting and a lot of fun for me and many others, I feel now is the time to let go most of the events I organize in Victoria so that I may concentrate on life at home and future projects. This leaves me the weekly 420 circles at the University of Victoria, Apr. 20, Cannabis Day, and Halloweed to still organize—commitments I feel I can manage for a long time. Hopefully, this change in schedule will allow me to get out to other non-cannabis events and educate the public. There is a discussion among the board of directors and others in Victoria in regards to trying to keep some of these traditions, or even create new ones, but this will be a new direction for the group that I will have to watch more than lead. It will be interesting to see how Hempology 101 evolves after this stage. After organizing at least 3,500 cannabis meetings, rallies, lectures, 420 circles, etc., it is time for me to slow down a little and let others take over that responsibility. This means I will be spending a lot more time at home, giving me even more time to write and focus on the Cannabis Digest. We plan upon improving the online version of the paper, adding a daily blog featuring its writers. This will allow readers to follow the work of our writers and get a sense of the issues they are dealing with. It will also give me time to start putting more energy into resurrecting a youth center, much like the one I volunteered at when I lived in a van 18 years ago. But that is another story.
a reduction in the amount of money wasted on enforcement of cannabis laws and tax revenue from a legal market, the sums of money to tackle more pressing issues such as preparing and mitigating climate change would be massive. Our time has been wasted enough as a society, and we need to press through prohibition. Patients and recreational users alike deserve to be able to grow the plant whether they need to or want to. Canada doesn’t need 30,000 sqft. grows drawing energy from the grid to sell over-priced medicine to the sick, it needs balcony and greenhouse grows to supply individuals.
Issue Number 40
Updates, Warnings, and Suggestions
By Gayle Quin First off—WOW! Issue number 40. This feels more exciting than my 40th birthday will! It has been a great pleasure and joy to be able to contribute over the years. There have most certainly been a lot of changes, and more are on the way. I can finally say with conviction: “the end is near. Cannabis WILL be legal before I die!” I’ve been waiting 43 years to say that, and have it be true. We have the whole world behind us now. It sure feels good! December was cold and windy—the perfect weather to cheer folks up with Cannabis Caroling. If you ever need to give your spirits a boost, one of the best ways to do it is to go Cannabis Caroling. You don’t have to wait until December, and you don’t need a group, though it is a lot more fun and it sounds better with more voices. The smiles as
people catch on to what you are singing about are amazing. We started singing at the Ministry of Health building, then went to serenade the folks at the Club for awhile because I wasn’t feeling very well. I went home and everyone else went downtown to continue singing. It was a very blustery night, but we sure had fun. It turns out it was our last annual caroling event, so I’m very glad I made the effort to attend. You can be sure I’ll be packing around my Cannabis Carol booklet...just in case. January saw the Club’s 18th Anniversary Potluck Dinner. It was a night of good music, great food, and wonderful company. Oh, and a lot of sweet smelling herb floating through the air. Ted’s potato salad vanished, and Karli made a delicious soup—actually two soups. There were salads and baked beans and and and, it was all good. Ted and I took a trip to Vancouver for the appeal of Owens court case. Boy, sitting in a room with three supreme court judges was intense. They were not at all happy that Owen was not in jail, and it felt like they wanted to put him there right away if they could. The matter ”of standing” was discussed at great length, and it seems to me there is no question that Owen should be acquitted because of this. The Judges were almost impossible to read, so we’ll have to wait and see what they come up with. Our recipe book was also discussed quite a bit, and as a result has been amended. I believe I’ve heard a rumour that the Hempology 101 Cookbook may soon be out in print, due to high amounts of demand.
St. Fatty’s Day saw the end of the 10th annual Art Auction. A very great thank you to everyone who donated their most precious art work. I know a little piece of soul goes into every piece. And I am totally jealous of everyone who helped raise the $732 and getting to take home an original piece of artwork. I’m only jealous because I didn’t get to partake this year. On that note, a little about me. Last fall I found a lump on my chest an inch above the mastectomy scar. I had a root canal that had been bothering me taken out right away, and then had the lump removed. It was cancer again. A few more tests revealed it has gone into my bones, which explains the few mysterious pains I’d been having. I have two expert Naturopaths working on me. Dr. Neil McKinney has written Naturally There’s Hope and Naturally There’s Always Hope, as well as Naturopathic Oncology—An Encyclopedic Guide for Patients & Physicians. (There is a copy at the Club if you would like to read it.) Dr. McKinney is also one of the founders of the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine. He has recently introduced Cannabis to his medicine bag, and spoken at a conference of naturopaths in Arizona and the 15th Hempology Convention. He also helped Tommy Chong overcome prostate cancer. We have one more tool in the bag if the regime I am on now proves to be not working. Dr. Patrick Callas is one of the first graduates from said college and is Dr. McKinneys’ protege. He is helping me with the mercury detoxification program. I’ve had a lot of help from a lot of friends, with food, medicine, love and support. I’m a very lucky woman, and I believe I’m getting better. The mystery pains have gone and I’m just dealing with all the muscle spasms I’ve been coping with since the mastectomy. I developed an extreme intolerance to cold since that operation, which makes my back muscles and diaphragm spasm. I’m eating enough cannabis that I should be comatose, but the other day I actually got stoned on my afternoon meds for the first time. I’ve had some other breakthroughs such as no more nausea and vomiting, and my appetite is coming back. With that, my energy is slowly returning as well. One of the most important things I’ve learned this
time is to detoxify from CT and bone scans etc. You take two 10,000iu of Vit. A twice a day for two weeks. The most important things to remember for avoiding cancer are: stay away from chemicals—don’t eat, breath, or wear them; sleep in darkness; sleep outside at least 2 weeks of the year; do not sleep with a tv or clock radio in your bedroom, or at least not next to your head; wear bare feet to get in contact with the Earth’s electromagnetic fields as often as possible: laugh a lot, sing often, and love yourself. I go for blood tests, to see if there are any changes yet, at the end of April when we get back from Ottawa. Ottawa… I’m writing this on Friday, Mar. 21, 2014. A day we are going to celebrate for quite some time. Thank you John Conroy, Jason Wilcox, Sandra and Remo and Justice Manson, those who supported, contributed and had faith, and a host of other folk who brought forth some compassion from the courts and told Harper where to stick it. MMAR licence holders are permitted to continue possessing and growing under their old MMAR licences until such time as the matter has been through court. Everything seems to be the same except for leaving your home, which now has a 150 gram limit no matter what it was before. You may read the decision on the Hempology 101 or Coalition forums. I think if is very important for everyone to take action now, even if it is with a pen, email, or phone call. And so, Ted and I will be going to Ottawa this week. It should be a calmer protest than we originally expected. The club is looking wonderful thanks to an exploded hot water tank. Many thanks to the floor crew for your hard work, and to Jason for painting. I was surprised to find that vinyl does not seem to off-gas the same as most plastics do. Ted is stepping down from most of his Cannabis activism. He held the last conventions he is going to organize at UVIC and UBC. There will be no Reach For The Pot Tournament this year. He is going to be concentrating on the Cannabis Digest, looking after me, and planning for the future of the Little City Project. We are looking forward to exciting times ahead.
Cannabis Digest • Spring 2014
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Issue Number 40
Cannabis Digest • Spring 2014
Ignorance Is Not Bliss! A Survey of American Medical School’s Acceptance of the Science of the ECS (Endocannabinoid System) Nathan Stewart, Sioux Colombe, Ron Mullins, David Allen M.D. Medical Cannabis Evaluations, Sacramento, CA—Summer 2013 Introduction The discovery of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is the single most important scientific medical discovery since the recognition of sterile surgical technique. As our knowledge expands, we are coming to realize that the ECS is a master control system of virtually all physiology. The total effect of the ECS is to regulate homeostasis and prevent disease and aging. The more we learn, the more we realize that we are in the infancy of this scientific field of study. The ECS is a control system which involves tissue receptor proteins, cellular communication and control, molecular anatomy and the scavenging of oxygen free radicals. This new field of science will change medicine forever and prove cannabis the gold standard for many disease processes. Its effect on scavenging oxygen free radicals is applicable to all disease processes and this is why it has such wide medical application and is considered a cure-all by many. The discovery of the ECS will replace the current medical system of managing and treating disease. Instead of management of symptoms after disease has occurred, we will prevent disease and cancer by manipulation of the ECS. Research and education of medical students involving the ECS is being intentionally restricted by politics. No justification can be made for the restriction of the scientific study of cannabis and the endocannabinoid system. What is the danger of providing governmentgrown and tested cannabis to researchers? Diversion of research cannabis for non-scientific or recreational purposes does not seem to be a serious threat to national security.
Methods The directors of the curriculum of the 157 accredited American medical schools (across all 50 states), were contacted initially by phone, then follow-up email. We asked the following questions: 1. Do you have a department of ECS (Endocannabinoid Science) with a director? 2. Do you teach the ECS as an organized course? 3. Do you mention the ECS in any ancillary classes like pathophysiology, neuroanatomy or pharmacology? Resistance to the Survey Our surveyors found a lot of resistance to answering questions, and we had to alter our technique for asking these pointed questions. Many people were unaware of what the word endocannabinoid actually meant. We were asking the medical schools if they were teaching a subject that many of them had no knowledge of. We initially called stating Dr. David Allen, a retired cardiothoracic and vascular surgeon, was sponsoring the study. This led to reluctance, suspicion and refusal to answer our questions. We had reactions like, “Who wants to know this?” and “Why do you want to know this information?” We quickly realized there was significant resistance to our questions. We then decided to pose as medical students looking to apply to an institution that specialized in the study of the ECS. This worked well, and we were able to acquire many responses from the office staff of curriculum directors. The directors were frequently not available and often too busy to talk to us. However, this change in technique made data collection easier and curriculum staff more cooperative and affable. Here are some of the responses to the questions asked in this survey, ranging from passive-aggressive to blissfully ignorant:
• I doubt you will find a school that has a department of endocannabinoid science. • How do you spell endocannabinoid? • We have a few lectures that speak to the topic of the cannabinoid system. That is the extent of our curriculum in that area. • You’re a prospective student? Not with these kinds of questions you aren’t. If you are an applicant you can call the admissions office. • Are you aware what type of institution we are? Why would we offer that here? • The topic hasn’t gained enough traction or notoriety on this campus to be fully explored… Y’know what I mean? • I have no idea what that is. • You will have some very brief exposure to cannabinoid receptors and their effects in our curriculum. • No course would touch upon this subject longer than five minutes. • There are 12 mentions of cannabinoids in the curriculum database but no mention of the endocannabinoid system. • We don’t teach anything like that at this school • If it is mentioned, it is not a particular focus or talking point. I haven’t heard the endocannabinoid system come up in conversation. • This is a school for people who want to become “doctors.” • I never heard of it. We probably don’t teach it. • Why are you asking that question? I don’t believe that’s an appropriate question. I wouldn’t waste other faculty member’s time with that question. However, a few responses gave our team some hope for the future of this science. • Yes we touch upon it in some of our biochemistry courses. The benefit of being at a small school is our ability to conduct more specialized research. • We do not teach the endocannabi-
noid system, but we do have a research lab dedicated to that issue. • Three of our physicians include the endocannabinoid system in a lecture. • VCU (Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine) has a leading researcher in the area of cannabinoids. There are numerous possibilities to attend seminars on the latest research in that area. Some may criticize this study’s accuracy, but the resulting numbers are so overwhelming that, even considering room for error, there is a clear failure of the medical establishment to overcome political repression of scientific knowledge. There is no reason our potential medical doctors should be ignorant of this important physiologic control mechanism. This is similar to ignoring a medical field like neuroanatomy. The majority of people in the United States have no idea of the remarkable, scientifically-proven medical benefits of cannabis. These cannabinoids are responsible for massive reductions in diabetes, stroke and myocardial scars. Many cancers show significant responses to cannabinoids by 1. Inhibition of growth of the tumor 2. Reduction in metastasis (blood and lymphatic spread of the cancer) 3. Inhibition of VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor), which inhibits blood vessel growth into tumors (inhibiting vasculogenesis) 4. Induction of apoptosis (normal cell death that cancer cells are immune to) Glucose and fatty metabolism, pain control and inflammation are all controlled by the ECS. There are many reports of patients with seizures that are unresponsive to all medicines except cannabis extracts. We are learning that even the sperm implantation into the ovum requires endocannabinoids for success. Mother’s milk contains endocannabinoids that stimulate the infant to feed and thrive. (This transfer of cannabinoids
Issue Number 40
from mother to child is the only still legal transfer of exogenous cannabinoids). Prohibitionists will claim that no political repression of the science exists. They will claim that there are adequate scientific studies being funded, but the application process for scientific study of cannabis is nearly impossible to complete successfully. Dr. Donald Abrams is famous for being rejected for submitting numerous cannabis studies designed to prove benefits from this medication. After many denials, Dr. Abrams changed his tactic and asked to do a study to ascertain if cannabis caused changes in AIDS drugs that would make them less effective or more toxic. This study was approved for government funding because it asked to study the negative effects of cannabis. Fortunately, this study showed cannabis does not make the AIDS drug more toxic or less effective. The Catch 22 for cannabis is that, in effect, the government states, “There are no studies that prove cannabis safety, therefore, it should remain in a class of dangerous drugs that are prohibited from scientific study.” Because cannabis has not been studied, it is a Schedule I drug. Because it is a Schedule I drug, it cannot be studied. Obviously, there can be no justification for repression of scientific study on any subject, especially the scientific study of a plant with unprecedented medical benefits and a lack of harmful side effects. When scientific knowledge is illegal, the truth does not exist. Americans for Safe Access (ASA) has a very illuminating study on the political repression of the scientific study of cannabis in this country that is well worth reading: <http://americansforsafeaccess.org/ downloads/Research_Obstruction_Report.pdf> Results The results of the study are predictable, so no one should be surprised! Not one of the medical schools surveyed had a department of endocannabinoid science or an ECS director. None of them taught the endocannabinoid science as an organized course. Only 21 of the 157 schools
surveyed had the ECS mentioned in any course. 21/157 = 13.3% In the United States of America, only 13% of the medical schools surveyed teach the endocannabinoid science to our future doctors. Conclusion The purpose of this study was to point out the absurdity of ignoring a new science. We would hope this study causes medical schools to rethink their position and welcome this new science. We call on the Deans of all medical schools to start organized courses in cannabinoid receptor science and its modulating effects on homeostasis. If the medical schools in your state do not teach the endocannabinoid science, you can discuss ways to incorperate the study of the ECS into their curriculum. Humans have a hard time believing in things they can’t see. Prior to the invention of the microscope, no medical schools taught sterile technique to their students because bacteria were unseen. You should research the name Ignaz Semmelweis and how the medical community treated his epiphany and scientific medical discovery. Dr Semmelweis referred to the physicians of the day as “ignoramuses.” It may be time for today’s physicians to catch up with the science of the times. The discovery of the ECS is proving it to be a master control system for physiology. Recent studies show long-term use of cannabis decreases the incidence of diabetes by 66%. US patents prove CBD, a component of cannabis, decreases the size of a stroke by 50%. Other studies show a 66% reduction in the size of a heart scar after a heart attack. The sum of this information means that cannabis augments the body’s own natural endocannabinoid system. Cannabis is not just a pharmaceutical; it is more properly termed a nutraceutical. Your body needs cannabis on a nutritional basis to prevent disease. Consumption of raw or uncooked cannabis, does not get you high, but has miraculous anti-oxidant effects from the acid forms of cannabinoids. You don’t need a medical diagnosis to benefit from cannabis, as everyone
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS 1. Silence—You can refuse to talk to the police or answer their questions. You must give your name, birthdate, and address, or show them your ID. You DO NOT have to say anything else. 2. You can say NO if police ask to search any of your things. 3. You can leave unless you are being arrested or detained 4. You have the right to know why you are being detained, and to speak privately to a lawyer—even if you can’t pay. 5. You can only be strip-searched in private, and only by someone of the same sex. 6. You have the right to know the officers’ badge numbers. 7. You can report an officer who abuses me, swears at me, or violates your rights Example of what to say if you are being detained: “Officer, if I am under arrest or being detained, please tell me so...If I am free to go, please tell me so. If I am not free to go, please tell me why...I wish to exercise all my leagal rights, including my right to silence and my right to speak to a lawyer, before I say anything to you. I do not consent to be searched. I wish to be released without delay...Please do not ask me questions, because I will not willingly talk to you until I speak to a lawyer...Thank you for respecting my rights.” *Every situation is different. Use courtesy, and common sense.
Legal Aid BC: 1-866-577-2525 Check out Pivot Legal Society for more info < www.pivotlegal.org>
can benefit from the antioxidant effects. As you can see, this concept will change medicine as we know it, including the distribution of money. The business of medicine will no longer be treatmentbased, it will be prevention-based. The big picture is that the ECS is a control system of physiology that will not be ignored. You can pretend the ECS doesn’t exist or question its importance. People once questioned the significance of handwashing prior to surgical procedures because bacteria are unseen by the naked eye. People may not understand the complex science behind this medicine, but they know immediately when they use cannabis that it has some beneficial effects. The price that people are willing to pay for cannabis should be a good barometer on how well people think the medicine works. Only organized, double blinded scientific studies of cannabis will prove its true benefits or potential harm. Unfortunately, the politics behind prohibition prevent this from happening to any significant degree. Ask yourself, “Why is scientific study of cannabis and the ECS restricted in the USA? What possible justification could explain this? Why should the education of medical students exclude this critical control system of physiology and health?” We encourage you to call the Dean of your local medical school and ask if they plan on teaching this science to our future doctors. When will this war end and the healing start? All wars mean big business for somebody. This war is being funded, and that is why it still continues. Stop the funding and the war will end.
Resources US Patent; New use for Cannabinoids; h t t p s : / / w w w. g o o g l e . c o m / p a t e n t s / EP 2 2 5 4 5 6 5 A 1 ? c l = e n & d q = c bd+decreases+diabetes+by&hl=en &sa=X&ei=BU3vUc7oLYa29gS7_ oGYBg&ved=0CDsQ6AEwAQ US Patent: Treating or preventing diabetes with Cannabidiol; https://www.google.com/patents/ WO 2 0 0 5 0 7 7 3 4 8 A 1 ? c l = e n & d q = c bd+decreases+diabetes+by&hl=en &sa=X&ei=BU3vUc7oLYa29gS7_ oGYBg&ved=0CEIQ6AEwAg US Patent: Cannabinoids as antioxidants and Neuroprotectants; https://www.google.com/patents/US6 630507?dq=us+cannabinoid+patent&h l=en&sa=X&ei=Ak7vUfuvLsvdqwG8n 4GABg&sqi=2&pjf=1&ved=0CDQQ6 AEwAA US Patent: Phytocannabinoids in the treatment of cancer; https://www.google.com/patents/US 20130059018?dq=us+cannabinoid+pate nt&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Ak7vUfuvLsvdqw G8n4GABg&sqi=2&pjf=1&ved=0CF4 Q6AEwBg US Patent: Medical use for acidic cannabinoids; https://www.google.com/patents/ WO2012144892A1?cl=en
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s the Minister responsible for Health Canada, Rona Ambrose sure looked like the April Fool this year. Instead of Apr. 1, 2014 being the big day for a new commercial medical cannabis industry to take full control of the market, an injunction has thrown off the government’s plan. While no one can know for certain how things will work out, one thing that is obvious is that this Conservative administration is at war with the cannabis culture, and they are likely to keep fighting as long as they exist. An appeal challenging the granting of an injunction was filed on Apr. 1, making it clear that the government does not even consider this a serious enough matter to require a trial. In the arrogant opinion of this government, Federal Court Judge Manson erred when he determined that a trial was necessary, let alone his decision to allow patients and caregivers to grow until its conclusion. That injunction was announced on Fri. Mar. 21 and it sent shock waves across the country. Patients expressed a collective sigh of relief when it became clear they would not have to cut down their plants on Mar. 31. Police and fire departments cried foul as many of them were looking forward to breaking down the doors of every legal grow-op they knew of. Licensed Producers (LPs) scrambled to ensure their investors that profit was still on the horizon. One of the main reasons Health Canada sought to take personal licenses away was to give the new industry a better chance of success. This has some activists calling for a name change to “Wealth Canada,” as patients are taking a back seat to corporations. To many it seems the government has lead companies on to think that there is
Medica By Ted Smith
a massive industry just around the corner. That might be true if doctors were educated about cannabis and were willing to use it as a first response instead of only reluctantly prescribing it to patients that beg them for assistance. With the Canadian Medical Association promising to investigate almost every single time cannabis is recommended, Canadian doctors should be wary of “prescribing” medical marijuana under new regulations says the president of the CMA. “For the CMA, nothing has really changed,” says Dr. Hugo Francescutti. “Our stand has always been that there is insufficient scientific evidence to support the use of marijuana for clinical purposes.” Without doctors signing forms, it is hard to imagine that by 2020 the medical cannabis industry will be doing $1.4 billion per year, but that is what Health Canada has lead these LPs to believe. With about 650 LP applications into Health Canada so far, the desire to make money has seemingly trumped reason and caution in many investors. Millions and millions of dollars are being poured into growing facilities across the country, despite the fact the government has a terrible track record with its medical cannabis programs. To make matters even worse for the majority of them, Health Canada has only approved 12 of the applicants as of press time. This is far less than was predicted would be fully operational by now, leading some to speculate that there is not enough medicine around if all 40,000 MMAR patients started purchasing all of their needs from them. This has given a clear and distinct advantage to the LPs that have been allowed to operate full tilt. Even the companies given this advan-
tage are feeling the effect of the injunction. “The injunction has really thrown a monkey wrench in this industry,” said Brent Zettl. He is the chief executive officer of Saskatoon-based CanniMed, formerly known as Prairie Plant Systems, the company that had an exclusive contract with Health Canada since the beginning of the program. “There will be a cash-flow crunch in the short term. We always say that necessity is the mother of invention, but cash flow is the father.” No one feels sorry for these sharks. The money they intend upon making comes from the pockets of the sick and dying. Their desire to profit at the expense of patients is deplorable. If the injunction was not successful, an estimated 3.5 million plants would have been cut down on Mar. 31. The government instructed patients to take their remaining medicine and plants, grind them up and mix them with kitty litter and water to render it useless. Patients were being warned that if they did not send a letter to Health Canada explaining how much was destroyed and how, police would be sent to their door to lay charges against anyone caught in possession of cannabis without a receipt from a LP. Thankfully the injunction was victorious and none of those things have happened, but it is certainly the intent of this government to send police after patients. This meant that the Apr. 1 rally held on Parliament Hill was a lot less intense than it would have been if patients had been forced to cut their plants down the night before. However, even with the victory it was very important for us to hold this protest and keep the pressure on the government. We must fight for patient rights at every opportunity. One of the main reasons it was im-
al Marijuana Patient Revolt portant for us to be so vocal on Apr. 1 was so patients could tell their stories. It was also very important to bring lawyer John Conroy to Ottawa to explain the injunction to the national media. April 1 was supposed to be the day LPs took center stage but we made sure that did not happen. Among the distinguished speakers at the press conference was Debbie StulzGiffin, who came from Nova Scotia where she leads Maritimers Unite for Medical Marijuana. She is perhaps the most articulate patient in this country when it comes to the medical uses of this herb, sharing her compelling personal story in ways that strike to the core of the matters at hand. We are blessed to have such a warm, generous spirit on our side. Despite her troubles getting around with MS, she was all over Ottawa giving interviews and spreading her cheer. The other patient we brought to the press conference was Alison Myrden. She suffers from a rare form of MS that is excruciating and finds cannabis far superior to any pharmaceuticals. Watching what this wonderful woman goes through every day and seeing her taking her wheelchair everywhere possible to advocate is inspiring and humbling. Our star on Apr. 1, though, was undoubtedly lawyer John Conroy. Fresh off the initial injunction victory, John had to explain the implications to so many reporters and patients that you could tell he was getting tired of it by the end of the day. Though he had not received the appeal officially, word the government was going to challenge the temporary reprieve had reached the media and was the talk of the town. This rally was only made possible with a generous budget of $5,000 donated by the Vancouver Pain Management Soci-
ety, with an extra $500 coming in from WEEDS. While we did not solicit donations for the rally, we certainly mentioned the MMAR Coalition Against Repeal, as that is the group supporting John Conroy in court. With predicted costs of $250,000, the coalition is about half way there as of press time. Sadly, dispensaries are not a part of the new regulations any more than they were a part of the MMAR. This travesty means the people with the experience and desire to help patients are still left breaking the law to provide assistance. The new mail order program will not work for many people unable to obtain a credit card or unwilling to wait for medicine to arrive by courier. Cannabis extracts are also left out of the Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations, as they were in the MMAR. Hopefully the B.C. Court of Appeal decision in the Owen Smith will help clarify this situation, but John also intends upon bringing this up to the Federal Court. One of the more contentious parts of the injunction was the 150 gram limit Judge Manson placed upon patients. This seems to have been a weak attempt to align the decision with the new MMPR. Most patients will not be affected by this, but the few that travel and have large prescriptions find this frustrating, and this will likely be challenged in court. One other problem with the judgement in the eyes of many is the fact that new patients, as of Sept. 30, 2013, have no choice but to buy from LPs. The injunction grandfathered patients and designated growers who had a permit to grow that was active on Sept. 30, 2013 and had an active possession license as of Mar. 21, 2014. That is great for those already into the program, but it means
new patients will be forced to endure economic hardship by purchasing from LPs instead of growing their own. However, the judge was intent upon handing down a ruling that would cost the government as little as possible while still protecting the rights of patients. There are so many legal challenges, appeals, and lawsuits being filed against Health Canada that it is difficult to keep up and impossible to predict the outcome. The injunction appeal will likely be the next big legal battle, with government lawyers trying to convince three judges and the Federal Court of Appeal to overturn what seemed to be a reasonable decision. If they win 3-0, then everyone will have to cut down their plants and get out the kitty litter. If we win 3-0, then we simply proceed to the full hearing on the matter before a single judge at the Federal Court. If it is a split decision either way we can expect to fight to the Supreme Court of Canada, as neither side will just give up easily. Either way, it seems the actual trial for this matter will not take place for another year, and with more appeals available the final outcome could be years away. Untimately, we will prevail. In a CBC poll taken the week of Apr. 1, 90 percent of Canadians agree that patients allowed to use cannabis should be allowed to grow it. Obviously most Canadians agree with lawyer Kirk Tousaw, who is also leading several court challenges. “My clients are three disabled British Columbians that simply want the government to stay out of their medicine cabinets and out of their gardens. No one should be locked in cages for growing cannabis and certainly Canada’s critically and chronically ill must be taken off of the front lines of PM Harper’s war on drugs.”
Issue Number 40
Alberta Knee Deep in Hemp Hemp fiber processing plant being built by Chinese
By Diane Walsh If you are an investor and have a firm eye on the hemp industry in Western or Central Canada, this might just be the ideal time to jump in with both feet. Alberta appears poised to be a leader for hemp firms which are diversifying processing and product opportunities. Marking itself as one of the top hemp-producing provinces, Alberta Agriculture has sought to support new biomaterials through agencies like Alberta Innovates-Technology Futures (AITF) by enabling ongoing research and development of hemp and hemp processing systems. Dr. Jan Slaski and Dr. John Wolodko of Alberta Innovates-Technology Futures have been featured in recent media clippings conducting research on hemp fibre products at an Edmonton lab (Source: Western Producer). Why is this relevant? Because AITF operates within the system of government—industry and academia—and is aligned with the policies of the Government of Alberta departments: to grow the province’s economy. According to a report by Farm Management Canada, the Alberta BioMaterial Centre, situated in Vegreville, is a partnership of Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD), Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (ESRD), and Alberta Innovates Technology Futures (AITF). As a pilot
operation, it gives technical expertise to at least three companies developing hemp fibre products. “The fibre market is emerging in Alberta. We are working on developing and detailing the competitive advantage of hemp grown in Alberta,” says Lori-Jo Graham, Development Officer with the Bio-Industrial Opportunities Branch of Alberta Agriculture. “Three companies—Motive Industries (Calgary); Stemia Group (southern Alberta); and TTS (Edmonton)—are progressing well and will be key to developing the processing services, manufacturing capacity, and market connections which will be required.” The goal is what’s called a robust hemp value chain (Source: Farm Management Alberta). We learn that Stemia is in the process of setting up and developing a new facility in southern Alberta. Its site intends to manufacture products for the paper, construction, and automobile industries. Some may recall my article on Motive Industries and their hemp car, the Kestrel, which is paving the way for sustainable personal transportation by using hemp as building material. TTS Inc. in Edmonton is reported to be a joint venture between Weyerhauser and the town of Drayton Valley, to make a non-woven matting line in the old wood manufacturing plant. Information there is that TTS got the matting line equipment from a dor-
mant plant in Vancouver that was taken to the site. To fully understand this development, follow-up with Weyerhauser is recommended. There are other companies already working on high-value market products made from hemp. According to reports, Emerson Hemp Distributors is a well-established plant in Emerson, Manitoba. It’s a processing plant for hemp straw, selling hemp fibre and core to Canadian and U.S. markets specializing in animal bedding, green construction, and building markets. Also making the rounds on social media is Cylab International, in part due to the buzz from a recent headline by Barb Glen of the Western Producer. This hemp processing company intends to move its manufacturing operations from China to southern Alberta. “It’s definitely going ahead,” Cylab chief executive officer Brett Boag told The Western Producer. Boag adds, “There is lab set up in Springbank”. Western Producer also reports that Cylab is looking at a plant near Nanton which would purchase long-fibre hemp for production of biocomposites. But at deadline, Cannabis Digest was not able to confirm beyond this. According to <coinfo.info> on Google, which may not be entirely accurate, it was incorporated under “1923613” in Hong Kong on June 17, 2013, and is a private company. Brett Boag has a LinkedIn profile which says, “CEO at ICE Corporate Consulting... Shandong, China.” We’re told that Cylab has managed a plant operation in China for eight years, where its product is manufactured for the U.S. market. The company seeks to lower transportation costs in relocating to Canada. The broad estimate of a value of a $32 million plant process is being taken as a given by Boag and that such a factory can and will process hemp fibre into construction materials, animal bedding and other products and byproducts e.g. Biofuel. Bill Finley of H&C in Victoria says, “Hemp & Company is very happy about this new development. It shows the growing awareness of utilizing this marvelous plant. It will be a boon for farmers, and the residual effect will be the increased accessibility to all hemp products. The only current downside for us is that they will not be produc-
ing hemp textiles for clothing. H&C’s desire is to buy the first Canadiangrown bolt of hemp fabric when that magical day comes!” On the hemp food end of things, Finley mentions that “Manitoba Harvest is definitely a leader”. Word on the food-movement front is that Manitoba Harvest is looking to expand acres to reach its goal of processing 25 million pounds of hemp seed in 2014. Just across the water, Naturally Advanced Technologies in Vancouver has been promoting a “Crailar” technology over the past decade. This was done in partnership with the National Research Council Canada (NRC) and the AITF. They make textile products, and predominantly have been using flax bast fibres. Much of their processing has been done in the U.S. Finley adds that NAT is known to Hemp and Company, and says, “The company were originally Hemptown from Vancouver.” Finley explains, “the company was funded with government money, and then subsequently, moved to the U.S. to use flax instead of hemp.” He was not sure if the company had plans to ever return to their roots in Canada. There was word that the company had teamed up with Haynes to make underwear, but this arrangement has yet to be evidenced. According to previously published stats, Canadian farmers planted 66,671 acres of hemp in 2013. The main market for hemp is the U.S. It’s not clear how the recently approved “hemp cultivation for research purposes” in 10 states will affect the Canadian situation. Since commercial hemp cultivation remains banned, sustained interest and investment in hemp fibre processor facilities cannot but help Canada’s current edge.
Issue Number 40
What About the Children? Cannabis being used successfully to treat a myriad of ailments in kids
By Al Graham When it comes to cannabis prohibition, you’ll often hear the words, “What about the children?” I ask, yes, what about the children? If the research was done, would children benefit? Would they be restricted to pharmaceutical mediations, or would they also be allowed to take alternatives made with cannabis? To many people, giving children cannabis is unthinkable. Why? Because we’ve always been told that it’s dangerous for adults, so one would assume that for children, it would almost be life-threatening. Many times these concerns are caused by fear of the unknown. Why is this? Because the prohibition of cannabis basically forbids it from being researched? Many people believe that this is unacceptable, and many are moving forward with using cannabis as a medicine, no matter what the governments are saying. I base this only on the sheer numbers of people who are now getting involved. They are looking at the anecdotal evidence as proof that cannabis medicine works and have ignored what they are being told by authority. Instead, they believe the evidence that they see before their eyes, which governments cannot or will not believe. When it comes to children and cannabis, the biggest concerns seem to be about the development of the child’s brain. But while people worry about that, they don’t seem to be worried about a medicine those label says one of its side effects is death. So why it is acceptable to give a child a man-made drug that can kill them, but it’s not okay to give them a plant that hasn’t killed anyone? The American Academy of Pediatrics opposes the use of marijuana to treat young children, citing its addictive potential and the many unknowns about how it may affect developing bodies. But could the same be true for other medications used to fight pain and nausea, that are currently given to children with cancer, as well as for powerful antipsychotic drugs that are used in long-term treatment of childhood mental illnesses? Opiate drugs like morphine and OxyContin, which are sometimes used to treat the severe pain that accompanies lifethreatening cancer and other diseases, can lead to overdoses. They can also lead to addiction, vomiting, drowsiness, constipation, or respiratory depression. The most-used method for fighting cancer is chemotherapy, which not only kills bad cells but also attacks good ones. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work all the time. Chemo can cause people to suffer from bone marrow suppression, nausea, loss of appetite, hair loss, organ damage, and more. Some researchers have talked about what happens to the development of the white matter in the child’s brain, and say that consuming cannabis has shown some disruption in how it grows. They also state that those who start smoking cannabis at an early age tend to be slower at completing tasks, have a lower IQ, and have a higher risk of stroke. There is a concern that it prevents the development of natural occurring endo-cannabiniods. But if parents are talking about a resin or oil, who’s talking about having children smoke cannabis? The Canadian Medical Association’s website states that they do not support medical marijuana because of the lack of research and data. Some experts point out
that not all of marijuana’s components, and their effects on the body, have been studied or well understood. The decision by governments around the world to not properly research this plant could, and I believe is, allowing many people to die. It’s also unfortunate that they haven’t researched or studied some of the Canadian cannabis patients during the years of the MMAR. Some believe the government knows the research but refuses to share it with people. If they didn’t know of its benefits, why would the U.S. have a patent on some of the cananbinoids? People have known about THC for a long time, but the new cannabinoid on the block is CBD. While everyone knows that THC causes the euphoric feeling behind cannabis, many are learning that CBD decreases that feeling, on top of the many medicinal benefits it brings. This would include the anti-epileptic, anti-spasmodic, anti-cancer, and anti-psychotic benefits it is known to have. With these discoveries happening, one can only hope something positive will come of them. While medicinal cannabis has been used by adults legally for years, we have rarely seen it used to treat kids. That was until CNN’s Dr. Gupta aired a program on Charlotte Figi, showing how much of a positive effect it had on this young child. Millions of viewers watched and keep watching the remarkable improvement in Charlotte. At one time, she was having 300 grand mal seizures a week due to a rare form of epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome. This is now down to a couple per month because of cannabis resin. The condition usually claims its victims at a young age. Some of the seizures it causes can last for hours, but it only takes five minutes for them to start causing damage to a child’s developing brain. Since this program first aired, it seems the idea of using cannabis to treat our children for medical purposes isn’t as taboo as it once was. Other children have been fighting for their right to use this medication. Years before the Dr. Gupta show, there were already children using cannabis for medical purposes. One of them is Storm, who I had heard about several years ago. Storm is the son of Georgia and Norm Peschel, who found themselves and Storm in a constant battle—a battle that would wear down any parent. This battle was against Multiple Synostosis Syndrome, a medical condition that causes bones to fuse together. After enduring several years of Storm crying in pain, the family finally found the relief they were looking for. This happened when Storm was fourteen, and his parents decided to give him cannabis. Georgia writes that this was not an easy decision, but she had done her homework on how it could help him. The only thing she wishes she knew more about was the use of medibles. When they first approached Storm with the idea of using cannabis, he told them he didn’t do drugs, but agreed to try it. What they found was that the pain relief was almost instant—something he had never experienced in his life. With the assistance of their supporting doctor, Storm became one of the youngest patients to be enrolled in Canada’s medical marijuana program. To learn more about Storm and what him and his parents went through, please go to <www.georgiatoons. com/uploads/4/1/0/5/4105506/stormsstory.pdf> Next, I met on a seven-year-old boy that
I read about in a book called Jeffrey’s Journey. It was written by his mom, Debbie, about what the family went through with Jeffrey, who she describes as a violent child. During the early stages of his life, Jeffery was diagnosed with possible ADHD, bipolar disorder, and a possible intermittent explosive or conduct disorder. His mother talked about the first time she gave him some of a muffin that was infused with cannabis. Because Jeffery was so violent, she says, he would grip her hand while she drove. But the morning she fed him that muffin, within thirty minutes, he let go of her hand and said, “Hey mommy, my head isn’t so noisy.” Up until this time, Jeffrey had no friends and really no schooling due to his disruptive and violent behaviour, but cannabis changed that. At the age of eight, he had his first birthday party where the kids actually stayed, and he was able to have some friends. His mother says that the cannabis helped to keep him calm and to control his anger. Once Child Services found out what was happening, it landed them in court. In the end, the judge apologized to the family for what they had been through, saying he supported them and their effort. To learn more about Jeffery, please go to <www.youtube.com/ watch?v=4XM_TdmQ9lM> Jeffery wasn’t alone when it came to fighting inner demons with cannabis. Enter Joey Perez, a young boy who at the age of sixteen months was diagnosed with autism. The support group’s website that his mother Mieko created (www.uf4a.org) states that by the time he was of nine years of age, Joey was having problems regarding his ability to focus. He weighed 46 pounds and had begun to deteriorate because he was refusing to eat and was unable to properly digest food. Because of this, his medical prognosis at that time was, “high probability of death within six months”. But this was before he began taking his cannabis medication. I’m happy to write that Joey did not pass on, and that they have reported, “at age 14, Joey is flourishing with new communicative expressions, he’s gained over 98 lbs, and he’s happier, healthier, better behaved and is more productive than ever before”. A study done by Thomas Sudhof, a cellular physiologist at Stanford University, states that they “tested mutations associated with autism in mice. Two mutations associated with autism in a synapse-adhesion protein led to deficits in prolonged endocannabinoid signaling in mice. This suggests that autism could be caused by a disruption of the brain’s ability to send clear signals.” To learn more about Joey and his mother’s group, please go to <www.uf4a.org/> Over the last year, a teenager by the name of Noah Kirkman began to use medicinal cannabis. You may recognize the last name, as Noah is the son of Canadian cannabis writer and advocate Lisa Kirkman. Throughout his life, Noah has had to deal with health conditions such as Tourette Syndrome and Attention Deficit Disorder. Noah is fifteen years of age, so there are the same concerns for him as with any young person. How does this medication help him? He says that cannabis medication that he consumes through a vaporizer “helps me keep calm; it helps me keep focused.” Throughout my years as an advocate, I don’t know how many times I hear this from people diagnosed with ADD, who still deal with it as adults. Because Noah requires his medication throughout the school day, the school
board has granted him permission to vaporize his cannabis medication within the vice-principal’s office. To learn more about Noah, go to <metronews.ca/news/edmonton/900291/student-using-medicinalmarijuana-vaporizer-inside-calgary-highschool/> Young Mykayla Comstock is a sevenyear-old suffering from acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Her mother is a supporter of medical marijuana, so she was aware of its benefits. When they started to notice that the chemotherapy wasn’t being very effective, she started to give Mykayla a gram of cannabis oil on a daily basis. She did this with the use of lime-flavoured capsules and without her doctor’s permission. A month after she started on the capsules, they were preparing Mykayla for a bone marrow transplant when they found out she had gone into remission. Although they have received this good news, they continued the cannabis resin treatments throughout her chemotherapy treatment. <www.cnn.com/2012/11/30/ health/medical-marijuana-children-time/ index.html> Not only are people from the U.S. moving to Colorado for this medicine, but they are also coming from Canada, a country with its own medical marijuana program. One of the several problems that families have run into is how their children can get the strain that Charlotte Figi uses when they live in a different country or state. Presently, the only answer is to move the whole family to where the medication is legal. For Canadians Barry and Shannon Pogson, there was no choice but to do just that. They moved their 13-month-old daughter Kaitlyn, who has the same rare and serious seizure condition as Charlotte, to this state in another country. Her father reported that after the first week of treatment with cannabinoid oil that Kaitlyn was “more alert, slept better, and hasn’t had to return to [the ER] for seizures.” The news of this helped them launch a petition to get this same cannabis medication made available in countries such as Canada. For more information on the petition that was shared by the Epilepsy Ontario Organization, <epilepsyontario.org/ petition-launched-to-begin-cbd-trials-incanada-3/> To learn more about Kaitlyn and her story please go to <www.cbc.ca/ news/health/medical-marijuana-soughtfor-children-with-seizures-1.2432653> Where do we go from here? And what does the future hold for the young patients that need this medication? Is there a chance that it will become legal for all people, and not just those who are old enough? I’ve learned mothers are forming groups and speaking to their legislators to make change in the laws regarding cannabis. They are speaking the truth, and are requesting that this medication be available for their children. And why shouldn’t they be? Cannabis is the least toxic medication that anyone can take. As I said before, what about the children? Shouldn’t we legalize it for them? If we can determine after a week of trials that H1N1 vaccination is okay for human use, why is it that after almost 100 years , it is so difficult to find out how cannabis can save lives? When you think about it, it really is a crime.
Cannabis Digest • Spring 2014
C a n n a b i n o i d s M a tt e r
The case for legalizing extracts By Owen Smith In my last article I described visiting the BC Court of Appeal, and laid out some of the arguments for and against the legal extraction of medical cannabis in Canada. As we wait for a decision on my constitutional challenge, south of the border, in the U.S., there is a growing movement pressing for regulations that permit medicinal cannabis extracts. At the heart of this movement, a major cultural valve has been opened as reports from first experiments in legal cannabis regulation ripple out across the globe. Colorado is making waves, becoming a hub for cannabis tourists who may spend a weekend touring cannabis farms, sampling the finest extract products, and relaxing with a medicinal massage. In Washington state, tours are a little more reserved. Kush Tourism takes participants to see glass blowers, trim flower buds, do some baking, and get a general education on the plant. These states are serving as social experiments for the possibility of a new unprohibited cannabis culture. Without the fear of prosecution, cannabis producers and manufacturers have unprecedented abilities to craft unique and novel products. The immediate surge in popularity of concentrated cannabis products shows us one thing we can expect in this 21stcentury cannabis revival. The process of making concentrated cannabis oil has been known for a long time but legalization has brought a new rigor to the cannabis chemist.
BHO, or Butane Honey Oil, is the most common and popular method of making concentrates, popularly known as dabs. Butane extraction introduces a toxic solvent and then attempts to remove, or purge, it at the end. Laboratories in California fail a BHO sample if the butane level is over 500 parts per million. For medicinal users, contamination with butane may be detrimental, even though most may already be getting a dose if they use a butane lighter. If done poorly or without safeguards, the risks of making a solvent extraction include slowly poisoning yourself or blowing yourself up. Due to the growth of interest and the need for a greater understanding to prevent these occurances, companies like Extractiontek Solutions in Denver, Colorado are building and patenting safe and effective extraction machines. Larger companies are using CO2 extraction to provide solvent-free cannabis oil, but the equipment prices are prohibitive. Meanwhile, the California Police Chiefs are attempting to ban physicians from recommending “high-concentrate derivatives such as Butane Hash Oil [a chemical derivative of marijuana that can contain 80 percent THC] to anyone” in their state, because of the risk of explosion and a perception that concentrates are the “hard liquor of marijuana.” Considering that concentrates currently account for 40 percent of sales in some California dispensaries, a law that bans extracts could be overly punitive. It would make more sense to regulate can-
nabis and its concentrates under proper industry standards, and ensure oversight so that cannabinoid extraction could be done professionally in a controlled environment. They’re clean and consistent Extract producers are striving to ensure cannabis users have access to clean concentrates, as well as the proper tools to safely make their own. Secret methods, like that of BudderKing, have been revealed so that the growing numbers of interested people can emulate his techniques. I have written articles about some of the processes <cannabisdigest.ca/concentrating-on-cannabinoids> by which cannabinoids are extracted from the plant to remove contaminants like mold, residues, and unnecessary plant material. Fortunately, the trichome, which stores all of the cannabinoid compounds, is built to easily shed from the plant surface, making the job easier. Companies like Top Shelf and Pink House, who supply extracts to dispensaries in Colorado, have the facilities to explore and develop the extraction process in greater detail. They use tools like a sonicator to break open the trichomes and a vortexer to stir the compounds in the solution to evenly distribute the cannabinoids. They “winterize” the extraction by keeping it at very low temperatures to isolate residual waxes that make up the shell of the resin glands. They then filter this before continuing the process. After the filtration and removal of unwanted non-cannabinoid material, you are left with a hard glassy substance that melts into a resinous oil. A dab of this oil is plucked by a pin and placed on a heated plate on an often elaborate piece of glassware, sometimes called an “oil rig,”
which resembles a bong. When using a concentrate, little is needed to achieve a desired effect. When making edible products, a measured amount of extract can be mixed into a recipe, providing more consistent, longlasting doses. Dispensaries provide extract products of varying strengths and with effects that are suited to each individual’s needs. During growth, the resin is concentrated on the upper parts of the plant, closest to the light, and distributed unevenly among the flowers and leaves. This means that the dried buds you receive may differ slightly, as they originated from higher or lower branches. Prairie Plant Systems, who were the government’s licensed producer in Canada for the last decade, were criticized for blending their dried cannabis into a powder. They did this to evenly distribute and test for cannabinoids, keeping a mean THC level of around 12 percent. The same idea of standardization is applicable to extracts, as the medicine can be blended into a more homogenous form. Patients have reported more consistent doses with extracts than with dried bud. During my constitutional challenge in 2012, we attempted to more accurately classify cannabis under the Canadian Controlled Drugs and Substances Act as all products of the cannabis plant, including the resin and all the compounds within the resin; not just the “dried marihuana” that Health Canada permits. This challenge made it legal for patients and designated growers in my home province of B.C. to make extracts, and could
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Issue Number 40 ...Cont. from p. 17
eventually affect how cannabis is classified in the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, which applies to all people in Canada. Similar cases in the U.S. are refining their cannabis laws to meet the increase in scientific understanding. Available for those truly in need In Arizona, the case of a young boy named Zander, who has severe epilepsy and uses a high-CBD edible cannabis oil, has led Judge Katherine Cooper to recently decide that: “It makes no sense to interpret the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act as allowing people with these conditions to use medical marijuana but only if they take it in one particular form” … “Such an interpretation reduces, if not eliminates, medical marijuana as a treatment option for those who cannot take it in plant form, or could receive a greater benefit from an alternative form.” Zander’s parents are among many in the U.S. and around the world who are seeking a new possible solution for their child’s life-threatening medical condition. Realm of Caring, a Colorado company that makes CBD-rich extracts, helps a growing number of families who have brought their children to Colorado to receive treatment for rare, life-threatening forms of epilepsy. These families are being forced to leave their home states as there is no adequate way to obtain the particular extract product they need for their child. CNN’s Sanjay Gupta recently released the second edition of his documentary “WEED,” in which he follows the story of these medical cannabis refugees. In reference to her three-year-old child Hannah’s condition, mother Amber Loew says, “You’re living every day on the edge of your seat, not knowing if you’re going to have to rush to the emergency room”. The Loews and other families are desperately seeking to expedite the policy shift, as their children risk suffering severe developmental setbacks from their continuous seizures. Their efforts are paying off as recently Alabama passed “Carly’s Law,” named for three-year-old Carly Chandler, and Georgia passed the “Haleigh’s Hope Act,” named for four-year-old Haleigh Cox. Each is intended to provide CBDrich oil for children. This positive change in medical cannabis law continues to advance on the heels of tragedy. Utah governor Gary Herbert recently signed “Charlee’s Law,” giving people with in-
tractable epilepsy access to CBD-rich cannabis oil, unfortunately only after its six-year-old namesake had passed. The U.S. federal CDSA has come under fire, as it clearly needs some serious review. It classifies cannabis alongside substances with high abuse potential and no medical value. The hypocrisy grows clearer, as 20 states now have medical cannabis legislation, and the states of
an abandoned Hershey chocolate factory and believes that “it would be a bit more compassionate if we could post process and provide people with […] other products, so that they can ingest it in different ways”. In an interview on the CBC’s The Lang & O’Leary Exchange, CEO Bruce Linton said that “most medical patients never would smoke, they would use a
Colorado and Washington have now legalized its use for adults. Millions of dollars in tax revenue are now being collected by the cities and states that permit cannabis sales.
steam-based vaporization, so what then they’re doing is releasing the oils, which are the active ingredients they want, without combusting the carbon and getting all the negatives of smoking.” Contrary to the assumption that most would never smoke, vaporizing is still a new method of ingestion and carries its own challenges. From the simple jar and tube model, there has been a steady evolution of the vaporizer technology over the last decade, with the introduction of vapor bags, handheld devices, and more precise temperature gauges. Recently, vapor pens have become a common sight, as flavored water or glycerin is vaporized for recreational purposes and as an alternative to smoking cigarettes. All this emerging technology requires some degree of orientation. The V-CBC vapor lounge is a place where patients familiarize themselves with the use of a vaporizer. Staff as well as club members show newcomers the basics of vaporization, as well as helping them learn finer details to target the particular cannabinoids they desire. The temperature gauges of vaporizers have varying degrees of accuracy, and some less sophisticated models require the user to pump the heat instead of sustaining it to avoid combustion. V-CBC has a digital volcano that allows you to set a particular temperature for vaporization.
To eat or to vaporize The federal Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations came into force in Canada on April Fools Day. A supposed improvement on the previous program, it prohibits personal medicinal gardens and excludes extracts. Patients in the program organized a national day of protest on April 1stto bring attention to these issues. Lawyers for the MMAR Coalition were successful in preventing the removal of personal cannabis production licenses and at trial they will get to argue the case for extracts. Although the new Licensed Producers are not allowed to make extracts under the federal MMPR regulations, they are hopeful that the law will change in the near future. One LP, named Tweed,owns
In a learning environment Ron Vanzetta is one V-CBC member who is helping medical cannabis users discover how to make the most of a vaporizer. Using data from (Russo & McPartland 2001) and supplementing it with updated information gathered from Wikipedia and other sources, he has made graphs and charts of the approximate temperatures ranges at which specific cannabinoids and terpenes vaporize as well as for what conditions certain cannabinoids and terpenes are
shown in help. The dial is designed to fit the temperature gauge of the German-engineered Volcano type vaporizer. From 7-9 o’clock it shows the approximate temperatures at which cannabinoids decarboxylate. From 9-2 o’clock it shows the temperatures at it which some of the major cannabinoids vaporize. At 3 o’clock Benzene, a toxic gas is introduced. Beyond that, there are a few remaining cannabinoids, and finally combustion. To obtain THCA and other compounds that are decarboxyized by the heat of the vaporizer, it is necessary to eat them. This is often done by putting the raw leaves into a juicer. The temperature can be adjusted to include compounds such as THC and CBD but exclude CBN, which some people find makes them dizzy or lethargic. To obtain THCV and CBC, and avoid Benzene, it may be necessary to make vaporized material into an edible product. Although our knowledge of these tools and the dynamic whole plant effects of cannabis are still developing, Ron’s ingenuity and creativity represent the community spirit of the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club, which strives daily to provide to its members. Ron has designed colorful tesseract balls that hang from the ceiling of the vapor lounge, informing about the properties of different cannabinoids. Inventors continue to seek new ways of ingesting cannabis. A sublimator resembles a bong, but has a special kind of heating device that attaches to the medicine chamber. Instead of being vaporized, the cannabinoids are sublimated, transforming them directly from a solid to a gas. The sublimator, among other innovations, is slated to become a part of future cannabis users’ toolkits. A culture that governments have attempted to eradicate, marginalize, and stereotype for many decades is slowly emerging from its protective shadows. Led by a need for this plant’s medicinal qualities, new voices are merging with the chorus, calling for compassion and reason. Under the spotlight, legal regulations are helping make breakthroughs as the stigmatization of cannabis users goes up in a puff of smoke. The longentrenched underground is preparing to declare victory in the war on drugs. However, in Canada, cannabis regulation is still in transition and turmoil. With recently introduced mandatory minimum sentences, and the attempted federal ban against home grow operations and extract production, patients are facing unfair pressure and stress. Compassion clubs and dispensaries are dedicated to helping patients wherever the federal regulations fail to provide for their needs. Some of these groups have been in operation for over fifteen years, despite the threat of prosecution. As these groups grow and join forces, improvements are inevitable. Dispensaries are currently assisting patients participate in the Canary Project, which seeks to learn more about how the new federal regulations of medical cannabis in Canada are impacting patients. Find out more about the Canary Project <canarystudy.ca> and visit <cannabisdigest. ca> and leave a question or comment.
Cannabis Digest â€˘ Spring 2014
Issue Number 40
The Early Exportation of Medical Ganja in Jamaica The Historical Rastafari Settlement at Pinnacle
By Ras Kahleb This year commemorates the 60thanniversary of the strategic destruction of the historical Rastafari settlement at Pinnacle by the colonial state of Jamaica. In legal possession of nearly 500 acres of land accredited to him in 1939, the Honorable Leonard Percival Howell, the most influential leader of the early Rastafari Community, founded Jamaica’s first selfsufficient agro-industrial community in the dry and stony hills of St. Catherine. At Pinnacle, there were several thousands of Rastas who came together from all over the island in an economic activity never before known outside of forced enslavement in Jamaica. The early Rastas produced a wide variety of agricultural commodities, which they sold in traditional Jamaican markets, such as those of the Coronation and Spanish Town markets. Among these agricultural commodities produced at Pinnacle, the Ganja plant was Queen. In assisting her to produce well, a variety of beans and peas, including Pinnacle’s famous sweet African Gungo Peas, were cultivated in large amounts, thus adding nitrogen to the soil and camouflaging the Ganja (a practice still used by Jamaican cultivators of Ganja today). Rich guano—bat manure—was used to add nutrients such as phosphate, nitrate, potassium, and some micro-nutrients to a barren land that would soon produce tons of Ganja for export. The Rastafari Community at Pinnacle, with help from members of the Jamaican business community as investors, smuggled Ganja to Winston Churchill’s England during the Second World War. According to the oral history held among Rastas, the consumption of Ganja made the British forces feel more confident and even invincible while attacking Nazi forces. It was during this early to mid 1940s period that the most Ganja at Pinnacle was exported. As a result of this new economic venture among the Rastas, the Pinnacle Community grew wealthy on British pounds. Hunger and disease were now only affecting the poorer and non-Rastafari communities throughout Jamaica. Between 1939 and 1941, there were incidents of deaths at Pinnacle due to starvation and illnesses that would never again plague the community after it became one of the few producers, marketers, and exporters of Ganja in the West for economic and health reasons. If properly analyzed, these past social events can also be used to help scholars explain the intimate relationship that the Rasta man and his herb plant have. To the Rasta man, the hemp family of plants is for the healing of the nation, and is said to have been found on the Biblical King Solomon’s grave. Culturally, the
Rasta man and his herb plant are inseparable. According to one source, it was the Rastafari Patriarch Martimo Planno who once attempted to explain this closeness between the Rasta man and his Sensi plant when he stated that, “di Rasta man and Ganja ah twin bredda” (Conversation with sociologist Oral “Ras Gabre Medhin” Taylor at UWI 2013). This should be the most potent slogan for the legalization of Ganja for all its uses and purposes in Jamaica among members of the Rastafari Community. I think that the indigenous culture of Rastafari in Jamaica should be accredited as having pioneered the global grassroot/ scientific consciousness towards the le-
According to newspaper report, over eight tons of ganja was confiscated and 140 Rastas taken into custody” (Jamaica Observer, 2014). It was on the 27thof May 1954, four days after Pinnacle was dismantled, The Star newspaper reported that “Some $3,000 lbs in cash was found by the police raiding party which last weekswooped down on the Ras Tafarians’ Settlement at Pinnacle, near Spanish Town” (The Star, 1954). According to Attorneyat-Law Ras Miguel Lorne, “one colonial police newspaper, Mirror Mirror,in 1954 reported that during the final raid of Pinnacle a Rasta man was found with $800 lbs and his spouse with $600 lbs, all
galization of Ganja for medicinal, spiritual, and recreational uses. Having been the most persecuted group for Ganja activism, the Rastafari community is now seeking reparations from both the British colonial and post-colonial governments of Jamaica for its present socio-economic and politico-cultural underdevelopment as a result of the planned destruction of their agro-industrial community at Pinnacle, St. Catherine. During its peak period (1941-1954), the Pinnacle community had produced hundreds of tons of Ganja for the local and export markets, thus making the Rastafari community in Jamaica pioneers in the exportation of Ganja. According to Louis Moyston, a Howell scholar, in an article published by the Jamaica Observer on the 4thof Feb., “Pinnacle was a place and a concept for industry and self-reliance. By and large, the early Rastafarians were characterised by self-help and industry; a vast majority were self-employed in a range of areas […] The second eviction from Pinnacle occurred in 1954 in a major raid by the police. Pinnacle was destroyed and many persons including children were arrested.
of which were confiscated by the police” (Presentation on Pinnacle made by Ras Miguel Lorne in Jamaica on the 29thof Dec. at the RYIC’s final General Meeting for year 2013, held at the Bob Marley Museum). In her position paper, titled Pinnacle— History and Current Status, pertaining to the historically brutal raid at Pinnacle, Barbara Blake Hannah says, “came to a boiling point in 1954 with one of the first joint police/military operations in Jamaica. Under orders from Prime Minister Bustamante on special advisement from the Monarch, a battalion of soldiers, police and select members of the Jamaica Secret Service executed a preemptive raid on the Pinnacle and destroyed the village, farmers, homes, and schools that had been constructed, leaving thousands homeless” (Hannah 2008). The strategic destruction of Pinnacle was a fierce attack on the economic viability of the Rastafari Community, and since then the community have not yet recovered from this historical persecution by the British colonial state of Jamaica. Those Rastas who suffered persecution fled Pinnacle for the Back O’ Wall, Dungle, Wareika Hill, and the Coral Gardens communities, where they again became victims of a similar violence. It is then evident that the Rastafari Community has strong claims for reparatory and restorative justice, and the full restoration of the lands at Pinnacle from the St. Jago Hills Developers Company Limited should be the outcome of any court ruling. Furthermore, for its lands to be fully restored its industries that once made the early Rastas thrive at Pinnacle such as the food, broom, clothing, Ganja and creative industries must also be restored. Critically, with a consistent increase in unemploy-
ment, poverty and violent crime, Jamaica is in need of agro-industrial and self- sufficient communities like the one previously established by Mr. Howell and his Ethiopian Salvation Society at Pinnacle during the early 1940s. Since the launch of the Ganja Future Growers and Producers Association (GFGPA), the Rastafari Community feels that despite its pioneering role, it is now being left out from having an impact on the proposed direction of a regulated medical Ganja industry in Jamaica. In terms of a compulsory condition of membership, the GFGPA’s General Working Principles state that “all members will have to sign a declaration contained in their membership form that they will not take any part, directly or indirectly, in the growing/cultivation of ganja until there is a legal and regulated framework for the growing of ganja.” This is a natural conflict with Rastafari interests. Furthermore, pertaining to the “Proposals for the Protection of the Traditional Cultivator and the future Small Farmer” formulated by the GFGPA, it is declared that a “‘Home Growers’ license for medicinal or religious purposes be given at nominal prices for registered property owners to seek licenses for up to a maximum of ten plants to be grown within the precincts of their homes in a fenced area,” andthat the Government of Jamaica, through a designated agency, be the sole exporter of vegetative cannabis. That document also proposes that the state significantly increase the penalties for all illegal exportation and persons found with compressed ganja. The vast majority of Jamaicans are landless and do not own property, so they would not be qualified to grow ganja for medical and spiritual purposes. Furthermore, I do not think those Jamaicans who own property should be restricted to only ten plants. State agencies should not have the exclusive monopoly on inspecting and packaging cannabis export. The same Jamaican state that has generally played a minimal role in the economy now wants to regulate and make money off of the Ganja industry. The state should instead decrease the penalties for all illegal exportation, and for persons found with compressed Ganja. The government should also influence illegal cultivators and traders of Ganja into going legal, rather than criminalizing them. Also important to note is that the Ganja Future Growers and Producers Association is against decriminalization of Ganja in Jamaica. They have not taken into consideration the socio-cultural expression of the people as it relates to Ganja consumption, although recent statistics have revealed that fifty percent of Jamaicans consume Ganja in one form or the other. Clearly, the many capitalists who will venture into a newly regulated medical Ganja industry are not concerned with social rights, but only with their own profits and domination of a soon-to-be legalized export market for Ganja in Jamaica.
Cannabis Digest â€˘ Spring 2014
Issue Number 40
HEMPOLOGY 101 CROSSWORD “Science, Industry & Politics”
By Dieter MacPherson
Check out Georgia’s website to see some of her other comics, read her blog, and help her spread the good word by picking up a copy of her book of the Happy Hippie comics.
Crossword Answers Crossword Answers: Across 1)StopTheViolence 4)MUMM 5)LesterGinspoon 6)LEAP 7)DavidHepburn 9)SensibleBC 13)Gupta 16)NielMckinney 18)Courtney 19)Sativex 20)Cannabinol 21)NORML 22)Dravet Down 2)Endocannabinoid 3)EthanRusso 4)Melamede 8)Hempology101 10)Cannabidiol 11)Marinol 12)RickSimpson 14)Trudeau 15)CCIC 17)Entourage
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Cannabis Digest • Spring 2014
CANNABIS CLUBS ACROSS CANADA AND THE U.S.A
Cannabis dispensaries in Canada, due to a lack of regulation, all operate under unique and individual mandates. As such, the membership requirements of each dispensary differ. We recommend travelling with a copy of your original proof of condition (doctor’s note) which the VCBC staff will be happy to provide. It is also recommended to research the dispensaries in the region you will be visiting and try to establish contact, if possible, before yourvisit. Please be discreet and polite when contacting another dispensary—you are representing the VCBC too! Keep in mind: Some dispensaries have problems with supply and accessibility. The VCBC cannot guarantee that another dispensary will have supply or accept your card as proof of condition. Please help grow this network and support your local clubs by encouraging quality gardeners to direct their product to local dispensaries, or by growing yourself. RedMed British Columbia Ontario 231 Abbott St., Vancouver Tel: 604-559-9444 VICTORIA CANNABIS BUYERS’ CLUB (VCBC) C.A.L.M. 826 Johnson St., Victoria Tel: 250-381-4220 Toronto, Ontario Canna Clinic Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 416-367-3459 Fax: 416-367-4679 758 East Broadway, Vancouver www.cbc-canada.ca Email: email@example.com Tel: 604-558-2454 Website: www.cannabisclub.ca NORTH ISLAND COMPASSION CLUB Pacific CannaMed Society Tel:250-871-5207 TORONTO COMPASSION CENTRE 1259 Kingsway, Vancouver Tel: 416-668-6337 Fax: 416-461-7116 Tel: 604-5583225 OCEAN GROWN MEDICINAL SOCIETY Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 1725 Cook St Unit 1, Victoria www.torontocompassioncentre.org T.A.G.G.S Tel: 778-265-1009 11696 - 224th St., Maple Ridge, BC MEDCANNACCESS Tel: 604-477-0557 Fax:604-477-0575 VANCOUVER ISLAND COMPASSION SOCIETY Tel: 416-253-1021 Fax: 416-253-1428 Email: email@example.com 853 Cormorant St., Victoria Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel:250-381-8427 Fax: 250-381-8423 www.medcannaccess.org NELSON COMPASSION CLUB #203-602 Josephine St. Nelsom, BC BC COMPASSION CLUB SOCIETY RAINBOW MEDICAL CANNABIS CANADA Tel: 250-354-4206 2995 Commercial Drive, Vancouver Toronto, Ontario Email: email@example.com Tel:604-875-0448 Fax: 604-875-6083 Tel: 416-927-8639 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.rainbowmedicinalcannabis.ca BE KIND OKANAGAN GROWERS AND website: www.thecompassionclub.org COMPASSION CLUB. MEDICAL COMPASSION CLINIC 288 Hwy. #33 West Rutland, BC (Kelowna) GREEN CROSS SOCIETY OF B.C. 66 Wellesley St E 2nd Fl, Toronto Ontario Tel: 778-753-5959 Fax: 778-753-5755 2127 Kingsway, Vancouver Tel: 647-291-0420 Vernon Location: Tel: 778-785-0370 Fax:778-785-0477 www.medicalcompassionclinic.com Email: email@example.com www.greencrossofbc.org www.okanagancompassionclub.com Maritimes VANCOUVER MEDICINAL CANNABIS DISPENSARY WESTCOAST MEDICANN 880 East Hastings St. THCC—FARM ASSISTS 2931 Cambie St., Vancouver, BC. Tel: 604-255-1844 Fax: 604-255-1845 Tel: (902) 495-0420 Tel: 604-558-2266 West End location: 1182 Thurlow St. http://thccsociety.wix.com/home www.westcoastmedicann.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.cannabisdispensary.ca **To add your club to this list, please contact: <email@example.com> PAIN MANAGEMNT SOCIETY 2137 Commercial Drive. Vancouver YALETOWN MEDICAL DISPENSARY Tel: 604-215-4551 Fax: 1-888-684-6906 1281 Howe St., Vancouver www.painmanagementsociety.org TEL: (604) 566-9051 FAX: (604) 558-2879 www.yaletownmedicaldispensary.com EDEN MEDICINAL SOCIETY 161 E. PENDER, Vancouver VAN CITY MEDICINAL SOCIETY Tel: 604-568-9337 1594 Kingsway, Vancouver 637 E. HASTINGS, Vancouver Tel: (604) 875-0002 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 604-568-9337 www.myeden.ca MED POT NOW SOCIETY 4170 Fraser St. , Vancouver Alberta Tel: (604) 569-2119 www.medpotnow.com M.A.C.R.O.S. 4121-118 Avenue NW, Edmonton, Alberta THE HEALING TREE Tel: 780-457-6824 529 East Hastings St., Vancouver Website: www.macros.ca Tel: 604-569-1091 http://delta9medical.ca/
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