OCTOBER 18, 2018 • VOLUME 71 • ISSUE 8
w MARTLET.CA f /THEMARTLET t @THEMARTLET
POT OFF THE PRESS!
SATIVA FOR STUDYING (p.12) INTRO TO EDIBLES (p.13) CANNABIS ON CAMPUS (p.3)
WEED IS LEGAL! SONGHEES NATION PIT COOK AT FORT RODD HILL (p.5)
CANNABUSINESS, BABY! (p.8)
CATCHING UP WITH FOX GLOVE (p.11)
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SPECIAL GENERAL MEETING The Martlet will be holding a special general meeting later this month in the Martlet office to consider changes to the Martletâ€™s constitution.
PROPOSED AGENDA (SUBJECT TO CHANGE) Changes to the Martlet constitution
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2018 UVic, SUB B011, 5:00 PM
FINALLY YOU PUT MY LOVE ON TOP! COME ON BABE! YOU PUT MY LOVE ON TOP, OOHH OOOH COME ON BABAY!
Cannabis on campus reportedly “the biggest non-event of the century”
UVic’s policy on cannabis is unsurprisingly laid-back NATASHA SIMPSON CONTRIBUTING WRITER
B.C.’s weed-friendly reputation proves true at UVic, as policy-makers appear to be unfazed regarding students using cannabis on campus. The general attitude seems to be, we know you’re doing it, so please use the designated areas, and don’t annoy the neighbours or burn down Mystic Vale. Though cannabis is federally legal as of Oct. 17, legislation around public use varies from province to province. Universities are responsible for establishing policies in accordance with the rules of their province. In B.C., the minimum age for legal cannabis consumption is 19. Cannabis smoking and vaping are banned wherever tobacco smoking or vaping are banned, as well as being prohibited in vehicles and in areas frequented by children, such as beaches and parks. Otherwise, cannabis use is permitted in public. According to Kane Kilbey, Associate Vice-President of Human Resources and leading member of the working group responsible for the university’s cannabis protocol, UVic has taken “a fundamentally pragmatic perspective.” The university wants to avoid stigmatizing cannabis use, while encouraging those living in residence who use the drug to do so safely. Policy-makers are aware that cannabis consumption is nothing new on campus.
The crafting of rules has been more about legally recognizing and regulating existing behaviour, rather than making allowances for new activity. Kilbey sees drafting a whole new cannabis-focused policy as unnecessary. “We’re adjusting a few of our policies because many of our policies were written at a time when cannabis was considered an illicit drug,” he says. “So you have to change that context, but we’re not introducing a new cannabis policy.” Instead, cannabis use has been integrated into UVic’s current smoking policy. The existing smoking benches remain solely designated for tobacco smoking, while there are two new benches for cannabis use located near Parking Lot 5 and near the residences behind the Student Union Building (SUB). Pierre-Paul Angelblazer, UVSS Director of Outreach and University Relations, says that although the UVSS was consulted semi-regularly during the planning process, he does not think students’ needs will be met by just the two benches. “We brought up this concern and the response was that you don’t necessarily have to sit on the bench, all you have to do is stay in the general vicinity of the bench. People will almost certainly continue to smoke and vape indoors, however the two benches will at least accommodate a few people.” The new benches are specifically placed to serve students who live in
residence. UVic wants to avoid inadvertently encouraging students to commute to school, use cannabis on campus, and then commute home while impaired. For those living elsewhere in the community who wish to use cannabis, they are encouraged to do so in their own neighbourhoods, as per municipal bylaws. Kilbey admits that legal cannabis use on campus is “a bit of a social experiment, and that the regulatory framework is going to continue to evolve,” but he believes that limiting the number of benches “reduces second hand smoke on campus and hopefully impaired driving in the broader community.” Dawn Schell, a UVic counsellor who runs information courses about cannabis use on campus, says that they will continue to monitor the current policy in the coming months. “There will be an ongoing evaluation about the number of benches and cannabis use on campus,” says Schell. Part of the issue is finding bench locations that meet all of the criteria for allowing cannabis use. “Wherever we put them, they have to be consistent with the municipal bylaws and the WorkSafe B.C. regulations,” Kilbey says. “We can’t expose our workers to second-hand smoke of any kind, including psychoactive ingredients. It [also] has to be safe and accessible for adults living on campus, so not tucked away in some dark corner.”
The idea behind the benches is that redirecting behaviour is easier than banning it altogether. Without places to light up on campus, Kilbey realizes that students will “do it in the Vale, and burn it down one of these days, or they’ll walk across the street and consume it and smoke it legally in our neighbourhoods.” Setting Mystic Vale on fire would obviously be problematic for UVic, as would causing complaints about smoking in surrounding residential areas. Kilbey is not concerned about policy enforcement, and believes that “for campus security, it will be business as usual.” The role of campus security will be to “provide education, information, and redirection” to cannabis-friendly areas. While police might check the IDs of cannabis users and enforce the 30 gram possession limit, campus security will not. Saanich police were contacted by the Martlet but declined to comment on how impaired driving would be enforced near campus following legalization, saying only that “road safety has consistently been identified as a top priority by people living in Saanich,” and that the department would “continue to invest in resources that keep our roadways, and those who use them, safe.” There is only one federally-approved device for roadside saliva testing for THC. Most police departments are
waiting for a wider range of options to choose from before placing orders. Officers currently rely on field sobriety tests, such as vision tracking, to screen drivers. For staff and students, the only real change on campus is that designated cannabis smoking areas now exist. University employees are still responsible for arriving at work unimpaired, and students are still expected to be sober in class. UVic will continue to support employees and students who use cannabis for medical reasons. Additional signage and websites with information regarding harm reduction and resources for students are planned to launch with legalization. For students dealing with substance abuse problems, UVic Counselling Services, Health Services, and the UVSS Peer Support Centre offer support. The university knows that students who want to smoke cannabis already do. Kilbey makes it clear that while UVic is prepared, the school is not expecting issues with legalization. “At the end of the day, it feels a bit like Y2K, where a lot work goes into something that turned out to be one of the biggest non-events of the century. And maybe it’s going to be just like that, given what we already know about consumption patterns. Now there’s just a place to do it.”
Signs found on campus demand cigarette smokers stick to “shame benches”
Smokers speak out on stigma around cigarette addiction EMILY FAGAN SENIOR STAFF WRITER
There is a place inside Ring Road, in the shadows of the Clearihue clocktower, where aside from an official UVic sign reminding smokers to clean up their cigarette butts, seems like a world untouched by the university’s smoking policy. Enclosed by hedges on two sides, it’s a private place, away from other members of the UVic community — an ample location to catch up with friends, have a moment alone, and sneak in a quick smoke break between classes. Until one day in mid-September, when two stickers appeared. “No smoking here,” the stickers read. “Go to the shame bench where you belong.” There are 14 designated benches for cigarette smokers on campus, in addition to two new ones for cannabis smokers. These benches are the only places on campus where UVic’s official policy permits smoking. “I don’t know exactly who put that up, but it’s not cool,” said Moe Ezzine, a third year engineering student who encountered the signs while smoking with his friends. It’s not the first time Ezzine has
experienced harassment for smoking on campus. He has often been called “disgusting” by students walking or biking past him as he smokes. “I once had someone yell at me through the window of one of the buildings I was taking classes in,” said Bret Enemark, a student in Gender Studies who has smoked on campus for the last seven years. “I feel like smokers are looked down upon, either by being given dirty looks or passiveaggressive comments.” Both Enemark and Ezzine identify as being addicted to cigarettes, although Enemark recently quit in August. As someone in long-term recovery from substance abuse, Enemark relied on cigarettes for a long time to get her through the early stages of battling with other addictions. Nearly all of the smokers that she knows are addicted to the cigarettes they smoke, Enemark said. For her, the addiction to cigarettes was just as much psychological as physical, if not more. “There’s a ritual to it and I felt it gave me the freedom to excuse myself from conversations or interactions that I didn’t want to be in,” said Enemark. “It allowed me alone time. Going outside to smoke in the morning gave me a quiet five minutes to start my day. It
became a part of my identity.” However, she made an effort to hide as much as possible when smoking at designated areas on campus, because the anxiety and embarrassment from being shamed began to negatively impact her feelings of self-worth. “I don’t think people should make fun of addiction,” said Ezzine. “I would appreciate if someone [took] the effort to come talk to me [about quitting smoking], cause that’s very nice of them. But then if someone’s gonna be calling me disgusting and putting up signs like that, I think it’s just [not good].” Ezzine makes a point to adhere to provincial law by smoking away from minors and at least six metres from building entrances. He typically smokes inside Ring Road, which is against UVic’s smoking policy. But many of the designated benches where he is supposed to be smoking at, Ezzine notes, are along walkways and near bus stops that many nonsmokers have to travel past. Campus Security officers regularly patrol the campus to ensure the smoking policy is being upheld. For the last two years, this has included redirecting smokers to designated smoking benches, although Campus Security is not authorized to give out
tickets or strongly enforce this policy. Additionally, student smoking ambassadors work four to six hours per week to raise awareness about the university’s smoking policy and politely make smokers in violation of the policy aware of the smoking benches. On average, Ezzine smokes about half a pack per day, and for him, a 10-minute break between classes is simply not enough time to bother detouring to a designated smoking spot outside Ring Road. Instead, he finds discreet areas away from students, like below the Clearihue clocktower. But not all students keep their smoke to themselves. Walking along the quad, it’s common to see people vaping on the way to class, or find cigarette butts scattered around bike racks. “[Being] stuck [behind] a long trail of smoke is absolute torture,” said Lila DeTreaux, a student who is currently taking some time off. “[Inside Ring Road is] a designated smoke-free area for a reason—smoke is toxic. When I am trying to walk between classes, it’s important that the fresh air clears my head.” For DeTreaux, secondhand smoke impacts her ability to study, focus, and recharge between classes. She values the university’s decision to prioritize
clean air inside the Ring, especially since it’s normal to encounter smoke downtown and in other areas of Victoria. But Ezzine suspects it wasn’t a concerned student like DeTreaux who put up the signs. Whoever placed the signs attached them from inside the glass wall, which is adjacent to a locked door that Ezzine has only ever seen accessed by university employees. The Martlet reached out to Kane Kilbey, Associate Vice-President of Human Resources at UVic, for comment. Kilbey, who was not previously aware of the signs, said they will definitely be removed. “We would encourage the smoking ambassadors in particular, when they’re doing their walkabouts, to ensure that only official university signage is in place,” said Kilbey. “Because that’s the kind of consistent message that we want to send to our campus community.” At the time of writing this article, the signs remain in place. In the future, Ezzine hopes that a more thoughtful and constructive discussion can arise from this issue. “We’re mature people,” he said. “We need to have an open conversation [about smoking] as long as everyone is civilized.”
OCTOBER 18, 2018 I MARTLET • NEWS 3
How do you think cannabis legalization will impact road safety? NATASHA SIMPSON CONTRIBUTING WRITER CALLUM MASTERTON, SECOND-YEAR ANTHROPOLOGY STUDENT
“If they have a breathalyzer for it then maybe that would help, but going through high school and all that, ninety-nine percent of people would drive high, like all the time. The stoners would drive high, everyone would get high and drive somewhere. I personally didn’t…I think they have to have a way to enforce it, right?”
SEAN ROBIN, VICTORIA COMMUNITY MEMBER.
“I think, honestly, it won’t matter too much. People are going to drive high like they do anyway…I think the same people are going to do the exact same [stuff].”
EVA EATON, VICTORIA COMMUNITY MEMBER
“I think there will be a severe impact because we don’t have any reliable way to test for current impairment.”
Marijuana, the drug ANONYMOUS CONTRIBUTING WRITER Victory, victory! Oct.17 is a victory. Certainly. Years of incarcerations, crackdowns, deaths, the drug war on Cannabis. The pendulum has finally swung towards good. 420, Cheech and Chong, and “THC cures cancer” have won out over Reefer Madness, ‘devil’s lettuce,’ and Nixon. Cannabis is legal, and that is that. My relationship with weed began in high school. After smoking my first blunt, I bought a vaporizer and some bud from a nearby dealer. As an outcast, shy and perpetually stuck in the same social circles, weed was my out. I used the drug to make new friends, and to ease the anxiety of my first romantic encounters. In university, I restricted smoking to weekends, but those weekends were sometimes three or four days long. From the moment I would light up to the moment I passed out, I was perpetually using, always chasing a higher high. It
felt good. It felt great. If you haven’t mixed booze and weed — crossfading — there’s nothing much closer to physical bliss. On weekends with my ex, I would take small doses of edibles in secret, giving me a cloud to ride on during sex, or tv, or breakups. I used weed. I was addicted to weed. I was a good kid. I was bored and I was lonely, but my parents gave me enough hugs. Unfortunately, they couldn’t help me with smoking. I couldn’t help me with smoking. Only when another ex told me that I became a different person when high — dumb and vicious were their exact words — did I think about quitting; only then, sitting on my bed with my wild hair and blank red eyes did I start to think about stopping. Realizing in those first few months the kind of power that this drug had over me was the most sobering part of sobriety. Since then, it’s been ups and downs — always. Just this summer, I almost got
6 OPINION • MARTLET I OCTOBER 18, 2018
in a fistfight in Berlin’s Gorlitzer Park with a dealer who had dealt me bad hash. Back in my home town, I heard voices during a particularly potent dab pen
“...this event is about realizing that there is more to a place than maybe what’s advertised.” relapse, and later that week, I found
myself stoned at a party, being threatened by someone wielding a knife. This is my cautionary tale and my point, if there is any point at the end of an addiction: marijuana is a drug. I know it is because it works. Weed numbs you. It makes anything funny, even pain, and it makes those calorie-dense cheetos oh so delicious. Like any drug, it has its uses — like a tincture of THC reducing the seizures of a nine-year old girl in Oregon, or joints of Green Crack helping my uncle during his painful struggle with pancreatic cancer. But just like any drug, it can be abused. I abused it. On Oct. 17, it will be a good day for Canada. It will be a good day for me. It fills my heart with joy to know that we can look at the past century and laugh; laugh at their ignorance and with joy to our triumph. But it will be bittersweet. I worry that there will be more people like me in this legal era: people who are abusers of and who have been abused by weed.
But I’ll be down there with you at the legislature. I’ll be there, trying not to smoke the joint that will very likely be in my hand. I will try to come to terms with this new Canada, this newly legal, accessible drug, this new world that we are forging. Will a joint hold the same gravity as a shot of whiskey? Will it hold less? Will our country be full of lazy Jesse Pinkmans? Or will our kids finally be the generation, as Reagan once said, “that has no crutch?” I hope that legalization brings amnesty for all of us who would have been imprisoned under a more unenlightened government. I hope that it brings freedom from pain for people crushed under the foot of opioids, and that it will prevent ten year olds from taking their first puff. Legalization is the only way to a more responsible age of cannabis usage. Use responsibly. Happy 10/17.
It's the end of the world and we all know it
Or is it?
A report was released on Oct. 8 by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change announcing we have just 12 years before our planet surpasses the point of no return. The average temperature on earth has reached one degree celsius higher than pre-industrial averages. That may not seem like much, but when we reach 1.5 degrees celsius — which is anticipated to occur by 2030 if we do not immediately curb our carbon emissions by 45 per cent — the planet will reach a critical impact level with extreme floods, wildfires, food shortages, and drought like we have never experienced before. The report is fairly drastic news, and there is concern that people will fall into a state of hopelessness. In order to actually avoid this seemingly inevitable death sentence, major political movements will need to occur at all levels of government across the world. Basically, the world as we know it is changing faster than we expected, and those in power don't seem up to the task of making the sweeping strides that are desperately needed to stop the worst from happening, let alone mitigate the damage already done. Strategies for reducing carbon emissions — such as significantly investing in renewable energies, applying a carbon tax, or raising carbon prices — are costly, and governments are concerned about footing the bill. The overall impact of these measures is questionable anyways, particularly since it has been reported that 71 per cent of all carbon emissions come from 100 major global corporations. Considering the scale and source of these emissions, it seems almost impossible to see how any change could be possible from anywhere outside of these companies. It can feel like a hopeless and distressing reality, because, really, does one person using a reusable straw, biking to work, or buying from a thrift store do anything at all? Living in Victoria, we are blessed with so many opportunities to be sustainable. Despite the realization that there is very little that any one individual can do to slow the changing
climate, we should not necessarily abandon efforts to make the world a better place. Together, large groups of individuals can do something. Local governments have been some of the most active and successful players on the world stage when it comes to promoting and investing in renewable energy and sustainable practices. Indeed, the only drastic changes that have ever occurred in history are when citizens gather and demand change. In the 1980s, the world came together to ban CFCs— toxic chemicals proven to be the primary cause of the depletion of the ozone layer. The world at the time recognized the impending danger of ozone depletion and mobilized to stop the use of CFCs. Since that time, the hole in the ozone layer has partially recovered. The point is: some change is possible at the level of the individual. Renowned scientist and environmentalist David Suzuki has been studying climate change for his entire career, and knows better than anyone how depressing the future looks. But he says there's no other option. "We’ve all got to do our little bit, whatever it is. Actually doing something [that] invigorates you, it makes you feel better to be doing something." If everyone biked to work, stopped buying disposable plastic, ate less meat, and encouraged everyone around them to do the same, it would certainly make a difference — even if it's just to feel empowered. Most importantly, our greatest power lies in our democratic right to vote for policy-makers dedicated to an environmental vision, and in our ability to assemble and lobby those in positions of power to take action. Because if society stops behaving like we care, what incentive will world leaders have to operate any differently? The world as we know it might never be the same, and like it or not, climate change is happening. But we are still active players in this crucial time, and remembering that may just save us from dying in a fire or drought in the next few decades. And that, we’d say, is still worth fighting for.
Talk to us Happy? Sad? Enraged? Tell us: email@example.com The Martlet has an open letter policy and will endeavour to publish letters received from the university and local community. Letters must be submitted by email, include your real name and affiliation to UVic and have “Letter to the editor” in the subject line. Letters must be under 200 words and may be edited.
A case for fairer elections ANNA DODD EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Beginning on Oct. 22, British Columbians will have the opportunity to change the way we vote in provincial elections. Electoral reform was a top federal election promise for Justin Trudeau's Liberals, but shortly after they came to power, the Liberals said that electoral reform would not be in their mandate after all. At the time, many Canadians were disappointed, and for good reason. A wide majority of the Canadian electorate voted for political parties who had made electoral reform a high priority. The Liberals, NDP, and Green Party all promised — and some continue to promise — electoral reform. Combining the popular vote of these three parties in the last federal election means 63 per cent of voters backed parties that incorporated electoral reform into their platforms. And those numbers do not even reflect the opinions of the 30 per cent of eligible voters who didn’t vote at all in the federal election. One of the many reasons for voter apathy in Canada is that our current First-past-the-post (FPTP) electoral system does not engender an active electorate. This is mainly because FPTP is designed to elect majority governments even when a party does not receive the majority of the popular vote. It means that the majority of any given constituency may not have voted for the politician who is ultimately elected to represent them, and this in turn means that the interests of the majority are not being accurately represented at the federal level. Currently, B.C. also operates on a FPTP voting system for provincial elections. FPTP is how the B.C. Liberals stayed in power for as long as they did (16 years) despite not having the majority of voter support. In every provincial election since 2005, the combined popular vote of the NDP and the B.C. Green Party has surpassed that of the B.C. Liberals, meaning these two parties had the majority of the electorate’s support. But because of the flawed system of FPTP where winner takes all, the majority of British Columbians' voices have not been heard for a very long time. Hypothetically, if you live in a constituency that strongly supports a political party that does not align with your values, and you understand how this flawed FPTP system works, you would have two options come election time: 1) vote strategically by voting for the party candidate that is most likely to beat out the candidate you don’t want, but who still doesn't fully align with your
values, or 2) don’t vote. You know your vote is probably not going to change anything anyways, so why bother? Electoral reform can change this. Whether it's Dual Member Proportional, Mixed Member Proportional, or—my personal favourite—Rural-Urban Proportional, any of these systems will provide a far more accurate ratio of popular vote to seats won. The calculations for seat allocation with these proportional voting systems may be complex, but the results that are produced are more fair. And there's nothing really complex about results where 39 per cent of the popular vote equates to 39 per cent of seats in the Legislative Assembly. Proportional representation means more minority governments, which means political parties will have to
fair and democratic system in Canada. I f w e i m p l e m e n t p ro p o r t i o n a l representation at the provincial level, other provinces may follow our lead, and over time, the federal government just might follow suit as well (though I'm skeptical of this ever happening under Trudeau). But hey, don't listen to me. Listen to Arend Lijphart, a world-renowned political scientist who has spent his entire career studying voting systems in countries around the world. His research found that in 16 out of 17 categories of the Corruption Perceptions Index, countries with proportional representation-based voting systems outperformed countries with majoritarian systems like FPTP. Such categories include government effectiveness, rule of l a w, a n d l e v e l an d c on trol o f corruption. Examples of developed countries that use proportional representation include Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Sweden. What do those countries have in common? Typically they’re progressive, have good health care, have excellent renewable energy initiatives, and report higher levels of individual happiness overall. They're not perfect, and we cannot attribute their voting system as the cause of their overall success, but we can look to Lijphart's research and correlate a lack of corruption with these attributes. We can correlate overall government effectiveness with these attributes. We can correlate rule of law with these attributes. It's a shame that proportional representation has become such a polemic issue, because at the end of the day, it shouldn’t really be one. It should be a human rights issue. Proportional representation means a larger number of voices are heard and represented, and that's to the benefit of everyone, not just one faction of citizens. For information on a breakdown of systems, please read The Martlet's article here: http://www.martlet.ca/ electoral-reform-101/ And, for the most accessible overview of different proportional systems and our current FPTP system, check out CGP Grey's YouTube channel.
“Proportional representation means a larger number of voices are heard and represented, and that's to the benefit of everyone” stop beating each other down and start working together and compromising in order to get things done in the legislature. It means more political parties will have the opportunity to represent a larger array of viewpoints. It means the tone and discourse in politics will be more cooperative, and in our current global political climate that seems rife with divide, we need this kind of cooperation more than ever. For a simple, tangible example of the potential benefits of proportional representation, consider this: if the United States had a voting system based on proportional representation (and did away with the electoral college and excessive gerrymandering among other things), then Donald Trump would not currently be President. Let's all close our eyes together for a moment and imagine a world where Trump is not the President of one of the most powerful nations on earth. It's nice, isn't it? B.C. has the opportunity to be a trailblazer in the creation of a more
FPTP voting: https://www.youtube. com/watch?v=s7tWHJfhiyo Mixed Member proportional: https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=QT0I-sdoSXU Single Transferable Vote: https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=l8XOZJkozfI
OCTOBER 18, 2018 I MARTLET • OPINION 7
Cannabusiness in YYJ A closer look into how the legalization of cannabis will affect Victoria, and what people are saying about it. JOSH KOZELJ SENIOR STAFF WRITER
onna have to get used to that,” my sister whispered to me. Sitting on a bench on the outskirts of the University of Toronto campus, over 4 000 kilometers from home, we were watching a group of students and 20-somethings smoking e-cigarettes across the street. Plumes of smoke hovered above them, dancing their way through the thick, late-summer air of downtown Toronto. While their smoke filled the air with the familiar sickly-sweet smell of flavoured tobacco, I could also smell a different, more skunky scent. Cannabis. “Oh, that’s what you meant,” I replied. I wondered, were we getting a glimpse into the future, post-Oct.17, the Canadian government’s official date for the legalization of cannabis? Are we destined to see a gold (or rather, green) rush in towns and cities across the country? Will that distinct smell of marijuana be constantly floating around public parks, trails, and roads? Will every day feel like 4/20? With all those questions going through my mind, I felt a tap on my shoulder. “Do you mind if I interview you? It’s part of a class project,” a stranger asked me. Normally, being introverted and shy, I would have pretended to be on my phone in the hopes that she would go away. I have a stutter that rears its ugly head in spur-of-the-moment social encounters, but for some reason I decided to grant her request. Maybe I was interested to see why she picked me, among the hundreds of other students floating around campus, or maybe I was
Photos by Belle White, Photo Editor.
8 FEATURE • MARTLET I OCTOBER 18, 2018
genuinely interested in what her class project was about. Nonetheless, her first and only question brought my stutter to the spotlight. “Do you agree or disagree with the Canadian government’s decision to legalize marijuana?” “I-I-I, hmm. Good question. Very good question,” I replied. Usually, I’m the one asking the questions, and now, here I was in an unfamiliar city, stumped. Until that point, I hadn’t really thought much about cannabis and whether I approve of its legalization. Colorado and Washington’s legalization of marijuana back in 2012 didn’t interest me much, nor did the Justin Trudeau Liberals’ campaign promise to legalize it in 2015. And when they finally announced that July 1, and later Oct. 17, would be the official date that cannabis would be made legally available to the public I briefly scanned the headline in my newsfeed before scrolling to the next story. I don’t smoke, eat, or consume the stuff, so it won’t affect me, right?
HEALTH CONCERNS “B.C. Child in hospital after eating cannabisinfused gummy bears,” a CBC headline read. Twelve days before legalization, a Comox child was airlifted to a hospital after they consumed an unknown number of cannabis gummies they found in the backseat of their parents’ car. “This is a very unfortunate situation that brings to light the dangers of cannabis infused
edibles—especially those that resemble candy,” said Constable Monika Terrangi with Comox RCMP, to the CBC. Last year, an elementary school child in Oshawa brought pot-laced snacks to school after a lunch mix-up. Investigators said their parent, who owns a medical marijuana licence, baked a batch of marijuana cookies and accidentally misplaced a sizeable amount in their child’s backpack. When the kid started to share cookies with friends at school, four young students were reported to have been ‘dizzy and euphoric’. A week before that incident, in a separate event at the same school, a group of students were found to have consumed cannabis-infused gummy bears after showing signs of dizziness. Although commercial edibles will remain banned until July 2019, my thoughts immediately turned to my little cousin in elementary school. I pictured her accidentally stumbling upon a handful of cannabis gummies, and unknown to her, scarfing the treats down thinking they were candy. She had open heart surgery at birth, and I started to worry that consuming cannabis might affect her heart and even put her life in jeopardy. Indeed, some health researchers are concerned about legalization because they believe that easier access to cannabis could lead some youth to high-risk behaviour. In a 10-year study released this summer, UVic researcher and psychologist Bonnie Leadbeater found that cannabis has staggering effects on youth. Leadbeater and three other researchers examined data from a Victoria Health Youth Survey held from 2003-2013, and found that adolescents who consumed cannabis at a young age were at higher risk for physical, mental, and behavioural health problems. Leadbeater’s study also highlighted that these individuals usually had lower education levels. “Our hope is that the work sheds light on how young Canadians use cannabis across adolescence and young adulthood,” said Leadbeater in a media release. “We now understand better what predicts different patterns of use and how these patterns contribute to mental health and well-being of youth.” In a separate interview with Chek News, Leadbeater said now is the time for the government to take steps to protect youth from the dangers of cannabis.
CANNABIS IN VICTORIA Victoria is regarded as one of Canada’s more progressive cities when it comes to cannabis. An overwhelming 63 per cent of British Columbians support legalization according to an Insights West poll, while 23 per cent of respondents admitted to smoking marijuana “at least a few times a year”. And from the annual pot-smoking rally on April 20 (the date 4/20 refers to cannabis consumption), to local government
recommendations to create lounges downtown for cannabis consumption, Victoria has been called a trendsetter for the green stuff. “Victoria and Vancouver are generally considered the mecca for cannabis in Canada,” said Brandon Wright, founder of Victoria’s Baked Edibles — the longest-running medical cannabis bakery in the country — to YAM magazine. “The West Coast has always been in a little bit of a bubble ... and that has helped foster innovation,” Wright added. “The fact that it is being legalized will foster another explosion of innovation. Cannabis is going to be delivered in ways that we can’t know now but that will surprise us. We can’t know what’s coming because it hasn’t come yet.” In 2017, the City of Victoria recommended to the province that cannabis lounges for public consumption should be considered. Mayor Lisa Helps elaborated on Victoria’s cannabis regulations, saying to YAM that both Victoria and Vancouver “have the most progressive and well-developed regimes in terms of regulatory process.” As of April, B.C.’s plan for legalization will allow cannabis to be sold in different ways. Whereas other provincial governments across the country— such as Saskatchewan, who has banned cannabis consumption in public places and will handle sales exclusively in the private sector—B.C. has opted for cannabis to be sold in both government-run stores and privately licensed stores. However, retail stores will need to apply for a recreational marijuana license, and secure support from their municipal government before they can open for business. The requirements are so stringent that only one government-run store will be open in the province on Oct. 17. “This is the largest public policy shift in decades and it’s not something that just happens overnight,” B.C.’s Public Safety Minister Mike Farnsworth said to the Globe and Mail about the single Kamloops location given government approval before the legalization deadline. Cannabis consumers in B.C. must be 19 years of age, and are permitted to smoke in public places where tobacco smoking and vaping are allowed. But smoking pot in B.C. is banned in parks or beaches—areas where children would go. As for other regulations finalized by the provincial government: Adults will be able to grow up to four plants per household (unless their landlord prohibits cultivation), possession of non-medical marijuana will be limited to 30 grams per person, and a 90-day driving ban will be charged to drugimpaired motorists caught under the influence behind the wheel. Despite all the progressive measures, only 50 per cent of the province believe the provincial and federal governments are prepared for legalization. The majority of those surveyed raised concerns about trouble avoiding second hand
smoke in public (64 per cent) and a higher rate of impaired drivers on the road (72 per cent).
AN EXPERT’S OPINION At a site nestled amongst the breweries and mechanics stores of Victoria’s industrial area, Alex Robb makes himself an espresso. He’s been a popular man lately. Even before our interview at the dispensary he manages, It’s easy to see how cannabis legalization in Canada is affecting his business. Being General Manager of Trees Dispensary, he has responded to media requests from CBC, Chek News, and now the Martlet over the past few weeks. “We’ve seen the cannabis industry really take off ... [Victoria’s] really become much more of a younger city over the course of the last decade. More and more young people have moved here, and as a result, [they] are able to concentrate their power in Victoria and shape the culture here,” says Robb. “I think that what we have seen in Victoria over the course of the last decade is a transformation of … demographics. When I arrived in Victoria 10 years ago, it was known as the city of the ‘newly wed and nearly dead.’” Trees focuses on the two main cannabinoids: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). “THC is an inebriating substance. It can be used to help with sleep, stress, and pain, but can also be stimulating and inspiring. CBD acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and is non-psychoactive,” reads Trees’ website. Trees also prides itself on local sourcing. “That’s part of the significance of our name — Trees Island Grown — is because we do source exclusively from this region, and from the small producers in this region,” says Robb. With new policies in place as of Oct. 17, though, smaller producers in B.C. — or what have been officially categorized as micro-cultivators — may face difficulties becoming fully legal growers, due to the financial constraints of regulation. “The new NDP government [came] in and [lobbied] the federal government very hard that before they legalize, they need to create a way for the small-scale BC producers to get into the legal system,” says Robb. “But the issue is that the applications for micro-cultivator won’t even be reviewed until after Oct. 17.” Robb believes these smaller producers may have to wait between six months to two years to integrate into the legal system. “This is a problem because if we, who are the current marketplace for those growers, transition to the legal market at a time way ahead of them, then they’re going to be cut out of the system.” Robb never envisioned himself ending up primarily in the cannabis industry, having to fend off multiple interview requests from hungry journalists about the marijuana landscape.
While working on his PhD in political science at UVic, Robb started working for Trees because he wanted a job that he could leave at the end of the day, go home, and fully focus on his dissertation. “I didn’t want to be applying for a [teaching assistant] job every three months, I was getting a little disenchanted with that [grad student] grind … I wanted just a counter-job that I could do during the day, and leave it at work and go home and work on my dissertation.” As licensed cannabis stores started to proliferate on the streets of Victoria, Robb began taking on more of a leadership role at Trees, which elevated him to GM status. “I came on to Trees at the exact same time the Victoria government was considering whether they should crack down on the storefronts, regulate them, or do nothing… [I started] putting together our public relations, community relations, and compliance regime [so we] could become a licensed and regulated cannabis storefront, and over the course of time I became General Manager.” On the topic of public fears about a permanent marijuana-infused smoke cloud floating over Victoria in the days following Oct. 17, Robb maintains that not much will change in terms of second-hand smoke affecting the wider population. “One of the things that has been put on the backburner of cannabis legalization and regulation is the business of consumption spaces ... there are so many restrictions being placed on where somebody can smoke,” says Robb. “Really you have to be a homeowner on your own property if you want to legally consume cannabis. You can’t do it in the public parks, you can’t do it on the beaches, you can’t do it on the streets within seven meters of an entrance.” Currently, the City of Victoria has put together a motion that would introduce a pilot project to look at implementing public cannabis consumption spaces, and Robb sees this as a critical measure the city is taking to lessen the public fears of health concerns. “The City of Victoria is again looking at becoming a leader in this. They’ve put forward a motion to study what it would mean to do a pilot project on a cannabis consumption spaces. The staff are due to report back on that at the end of the first quarter in 2019, and that should become something of a model of direction for the province and other jurisdictions.”
A SHIFT IN OUR CULTURE Ultimately, it seems life will mostly stay the same as of Oct. 17, although what happens to the smaller cannabis producers and distributors remains up in the (hazy) air. Will legalization affect me at a personal level? Probably not. But looking at the broader picture, it’s a substantial change in Canadian public policy, and symbolizes an even greater shift in our cultural norms as a country. Living in Victoria, a city that has been at the forefront of progressive cannabis culture, has, as Wright said, kept us in a bubble. While the culture in Victoria is unlikely to change dramatically, it will be fascinating to see how the rest of Canada handles legalization in the coming months.
OCTOBER 18, 2018 I MARTLET • FEATURE 9
Cannabis in Canada
A short history of drug control
DEVON BIDAL SENIOR STAFF WRITER Weed, ganja, pot, Mary Jane...cannabis goes by many names. What many people aren’t aware of is that the various colloquial names for cannabis were shaped by racialized discourse and propaganda. Many of these words were coined in the 1900s and they’ve permeated our language and cultural understandings of the drug to this day. “One thing that most people don’t know about the history was that Canada was a leader in drug control,” says UVic professor and drug policy researcher Susan Boyd. “The United States didn’t federally criminalize cannabis until 1937 with the Federal Marijuana Tax Act. We criminalized cannabis in 1923.” Boyd—who volunteered in 2016 with the federal government Task Force on Marijuana Legalization and Regulation — says that cannabis consumption in Canada was not even a common practice in the early 1900s. “When we look at the history of cannabis criminalization, it’s quite interesting because really, in Canada, Canadians had no experience with the smoking of cannabis. They had no
knowledge about the drug.” “What we did have [were] some elixirs and tonics by the early 1900s,” says Boyd. Cannabis and opium were not initially illegal—in fact, you didn’t even need a prescription for them. But attitudes about drugs began to change as the smoking of drugs became part of mainstream propaganda campaigns designed to racialize discourse surrounding their consumption. “Our earliest drug legislation was very race-based and white Canadians didn’t see our early drug legislation—like our Opium Act of 1908 — as directed at them,” says Boyd. Following a race-riot in Vancouver in 1908—which partly stemmed from white labourers and politicians discriminating against Japanese and Chinese labourers—Mackenzie King, who was the Minister of Labour at that time, was sent to B.C. to address the situation. Following his visit, King recommended the suppression of opium consumption. Canada’s first piece of drug legislation, the Opium Act, evolved as a direct response to that race-riot in 1908, says Boyd. With very little discussion, Cannabis was later added to this Act, she says. “Cannabis had already been conflated with the ‘dangerous’ smoking of opium and cocaine and so we didn’t really differentiate between these plant-based substances.” Meanwhile, politicians like Emily Murphy, the first female magistrate of Canada, wrote articles “associating these plant-based drugs with danger, criminality, harm—but also associating them with people of colour,” says Boyd.
Anti-drug educational campaigns also began popping up across Canada around the same time, and these campaigns were also racially-biased, which contributed to the exclusion of Chinese people from entering, living, or working in Canada. Looking back at newspapers from the 1920s and 1930s, there are countless headlines underlining the horrors of cannabis. “Reefer Madness headlines associat[ed] cannabis with violence, Mexican Americans, black men in the U.S., and [portrayed] white youth [as] being vulnerable to these evil dealers and going insane or murdering people if they used cannabis,” says Boyd. “So you can really see that in Canada, it was following the criminalization of cannabis that we really stepped up on the rhetoric about the dangers of cannabis with no evidence whatsoever.” One such headline from a 1938 Globe and Mail article stated: “Marijuana considered most vicious narcotic,” and goes on to claim within the article itself that marijuana is 10 times more powerful than cocaine. A similar headline from the Toronto Daily Star in the same year reads: “Marijuana smoker seized with sudden craze to kill.” “These headlines really solidified ideas about cannabis without providing any… scientific evidence,” says Boyd. In truth, cannabis wasn’t even being used as much as headlines would suggest, she says. “There was no epidemic at all.” The late 1960s and early 1970s saw a major shift in North American culture and cannabis use, says Boyd. “That’s the first time in history where cannabis use becomes popular, but what’s quite different from the past is that it was white, middle-class youths—and [the] not so youthful — who took up the smoking of cannabis.” This surge in the prevalence of cannabis use among white youth stemmed from the counterculture movement both in
and outside of Canada, and arrest records reflect the extent to which usage spiked. In 1960 there were only 21 arrests for possession of cannabis in all of Canada, while by 1972 there were over 50000. This shift caused quite an upset among largely middle class Canadian families. At that time, an offence involving criminalized drugs would result in life in prison. Parents demanded change, and the federal government responded with the establishment of the Royal Commission on the Non-Medical Use of Drugs—commonly referred to as the LeDain Commission—in 1969. After conducting several studies, the LeDain Commission recommended that penalties for crimes involving cannabis be reduced. “That was one of the first government reports that suggested that we really should repeal possession of cannabis [penalties],” says Boyd. “Later we had the Senate report in 2002 that said that we should legally regulate cannabis.” When it comes to the validity of claims regarding extreme, cannabis-induced paranoia—such as those portrayed in propaganda films like Reefer Madness—“almost all research...can only prove association, not causation,” says Bridget Reidy, a family doctor who practices in Saanichton, B.C. Despite this fact, Reidy does believe that there is a need for further research into cannabis, especially when it comes to impaired driving and the effects of cannabis on mental health. “No doubt there probably is a tendency to psychosis that can be exacerbated by [cannabis use]. That makes entire medical sense,” she says. “But did we see a spike in psychosis when marijuana became common in younger people? No.” According to Boyd, public discourses shape our ideas about drugs. “We don’t question that there’s a drug store on the street, we [just] assume those drugs are safe...and these drugs that are
criminalized are not safe.” “We need to look at...these arbitrary divides between legal and illegal drugs,” she says. “We should remember that cannabis...[is] an ancient plant and it was used historically for medicinal, spiritual, and recreational purposes.” When it comes to changing the public opinion of cannabis, Boyd feels it comes down to normalizing the use of drugs. “Canadians are a drug-consuming nation,” she says, and demonizing certain drugs over others doesn’t make us any safer. “What we need is just good information about each specific drug and that’s very hard to do when you have a drug control regime where you can’t even do necessary research.” “Canada is the first G7 nation to legally regulate cannabis at the federal level, and I think that’s quite important,” says Boyd. However, she feels that we could go further and amend legislation to make the penalties more in line with the rules for tobacco and alcohol infractions. “[We] need to pay close attention following Oct. 17 on who continues to be criminalized and whether or not it [negatively impacts] Indigenous people, black people, youth, [and] cannabis activists who aren’t able to find a means into the legal market,” says Boyd. “Those are the groups of people who—historically—have been negatively impacted by our drug control.” Canada’s relationship with cannabis has been tumultuous. Although our opinions have certainly morphed since the 1930s, we still have a long way to go. With luck, Canada’s choice to legalize cannabis will be a step towards righting past wrongs and doing away with the Reefer Madness paranoia once and for all. Graphic by Alyssa Savage, Graphics Contributor
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CULTURE A chat with Fox Glove
The UVic-based band grows in size, reach, and confidence with a new record due later this year CORMAC O’BRIEN
CONTRIBUTING WRITER A few hours before I spoke to Fox Glove, they kicked off Sunday at Rock the Shores on the mainstage as an eight-piece outfit with drums, guitars, and a string section. Just ten minutes before I spoke to Fox Glove, they played a small, acoustic trio set backstage at the festival. The dichotomy fits the band well. Their haunting harmonies and dramatic songwriting can fill up any space they’re in—whether outside in Langford or in a sold-out Alix Goolden Hall. But they also have the restraint and softness necessary to bring intimacy to the smaller shows. Even on their newest single, “Universe Be Damned,” Fox Glove move between acoustic guitar and a quiet drum machine to heavy keyboards and swooping, reverb-ed vocals. Nevertheless, however the music is presented, the voices of Claire Butterfield, Chelsea Kanstrup, and Renn Madeleine Bibeau are always enchanting. It turns out that’s also the case in conversation, as I found out when I spoke to the band about their start at UVic, their upcoming album, and why they’d like to be on tour with Brian Wilson. This interview has been condensed for style and clarity. The Martlet: You’ve played on big and small stages throughout your career. Do you have a preference for how big a venue is? Renn Madeleine Bibeau: I really like the big ones, but there’s something to be said for those intimate shows. Chelsea Kanstrup: I like the connections that you can get. I mean you can connect in the big shows with a lot of people, but I really love those small, intimate shows, like the occasional house concert where you’re completely unplugged, and people are five feet away from you. It can be terrifying, because they’re so close and you’re really connecting, [but] so nice to be one-on-one with them. Claire Butterfield: Sometimes being in a room of 20 people is more nerve-wracking than getting up in front of 10,000. RMB: Oh, 100 per cent. But what I do like about these [big] shows is that people do get to have those moments with you, kind of on their own. Even just walking around to grab some lunch, I had so many different people come and tell me about different points of the set that brought up this or made them feel this. Whereas the more intimate concerts I feel like you’re all in this together, you’re on kind of the same ride. Yeah, very different. The Martlet: Rock the Shores is a far cry from Felicita’s, I’m sure! All three of you went to UVic—how did the band come together? CK: I saw a poster for the UVic Vocal Jazz, and on a whim, joined. And the next year I was on the audition committee. These two both auditioned for the group that year, and the story I won’t go into — RMB: No, you should! It’s really funny. CK: So I’m on the audition panel, it’s a very quick thing. Someone comes in, they
say their name, they sing their song, they leave. It’s a very fast interaction. I do not do very well at figuring people out very quickly, and I voted against Renn very vehemently. Like, pretty strongly! Luckily, pretty much everyone else on the panel disagreed with me. And then of course I got to know her … CB: And you were like, “Oh my god, why wouldn’t I have!” RMB: Actually, one of the other people who was already in this group came up to me and she was like, “I just want to let you know, don’t get your hopes up. It’s very competitive.” And I almost went, “Maybe I shouldn’t bother even wasting my time trying out.” But I’m glad I did, and I’m glad I got in, because I met Claire and Chelsea. The Martlet: What precipitated the move from UVic Vocal Jazz friends to bandmates? RMB: I was living in Saskatchewan the summer before coming out [west] and I went to the Regina Folk Fest and saw a band that was very harmony-based called the Secret Sisters. And I thought I’d like to do a project like that, but go one step forward and have three voices so we could have that three-part harmony. And so I was talking with Chelsea one day after rehearsal, in our car, and I went, “Hey, I think I’d like to start this project, would you be interested?” CK: I had always wanted to do that. I never saw myself being in a band, but if I were to see myself being in a band it would be something harmony-based. And so when she mentioned that I was like, “Ohh, yes!” RMB — And so now we’d kind of become friends with Claire and I thought that voice would kind of round it out. CB: I remember seeing Renn walk into the rehearsal and being like, “I wanna be her friend.” And I remember hearing her sing and thinking, “that’s a really cool voice.” And I heard Chelsea’s voice and thought, “That’s a cool voice.” But I didn’t think anything of it at the time. And so when these two approached me and said, “let’s sing together!” . . . we never looked back. We just went with it . . . It’s funny to think of those eight months when we knew each other but weren’t singing in this format. Like I can’t even fathom that, now. The Martlet: Do you have any advice for other UVic bands and musicians who want to take the next step into the Victoria music scene? CK: I think the most important thing for us has been for the first part, say yes more than no. Then, once we started to get established, say no more than yes. Or at least to be very strategic about when we can say yes. CB: The music industry in Victoria, for a city of its size, is amazing. There’s so much going on here. I think it’s easy to get caught up in everything that’s going on in Victoria, though, and my advice to small bands would be to get up the island as much as you can. There’s Campbell River, Nanaimo, Tofino, there’s a beautiful venue in Port Alberni, actually, festivals in Port Renfrew — there’s so many amazing festivals on the island. Play in Victoria as much as you can, but also start to develop a fol-
lowing in those other places as well. CK: If you see someone doing something that you like or wanna do, reach out and ask them questions. We’ve done that. I wish we had done it earlier. There are so many people in the industry in Victoria who are willing to share their knowledge and their time and their advice. So just ask. The worst they’re going to say is, “Sorry, I can’t right now,” or “No, I can’t help you with that.” That’s not that bad. At best, they’re going to help you out with things that you never would have expected to happen, and we’ve been really lucky to have that happen for us and now we’re trying to continuously pass that along. RMB: I think that while you’re here you need to get away from that insular, “it’s my band, it’s my thing, I’m controlling” thing and start collaborating. Let other people in and let yourself out. I’ve certainly seen it push not only our careers but our creative bounds so much, when we said let’s do something outside our wheelhouse, let’s take a chance.
The Martlet: The new album is definitely an opportunity for establishing new creative bounds. How do you feel about the record? RMB: We’re ready for it to be out. We’re really stoked to share this with our fans and I think it’s also going to open us up to a whole other league of people, who maybe thought we were one thing and will start to see that we are many things . . . Our last two records feel a little bit more dated, whereas this one feels—I think our songwriting has gone through its growing pains, our instrumentation has changed, and we just kind of found out what we are as a collective, and this record is really going to be a testament to that. CB: One thing we’ve really tried to focus on with this album is making sure that we honour the form that the songs have taken in kind of a performance context and the way that they’ve been, but we also want to give them legs for the future. So we’ve evolved quite a few of the songs in the studio to be quite a bit different than we play them on stage, which I’m really excited about. The Martlet: I’ll let you enjoy the rest of the festival. Finally, though, if you could collaborate with any other artist playing at Rock the Shores this year, who would it be? CB: Mine’s for sure Allen Stone or Bahamas. CK: I don’t know if I’d be able to decide between the two of those. Also, I have this pipe dream that Brian Wilson may have been listening to our set and may want to bring us on tour. My dad would be pretty stoked if we opened for Brian Wilson. I would be stoked too! RMB: I’d love to get our soul vocals on with Allen Stone. That guy just rips. Bahamas is beautiful, as well. Really, just any of the artists that are playing here. I’m down for anything. If somebody’s like, “Hey, do you wanna — “ I’m like, “Yes!”
Renn Madeleine Bibeau
Photos by Belle White, Photo Editor
OCTOBER 18, 2018 I MARTLET • CULTURE 11
LIFESTYLE Meet the puffragettes
The Victoria-based women who are trailblazing Victoria’s cannabis industry ANNA JAMES CONTRIBUTING WRITER Like many sectors, the cannabis industry is dominated by men—but not for long. From cultivating strains to marketing CBD-rich potions, two women in the Victoria cannabis community understand that their role extends far beyond getting high: it’s a quest for gender parity, a vehicle for social justice, and an avenue for environmental and healthcare reform.
DISPENSARY MANAGER FOR THE VICTORIA CANNABIS BUYERS’ CLUB
feminist movement” that works t o w a rd s g e n d e r e q u a l i t y a n d environmental sustainability—do you agree with this? There’s a lot of talk about women in the cannabis industry. I guess for me, I’ve been lucky because I work at a place that doesn’t see gender, age, or race, and I agree with their core values. But I’ve heard alot of horror stories… women in [the] cannabis industry [are] treated like they’re working at Don Draper’s lemonade stand. I was once offered a job at a place where budtenders were all female and wore tight, revealing clothing. The guy described it as a “Hooters for weed.” I almost slapped the dude. And you know what? I never saw that place [go] anywhere. So I guess that’s saying something. When people come to the VCBC, what is it they are most looking for?
To call Julia a store manager is to do her a huge disservice; she’s a true MVP of the cannabis industry. In addition to managing Victoria’s oldest cannabis retail shopfront, VCBC, Julia is an activist, journalist, spokesperson, and the confidante of many who use cannabis for medicinal purposes. The Martlet: How did you get into the cannabis industry?
Let me answer this in the words of a member. He said, “If I want to get high, I can go anywhere. If I’m sick and needing medicine and help—I come to VCBC.” Why is it important—if it makes a difference at all—that customers have an option to talk to either a woman or man in retail stores? Men and women’s bodies are different. It’s important to have a male budtender available to talk with a patient with prostate cancer, and a female to answer questions about cervical cancer, breast cancer, and vaginal issues. It’s about providing the best level of care by providing patients with someone they’ll feel comfortable with. It’s also important that stores employ people of all ages, especially so seniors are represented. There’s something for everyone in the cannabis industry, and everyone can be a part of this.
ASHLEY ABRAHAM— SMOKING LOUNGE PIONEER OF THE GREEN CEILING
Julia Veintrop: I started out in this industry as a member of VCBC, and a cannabis user. I first used cannabis when I got really sick—totally unexpectedly—and cannabis saved my life. Using cannabis enabled me to get off heavy opiates and away from a dependance on them. Given how positive my experience was, the second a job opportunity became available in this field, I took it. How important is access to cannabis?
nabis consumption despite the mayor of Victoria publicly stating she was ‘not OK’ with the lounge. The Green Ceiling quickly became a haven for recreational and medicinal cannabis users alike; a mix of tourists, daily tokers, and people who just wanted to avoid the bar scene. Since its abrupt closure in Nov. 2017, Ashley remains dedicated to promoting safe cannabis use. The Martlet: How did you get into this industry?
Having access to cannabis is, without question, a matter of life or death for a lot of people. People who don’t believe this aren’t around those who need it—and just because they don’t see the need for it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. A documentary filmmaker, Windy Borman, described women joining the cannabis industry as an “intersectional
Graphic by Beth May, Graphics Contributor.
Ashley Abraham: Being born and raised on Vancouver Island made getting into the cannabis industry a natural choice for me. I came from a background of experience in tourism and hospitality. However, a car accident changed my career path and working at a dispensary seemed like a good way to get back in to the workplace. In April 2016, Ashley Abraham did the unthinkable. She opened The Green Ceiling, a safe space for can-
14 LIFESTYLE • MARTLET I OCTOBER 18, 2018
What were you trying to achieve through launching Victoria’s first smoking lounge?
I was excited to be a pioneer in Victoria and open Victoria’s first cannabis lounge. It was amazing to provide an adult event venue that wasn’t focused around alcohol consumption. What is it like being a woman in this industry? Have you experienced bias because you’re a woman? Men do tend to dominate the cannabis industry and there have been times that I can see the bias. It can be hard to be taken seriously as a woman [when] launching a new business and with the lounge proposal I was often told that if it was a good idea, some guy would already be doing it. What was the best piece of advice someone has given you in this industry? To not listen to the people who doubted me. I was given the advice that I can’t please everyone and to focus on the ones who enjoy what I provide, and to
not worry about the rest. You’ve hosted a lot of super stoned people. What is one of the strangest or funniest things you’ve witnessed in the lounge? We had an unintended flashmob when ‘The Macarena’ came on the radio and we taught the dance to our friend who was visiting from Japan. Things started to get ridiculous as one by one, every guest in the lounge got up to join in. Not being familiar with the dance, our friend couldn’t believe that everyone knew the moves, and it really blew his mind when people coming in the door afterwards too were joining in.
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The Martlet Crossword
Our good friend Cormac O’Brien made this cool crossword for your enjoyment!
ANSWERS AT MARTLET.CA/CROSSWORD / MADE AT KEIRANKING.COM/PHIL
60 Slight obstacle 61 Rabbit relatives 62 Once-famous cook Paula 63 Drake-featured Latino pop song 64 The New Pornographers, e.g. 65 Victoria furniture mogul Gordy 66 Romeo and Brooklyn, to David 67 "And ____ the double truth, Ruth!"
29 Classical work for the voice 31 "Mr. Blue Sky" band grp. 32 Playboy patron Hugh 35 Oct. <span 17 supply style="letter-spacing: -0.48px;">October 17 supply</span> 37 Under's opposite 38 Library sound 39 Internet honeys 40 Oct. <span 17 supply style="letter-spacing: -0.48px;">October 17 supply</span> 43 Scant 45 Modern dance genre, for short 46 Olive and Sesame 47 ___ milk 48 October 17 supply 50 Disfigure 51 Cleopatra's bane 54 Zip, in the UK 55 Gone in an instant... or what each of the theme answers will be as of October 17 58 Part of the pot?
ACROSS 1 Leafy greens 6 Mode and median alternative 10 ___ of March 14 U.S. Supreme Court Justice Kagan 15 Italian coffee company 16 Finished 17 Edit 18 A piece of green? 19 "Stranger Things" breakfast food 20 Oct. <span 17 supply style="letter-spacing: -0.48px;">October 17 supply</span> 22 Droop 23 Gov't agency in the U.S.A dedicated to the draft 24 N.Y. Giants wide receiver 25 Oct. <span 17 supply style="letter-spacing: -0.48px;">October 17 supply</span> 28 Squeeze by, with out
13 Internet optimization initials 21 Cabbie competitor 22 Width 25 One of seven 26 ____-flier 27 Cabaret choreographer Bob 28 ____ 'Iggins, as told by Eliza Doolittle 29 Owies 30 Rallying cry 32 Cartoon father named after his creator's own father 33 Dodge 34 Turned into alcohol 36 Blind as _ ___ 38 NY comedy show 41 The Stranger artist Billy 42 Thin Macbook type 43 Complain 44 Hearable distance 49 Devilish one 50 Popular trap trio 51 The body's largest artery 52 Clay pigeon shooting 53 Nuisances 55 Fix, after the fact 56 Owie 57 Speed metre 58 ____ to queue, like on Netflix 59 Thomas A. Anderson's hacking alias 60 "Help me!"
DOWN 1 Hemp joints? 2 Souls, in Spain 3 Glares 4 Years, in Latin 5 Groan-inducing pun 6 Queen artist Nicki 7 Magnate Musk 8 Utah holiday spot 9 Science expert Bill 10 In a perfect world 11 Leftovers container 12 Neighbour of Wls., Scot., and R.O.I.
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CONTRIBUTORS Dante Andre-Kahan, Brianna Bock, Alex Eckart, Anna James, Lech Kosinski, Charlotte Lee, Beth May, Leo McKee-Reid, Cormac O’Brien, Jodie Quinton, Alyssa Savage, Marshall Scott-Bigsby, Natasha Simpson, Cam Welch, Hugo Wong, Meilin Yuan