Pictures show thousands of pounds worth of cannabis washed up on a beach
Haul was spotted by dog walker when carrier bags full of the plants came ashore
The Border Force crew said they did not think the cannabis had been imported
Thousands of pounds worth of cannabis plants have been discovered washed up on a popular British beach. The haul was spotted by a dog walker who called police after several carrier bags full of the plants came ashore in the tide at Slapton Sands in Devon. Twelve members of the Coastguard Search and Rescue Team and four police officers attended the scene around 10.30am on Wednesday morning.
The haul (pictured) was spotted by a dog walker who called police after several carrier bags full of the plants came ashore in the tide at Slapton Sands in Devon. Estimates say the cannabis discovered on Wednesday was worth ‘several thousand pounds.’
A Border Force craft was seen patrolling along the coastline as police and coastguard officers combed the beach looking for further plants. Buds were still attached and officers suspect that they were dumped in a hurry Around five full carrier bags were located around the centre of the beach.
One officer said he suspected that plants had been home grown and had been dumped on the outgoing tide, only to resurface when the tide came back in.
The Border Force crew said they did not think the cannabis had been imported.
The National Crime Agency said a number of holdalls were found at Hopton-on-Sea and a ‘small number of packages’ were discovered at Caister-on-Sea on Friday. Both locations are near Great Yarmouth.
Matthew Rivers, from the NCA´s border investigation team, said: ‘We are now working with Border Force, the Coastguard Agency and Norfolk Police to try and establish how the bags ended up where they did; however, it is extremely unlikely that this was their intended destination.
It comes a week after cocaine with a street value of £50m was discovered on a Norfolk beach
‘This is obviously a substantial seizure of class A drugs, and its loss will represent a major blow to the organized criminals involved.’
A member of the public had alerted Norfolk Police to the holdalls at Hopton-on-Sea, and the separate find at a location near Caister-on-Sea forms part of the NCA investigation.
Vancouver 420 – World’s Largest and Most Socially Acceptable 420 Event comes to Vancouver April 20, 2017.
‘Bigger and Better then Ever’, Proclaims Long Time Activist Robert Moore
Serious concerns over the Sunset Beach location for 420 party goers has sparked discussions with the Vancouver Parks Board. Issues ranging from safety, underage access, garbage and the ecological impact, additional costs to security and public safety measures, and the fact that smoking is not allowed in any public parks. These questions are being taken into consideration as the Vancouver Parks Board debates whether or not to shut down the Sunset Beach 420 location.
In lieu of these developments, the event hosted at the Vancouver Art Gallery has been expanded to accommodate the expected 420 loving masses. This will be the largest 420 event ever seen. We spoke with long time activist Robert Moore about the work and preparations for this iconic community event.
“We are working with the community to arrange for large garbage bins to be on site as well as to conduct our own voluntary ID checks, and provide all 19+ guests with free Safety Bracelets – a simple way for our vendors to spot people who are 19+ ” Robert explained. “We want to help clean up the outdated stereotype of the ‘lazy irresponsible stoner’, and show the community areas where we share common ground, so we can make this event the best protest to free the weed that has ever been. We share a vision that allows us make safety a #1 priority at this cannabis rally. We know that together we can send a clear message to the Liberal Party – we want timely solutions to the cannabis prohibition questions” said Robert Moore.
“We will not be charging any activists to vend cannabis, instead this 420 rally will be paid for by sponsors who would like to see a safe and well managed event. We all want to ‘FREE THE WEED’ not ‘FEE THE WEED'” Moore said. “The growing number of activists that are requesting vending space has forced us to expand the event map three times. In our latest update of the 420 Vancouver event, the map has room for over 420 vendors. I want to see all the vendors benefit from the spaces at this event being free and open to everyone.
We encourage event vendors to invest in tents as well as some nice weed, so they can make a few bucks, just like the big guys do – all year long. You can get your tents now for cheap here, and here at Home Depot for $126.00. This is how we free the weed, says Robert.
There are so many enthusiastic artists and community speakers requesting to speak as well as perform at this years giant 420 event, that we have been forced to add a second stage to help us make room for everyone. On the main stage, we are excited to have a wide range of informed guests including a special appearance from the official World Cannabis lawyer. He will be giving a very helpful speech entitled ‘Our Cannabis Rights’. The Bud Bowl and Vancouver 420 games will be hosted at the main stage, as well as the official announcement and presentation of the seven Leafy Award winners for 2017.
Here is our exciting event schedule for 2017:
Stage One: Speakers and Entertainment
Your Cannabis Rights
Speech by World Cannabis’s lawyer
Robert Moore Speaks at City Hall
Activist Tool Kit
Speech by Robert Moore
Is Legalization Really the End of Prohibition?
Speech By Ron L. Woodruff
The Bud Bowl
The Vancouver 420 Games
1) Weed Relay
2) Infused Jello Bikini Wrestling
3) Epic Bud Hunters
Stage Two: The Educational Stage
Cannabis as Medicine
The educational stage will be hosted by Cheryl T. Rose from the Halley Rose Foundation. She will discuss her incredible healing journey with cannabis as well as her families struggles with the ever-present daily seizures caused by epilepsy.
What’s in your Weed
An important workshop conducted by Harry from the Smoke Show – this workshop will analyze your weed, and help you become a better cannabis consumer.
Darwin Labs has donated staff and time to provide our event with a high-pressure liquid chromatography for professional grade, on-site cannabis testing all day long.
Vendors will share their special recipes, and help you learn how to cook with cannabis
Learn about growing cannabis from informed industry experts, ask questions, trade your seeds, and share your own home grown buds.
Hash making for dummies
Learn how to make your own hash, edibles or even stop in to check and see if your cannabis is safe or learn the THC content of your homemade hash.
By Ron Woodruff for World Cannabis | January 22nd, 2017
Cannabis Mailorder Billboards in Saskatoon are ‘Poking the Bear’, suggests one recent article in the Globe and Mail
We know that activists in cities all over Canada have made it clear that whatever the law may currently be, they will continue to push to increase the supplies of unlicensed cannabis city by city, envelope by envelope. Unlicensed (black market) cannabis currently makes up the majority of Canadian cannabis production – it is readily available, and in many cases it is much less expensive then licensed medical marijuana as well as being grown and prepared locally. The availability of well grown, low priced cannabis on ‘black markets’ presents a very large problem for the LP monopolists who seek to dominate and control the current supplies by elimination of the suppliers with police enforcement.
The licenced producers such as Tilray and Aurora know that they will make more profits if they can reduce the ‘black market’ aka home growers like you, me and that bearded hippy that lives up the street from you. This is what seasoned activist Jodi Emery had to say about the situation. “These lobbying efforts disturb me because the LPs wouldn’t exist today if not for the peaceful civil disobedience of dispensaries in decades past,” Jodie Emery, a well-known cannabis rights activist and wife of Marc Emery who served 5 years in a United States federal prison for selling cannabis seeds by mail.
Trudeau keeps stalling on legalization, while patients still demand access to cost effective medicine.
Even though Trudeau still hasn’t said exactly what his plan to “legalize, regulate and restrict” will look like, many dispensary owners and activists fired back at the licensed producers, charging them with dismissing patients who want to buy and consume their cannabis on their own terms, and profiteering off the backs of those who fought Health Canada to make the substance accessible in the first place. The LP’s have no choice but to be against the very people whole helped shift the public debate enough to open this new market up over the past decades.
“Police forces need to get involved in shutting them down. There’s no two ways about it,” Neil Closner, CEO of licensed producer MedReleaf, told VICE News.
“We can only sell or ship through the postal system to people with valid prescriptions. If that’s the case for us, why are these people allowed to pop open a shop and sell to anyone who comes through the door?
With just one word — Erbachay — is raising a lot of eyebrows around Saskatchewan. While they don’t directly offer to sell cannabis they do imply the idea nicely. The cannabis leaf adorned ads, displayed currently in Regina and Saskatoon according to news reports, show a green leaf with the word “Erbachay” and “Canada Wide Delivery.”
The company behind the signs are a Vancouver-based medical marijuana dispensary that sells and delivers weed.
Erbachay billboard displayed in Regina.
“By putting these billboards up, we’re trying to help that process. Make it a little more normalized, make it more accessible,” Erbachay Health Centers president Darcy Delainey said.
Erbachay isn’t a licensed producer for cannabis with Health Canada but within Vancouver city limits, Delainey said he can sell medical marijuana. The billboards are a way to educate the public and hopefully destigmatize weed, he said. He encourages people to participate in this historic moment in Canadian history, ask questions, start conversations.
What we’re trying to do is initiate that conversation. We exist. Cannabis is coming around to the whole country.”
He adds that the company he represents doesn’t sell cannabis to anyone under 19 years of age, plus they require documentation that the pot is for medical needs.
Are we all criminals for choosing cannabis or just decent people disobeying unjust laws?
Across Canada, there are 38 authorized licensed producers for medical marijuana, many of these companies are at odds with small farmers, dispensaries, and other Canadians who grow craft or medical cannabis at home, as they work to increase the LP market share, they will be forced to press for more rather then less police enforcement around our healing herb.
Currently there are only 38 approved licensed marijuana producers in Canada, with thousands of applications having been denied.
Best Buds, located in Regina, isn’t a licensed producer either. The shop’s president Patrick Warnecke said they’re operating under a morality basis. The courts have ruled that all Canadians have the right to ‘reasonable access’ and dispensaries seem to fit that bill regardless of their legal situation, and so many call the operation of cannabis dispensaries ‘grey areas’. The people seem to want mail order cannabis sites as well as dispensaries but the government that is supposed to serve the people seems to not want dispensaries and mail order cannabis sites – in defiance of the public’s opinion.
“It’s both good and bad. Good for giving the exposure, letting people know that cannabis is out there and it isn’t going away,” president Patrick Warnecke said.
“But at the same time, until legalization happens, or any regulations, whoever is doing this is really poking the bear so to speak,” he said.
Warnecke said it puts a spotlight on the still “illegal” industry.
The police say its always illegal, the courts say we have a right to use the plant for medicine.
Under Health Canada regulations, any advertisement of the sale of marijuana or cannabis to the public is against the law. According to Regina police, those Erbachay signs fall within the grey area as to whether they’re considered breaking the law.
“The billboards that we’ve seen that I am aware of doesn’t specifically discuss the sale of marijuana. It has a picture of a leaf, but is it a marijuana leaf?” inspector Darcy Koch said.
“You can make your indications or assumptions, but in the end, that investigation would have to be conducted,” he said.
The cannabis dispensary has ads running in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Many online dispensaries have popped up in Canada offering cannabis in all its various forms, these operations are filling a needed role, these mail order businesses include two of our sponsors the Canadian Cannabis Compassion Societies discount site Wholesalepot.biz, and the Canadian favourite Budgirl.com. Canadians demand great cannabis at competitive prices and many new online dispensaries have stepped in to fill this under serviced market the LP’s refuse to cater to.
The federal government says it has plans to introduce law to legalize marijuana in the spring, however these new laws may not take effect immediately they will likely ‘roll out’ in phases over several years.
Do you know any cannabis activists that deserve recognition for their hard work?
2016 was a very busy year for the cannabis community here in Canada, dispensaries have bloomed and spread across the country, tens of thousands of Canadians have been arrested while standing up against unjust laws yet inspite of the torrent of police enforcement our movement continues to keep the pressure on the Liberal government. We want to end prohibition, so we work daily to remind our politicians including Justin Trudeau to keep their promises.
Many of us forget how much work goes into changing public opinions on cannabis, and providing needed medicine to sick people. Enter the Canadian LEAFY awards – the LEAFY awards were the brainchild of Ross Middleton who is the co-owner of B.M.A Hydroponics in Belleville. Ross envisioned a community operated award to recognize the unsung heros in the cannabis community. After health problems limited his ability to work on the project Ross asked others in the community for help to keep the awards running and Cori Peterson stepped up to curate the awards in 2015. Cori has worked to raise awareness of the LEAFY awards, and she presented eight winners with awards in 2015:
These awards are open to anyone in Canada. You can nominate one selection per category. The nominations will remain open until the first week of February. Once the nominations are closed the nominees will be placed on a list and voting will begin. Voting will start the second week of February and continue through to the first week of march.
If you know someone in the community that deserves to be nominated now is your chance to give them some recognition. Nominating your favourite cannabis advocate/activist is easy all you need to do is join the LEAFY Awards Group and tell us what category you are nominating for and the name of the person or group.
Vancouver Board of Variance Says No to Variance Request for Local Dispensary
Vancouver – On Wednesday the board of variance refused to hear an appeal filed by Dana Larsen’s dispensary.
Legal representation for The Medical Marijuana Dispensary located at 880 East Hastings street was surprised to receive the unwelcome news as they arrived at City Hall with a large entourage in tow. Lawyer Kirk Tousaw came prepared to argue the merits of the application, however the board had other ideas, and the scheduled hearing was cancelled before anyone present was allowed to speak to the board on the matter.
Dana Larsen is already under the gun for carrying large amounts of cannabis without a license while he was travelling – he currently faces cannabis related possession charges in Alberta.
This failure to secure a variance for their previously rejected dispensary license application, means that Dana and his budtending staff at the Dispensary will be forced to continue operations without a license, or close down their dispensary – one of the longest running storefront dispensaries in town.
If he chooses to keep operating Mr. Larsen author of two children’s themed cannabis books, will face heavy enforcement from city bylaw officers, who recently increased the fine for unlicensed business from 250 to 1,000 dollars.
Activists Demand that The City of Vancouver Reopen Public Hearings on Cannabis Dispensaries
In response to the tripling of fines on unlicensed dispensaries, and the ongoing efforts by The City of Vancouver to abuse civil process and bully landlords into breaking leases, and evicting cannabis businesses like dispensaries and vapour lounges. On Friday December 16th, 2016 a hardworking group of activists delivered this important letter to city hall.
Vancouver, BC V5R 0A7
December 16th, 2016
453 West 12th Ave
Vancouver, BC V5Y 1V4
Dear Gregor Robertson, Elizabeth Ball, Adriane Carr, Melissa De Genova, Heather Deal, George Affleck, Kerry Jang, Raymond Louie, Geoff Meggs, Andrea Reimer, Tim Stevenson as well as The City of Vancouver,
Our community is calling for a public meeting to discuss the current city regulations and policies regarding cannabis dispensaries. Your current regulations and policies are a concern to our friends and loved ones. Your actions at city hall have adversely affected many medical users in Vancouver and the surrounding areas. We ask that you re-open public hearings on the dispensary licensing process, and allow the public to discuss their new and undressed concerns. Our concerns as a community are voiced in these five recommendations we offer for consideration by The City of Vancouver, the mayor, as well as city console.
We make these five recommendations:
One: We recommend that The City of Vancouver ‘allow reasonable access’ to cannabis edibles – Consuming cannabis orally is by far the most effective way to use cannabis as a health aid, or as medicine. Disallowing edibles inexplicably interferes with patients access to valuable treatment options. Victoria city console has allowed edibles after reviewing current scientific literature on the subject, as well as holding open public hearings.
Two: We recommend that The City of Vancouver show actual danger to children alleged by the arbitrary 300 meter distance requirement – modify the 300 meter restriction to be consistent with other ‘adult only’ businesses such as sites with alcohol consumption, and stores that sell cigarettes. There is no clear evidence that shows that proximity to dispensaries causes any harm to children in schools, community centres or day cares. Studies seem to suggest that one of the best ways to reduce use of cannabis, is through the practice of education rather than the practice of concealment.
Three: We recommend that The City of Vancouver end the practice of restricting how many dispensaries are permitted to receive licenses. The market should dictate how many dispensaries are needed, through the economic principle of supply and demand. The application process should remain open to new investors and compassion societies, as necessary. Any limitations on licenses should be consistent with other ‘adult only’ businesses such as sites with alcohol consumption, and stores that sell cigarettes. Refusing to offer licenses at a price that is comparable to other licenses is such an obviously biased practice that we are offended by the lack of respect for medical patients. Medical cannabis patients are suffering from very real health concerns while you further burden them by forcing them to subsidize licenses that cost 30,000$.
Four: We recommend that The City of Vancouver discourage the practice of grandfathered regulations. This practice is flawed, as it is not equal application of the law. ‘Grandfathered-in’ regulations give unfair advantage to groups who already posses a decisive social advantage in the business arena. If cannabis business is not open to all, then a black market is necessary to maintain ‘reasonable access’ and is not a public nuisance but rather a result of failed city policy.
Five: We recommend that The City of Vancouver develop and institute regulations to protect the public from dishonest business practices, including weights and measurement standards, testing of cannabis for accuracy of potency claims made, testing of cannabis for biological and chemical contaminates, and staff training requirements for the safe handling of any cannabis related products they work with.
The current city policy is not working for the community, these recommendations will help address the concerns our community has with The City of Vancouver. With drug use we know that there is no victim. If there is no victim then we believe there is no crime being committed. Dispensary operators are not criminals when you use this logic-centric approach, so therefor businesses without licenses are not criminal enterprises, but rather they are the result of exclusionary public policy. The courts have ruled that medical marijuana is legal in all of Canada and that patients should have ‘reasonable access’ to cannabis, your policy seems to contradict the supremacy of the Supreme Court in this mater, and may be unduly exposing tax payers to litigation brought against the city in the future as well as any potential monetary judgments, from that process. The Federal Government has no plans to clarify the current legal situation. The City of Vancouver should follow our recommendations to address current problems with the license process, and assume a progressive leadership role.
Why California’s legal marijuana sales rollout could be delayed
SANTA ROSA — Amid the euphoria of this weekend’s famed Emerald Cup weed fest, there was this creeping buzzkill: the glacial rollout of legalization.
Right when it seems like “The Great Pot Moment” is upon us, it turns out there are a lot of really tough regulatory issues to resolve first, according to government and industry experts who sketched out all the thorny challenges at the two-day conference, competition and harvest celebration at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds.
And implementation of commercialization could be delayed a year until 2019, said insiders.
Proposition 64, approved by voters in November, promised that, by Jan. 1, 2018, a recreational smoker could stroll into a licensed store to buy a favorite strain of White Widow or OJ Kush. A medical marijuana law, the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act, is moving along a similar timeline.
For the 23,000 cannabis aficionados at the festival, even that wait seems unreasonably long, considering people have been weaving hemp into loincloths for thousands of years.
What’s the challenge? Just as the prohibition on cannabis was complicated, so is the process of ending it, experts said.
Some of the challenges are created by the different structures of the two cannabis laws, said Lori Ajax, chief of the California Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation.
The two initiatives are different, and may need to be reconciled. They take different approaches to issues ranging from ownership and residency requirements to timelines and license categories, said Assemblyman Jim Wood, who represents California’s 2nd Assembly District, which includes the famed “Emerald Triangle” growing region.
“It is a very real challenge,” said Wood, D-Healdsburg. “Do we have two systems that move in parallel or one unitary system that combines the two? My hope is that we can all sit down and work out the differences.”
What is the correct amount of tax?
There also are tax disputes. While the medical marijuana law only levies a retail tax, Proposition 64 applies two taxes to legal marijuana: a 15 percent tax on the retail price and a cultivation tax of $9.25 per ounce for flowers and $2.75 per ounce for leaves and stems trimmed from the plant.
The cultivation tax is fiercely opposed by growers, who say they shouldn’t be taxed on trimmings that might get tossed, never making it to market. Instead, they are advocating a tax when all marketable product is brought in for testing. But there isn’t much flexibility, because the language of a proposition may be changed only by a two-thirds vote of the Legislature.
Then there’s the issue of technology platforms. The state needs not only new licensing software but also a “track and trace” program to follow cannabis from seed to sale — through processing, testing and distribution. Neither currently exists.
Creating two new tech platforms, from scratch, “is very ambitious,” said one legislative staffer.
Finally, there’s this: president-elect Donald Trump. While he’s supported states’ rights, and California has vowed to defend its laws, his nomination of cannabis opponent Sen. Jeffrey Sessions, R-Alabama, for attorney general has created some concern among some counties and cities that are wary of inviting federal Drug Enforcement Agency raids.
“A lot of local governments are cautious and want to see which way it goes, see if federal agents come close them down,” said Nate Bradley, executive director and co-founder of the California Cannabis Industry Association.
“The Trump element was a monkey wrench no one saw coming,” he added. “He is such a wild card.”
It is important for California to implement a state program expeditiously to help fend off federal prosecution, said Amanda Reiman, manager of marijuana law and policy at the Drug Policy Alliance.
During the Bush administration, “the feds came in because there was no state license to hold up and say you were compliant. That’s why it is so important for California to definitely implement a state licensing program.”
Some cities, such as Oakland and Santa Rosa, are ready to get going, and don’t want to wait while the state figures out a strategy.
A legislative fix or regulatory change would give local governments the ability to issue commercial retail licenses, rather than wait for the state, said Bradley. Cities may already regulate medicinal marijuana; this would give them permission to regulate recreational weed as well.
The fates of many growers, processors and dispensaries hang in the balance. California is the world’s sixth-largest economy, only outpaced by the U.S. as a whole, China, Japan, Germany and the United Kingdom.
Sales are expected to bring an additional $1.5 billion flooding into the marijuana market. That number will swell to nearly $4 billion by 2020, according to the latest report by New Frontier Data and ArcView Market Research.
After slogging through a weekend of bureaucratic concerns, the Emerald Fest crowd toggled to party mode on a celebratory Sunday afternoon that included contests for best pot and growing practices: farming, extracts, oils, topicals, tinctures, and the crowd favorite — flowers.
Cheers erupted for this year’s first place winner in the Flowers category: “HHF 220,” derived from a strain called Skittlz. The flowers of the Humboldt County buds measured 1.8 percent terpenes, the fragrant oils that give cannabis its aromatic diversity, and 19 percent THC, the psychoactive ingredient.
“Bright orange and huge, A plus!” announced the judges. “Fruit Loops with Grand Marnier, it is loud, succulent and eye-opening, with a sweet and tasty personality!”
Declaring victory, the audience hugged, shared some fresh joints, danced to the throb of reggae, and then packed up to head home to their distant warehouses, greenhouses and fields.
By Ron Woodruff for World Cannabis | November 30th, 2016
Justin Trudeau goes into Damage Control Mode
In Canadian political circles, this scandal has eclipsed even the fallout from the recent election of Donald Trump. Trudeau has been accused of selling access for cash and of breaking his own ambitious integrity guidelines. That’s the bare bones of what happened. But since Tuesday, when news of this event was first reported by the Globe and Mail, the cash for access event has dominated the Commons.
The recent Cannabis Cash-for-access Scandal Explodes in the Liberal’s Faces
Opposition MPs seized on a Globe and Mail report that two members of the Cannabis Friendly Business Association went to an April 28 cash-for-access fundraiser to lobby Bill Blair. Justin Trudeau was forced by opposition MP’s to defend his party in a short speech about the cash-for-access scandal. If this cash-for-access story reported by the Globe and Mail is true then the Liberals seem to have violated their own fundraising guidelines.
The Liberal Party on Monday told The Globe it will return the money to individuals from the Cannabis Business Friendly Association, an organization that represents dispensary owners and which send members Abi Roach and John Liedtke to the $150 per ticket event. The question on many Canadian lips is – If they haven’t done anything wrong, then why give the donations back?
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau insisted on Tuesday that the Liberal Party fundraiser, breached no ethical rules even though the governing party claimed to have refunded the ticket price that a marijuana lobby group paid to attend the cash-for-access event. Here at World Cannabis we are forced to wonder will robbery suspects here in Canada now be allowed to return the money they steal when they are busted, and then walk free too?
Bill Blair attends the Liberal Party’s cash for access event
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s point person on cannabis legalization, Bill Blair was the prize guest at a Liberal Party fundraiser attended by a marijuana lobbying group known as the Canadian Business Friendly Association at a Toronto law office that advises clients in the cannabis business. Bill Blair was in attendance at this cash for access event set up by the Liberal party.
The fundraising event last spring, which featured Bill Blair, the parliamentary secretary to the Justice Minister, appears to violate Liberal Party rules on political fundraisers and Mr. Trudeau’s ethics guidelines that direct cabinet ministers and parliamentary secretaries to avoid an “appearance of preferential access.”
The Liberal Party told members of the press on Monday night that it will refund donations from the representatives of the Cannabis Friendly Business Association (CFBA) that attended the Liberal party’s fundraiser, although the Liberal party denied any ethical breaches.
Ron Woodruff for World Cannabis News | November 11th, 2016
It’s Poppy Day, what do Poppies have to do with War anyways?
Are you curious why the poppy has become such a well known symbol of remembrance in many places around the world. The legend says it all started with a poem by a Canadian doctor. In the spring of 1915, shortly after losing a close friend in Ypres, a Canadian doctor, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae was inspired by the sight of poppies growing in battle-scarred fields to write a now famous poem called ‘In Flanders Fields’. After the first World War, the poppy was adopted as a symbol of Remembrance.
Soldiers watch over poppies and marijuana plants.
Remembrance Day is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth of Nations member states since the end of the First World War to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. Nearly ten million soldiers lost their lives in the first World War, and another 20 million were wounded in battle. Our service men and women fought to protect our way of life, our families, our friends as well as our freedoms. I was was always taught to respect this brave sacrifice of life. Today here in Canada we owe our great amount of personal liberty to these heroic men, and the price they paid for us all with their own blood. The price of freedom.
The War on Drugs continues on auto-pilot as governments struggle to justify continuing police enforcement’s
Today as the American inspired ‘drug war’ rages on and Canadian families are still broken up by social workers that call cannabis possession a crime, and judges that are still enforcing anti-cannabis laws that are both unscientifically founded and widely unpopular, we are forced to wonder what has happened to those hard won freedoms that our ancestors laid down their lives to safeguard?
Justin Trudeau and his associates in the Liberal party have overseen the continuing arrests of notable cannabis activists and brave medical dispensary owners that were the very catalyst that forced the liberal party to move forward with legalization in the first place. This behaviour seems disrespectful when we look back on Remembrance day and see just how many Canadians have died to protect our rights. Would our ancestors approve of the wide scale arrest and prosecution of peaceful cannabis activists? Keep in mind the fact that at the end of the first World War the cannabis plant was still 100% legal in Canada, unlike today where marijuana is considered by many public officials to be an illegal substance with little or no medical value.
Remembering our Canadian history, as the ‘drug war’ continues under new management.
I wonder can we as a nation all take a step or two back and remember, on this shared holiday, all the cannabis warriors that have been imprisoned. Can we open our hearts up as a people and begin to heal the damage to our families caused by the ongoing enforcement of a victim-less crime like marijuana possession, or sales. Can we share a moment of silence for the fallen warriors of legalization and normalization efforts?
Are cannabis warriors heroes or just criminals?
When you look at cannabis sales as a crime instead of an act of political protest, you miss the larger picture. Our military men and women serving in World war one were free to use cannabis as medicine or for recreation. The right to use cannabis is one freedom our military fought for that Canada would lose not to the Germans, but rather to bureaucratic shenanigans, when Cannabis was added to the Confidential Restricted List in 1923 under the Narcotics Drug Act Amendment Bill and it became illegal in Canada without any public debate what so ever.
Is it just a cruel irony that we raise one flower up as a symbol of fighting together for freedom while we continue to shame and ridicule the lovers of a different flower we call Mary Jane in the same breath? Today, November 11th, is a day we set aside to wonder, to reminisce, to remember – lest we ever forget.
But it wasn’t until the 1970s and 80s when cannabis was making a comeback into American culture that U.S. researchers James Halikas, Ronald Weller, and others conducted multiple studies that seemingly proved marijuana’s aphrodisiac effects. Participants in these studies reported enhanced touch, heightened intimacy, stronger orgasms, and better sex in general.
Since then, the sex research has gone flaccid. “Very little research has been done on this topic since the 1980s,” said Mitch Earleywine, a professor of psychology at the State University of New York at Albany who has researched marijuana for many years. “There’s no funding for it, and everybody tends to treat it as fact.”
As more states legalize the drug, pot researchers and advocates hope funding will follow. Then cannabis consumers with an eye to improving their own sex lives will be able to better choose which strains they prefer to use.
Is cannabis a love drug?
Some cannabis smokers do like to toke occasionally in the bedroom, they know marijuana can be useful as an aphrodisiac – quite a few couples have told me that they prefer to be high while doing the dirty. While the couples i’ve spoken with almost always agree on toking a little cannabis before they start having sex, they don’t always agree on the strain they prefer. If you are a frequent toker you may already have a favourite strain of weed for sex, if not here is your chance to explore herb with your partner.
City bylaws used as a pretext to disperse a peaceful cannabis protest in Vancouver BC
The Vancouver police came down to check out the monthly farmers market, but they were not looking for a good deal on medicine. They were not trying to solve the hundreds of missing aboriginal women cases that are gathering dust and laying around on their office desks, no they came downtown to destroy a peaceful cannabis protest with their ticket books. The police cited bylaw after bylaw, made threats and bullied protesters on Robson street in Vancouver until every single protesters tent was down, and the majority of people attending had left out of fear. Every time the VPD were told it was a protest and we had the right to assemble they just ignored the people they serve as they towed several cars, wrote tickets and even disassembled some of the protesters tents themselves.
This was the tenth farmers market, so naturally many of the protesters were confused when the police showed up and became aggressive at the ongoing monthly cannabis protest.
A concerned citizen talked with the police and scolded them for being so aggressive with the protesters.
The Vancouver Police have long held that cannabis arrests should be the lowest priority.
Police write tickets and demand that protesters leave.
Taking away peoples freedom is fun; this officer clearly enjoys his job.
Officers try to put a smiling happy face on police intimidation, even joking that they will smoke cannabis too… when its ‘legal’.
This officer smiles about all the money VPD have made today by using tickets to stop a protest from happening.
It is hard not to smile when you are ‘legally’ bulling the people who pay your wages.
Concerned citizen stands up for basic human rights and chastises the police for being naughty public servants while she films on her iphone.
Cassie is upset that the police are forcing her to take down the tent she uses to keep dry and stay healthy while she protests in the rainy weather. She takes pictures of the police as they bully protesters. This officer ironically wears a poppy on his chest as he destroys protesters rights.
The police demand that the cannabis protesters disperse because they need a permit to protest. (no such permit exists that would allow a 420 farmers market)
Police issue tickets to dozens of protesters in effort to intimidate them and prevent the protest from occurring again.
On Saturday December 3 the farmers market will be back in Vancouver and the police have said they will be there too. Will patients be able to get reasonable access to their medicine or will the police successfully break up another protest? Do we have the right to protest the continuing criminal persecution of our healing herb? Are we ready to free the weed? The response is up to each and every one of us.
Ron Woodruff for World Cannabis | November 3rd, 2016
You can almost smell it, there is something in the air at your local lounge: The Battle for Cannabis
There is a pervasive public sentiment across Canada in vapour lounges and dispensaries, even out back where cannabis smokers gather behind pubs and bars both public as well as the more private hidden away cannabis clubs in the nooks and crannies of hardworking Canadian cities. Gathering places where our community gathers to share tokes and laughs and exchange political oppinions. This widely held public sentiment seems to have quite a disarming effect on many once ‘hard-core’ cannabis supporters. What is this widely held sentiment? Well canna-family, with Justin Trudeau and his liberal friends assuring us legalization is ‘right around the corner’. It seems that a growing numbers of long time cannabis warriors seem to have started to believe that the war against cannabis is now over. When you have a community that values peace as much as the cannabis community does its not hard to see why so many of us want to believe that looming legalization is ‘the end of the battle for cannabis’ for our grassroots cannabis movement.But like any conflict the war on drugs has taken a toll on many of us, in so many untold ways from the stigma of medicating publicly, to the lasting criminal records that linger for decades, the social stigmas of the pot head loser we all know isn’t true any more, and on and on.
Many Canadians are starting to act as if the war is over, but is it?
The calm before the storm
As a closely connected community of families and friends we have all watched the television on occasion, and on the TV and social media like Facebook we see presented to us daily, the allure of global ongoing cannabis normalization efforts and we are told relentlessly about the historic federal legalization efforts that are underway here at home in Canada. The idea of liberating our once ‘illegal’ medicine is very strong and this fun idea moves our emotions in countless ways, but does the nice feeling of liberal legalization mean the war against our healing plant ends here? Should we be concerned that more and more Canadians seem ready to accept the undelivered promises of the Liberal party on legelization? What if we are simply moving into a new battle field, a more complex battleground littered with the shiny new landmines of regulatory red-tape, partial criminalization, unclear taxation, and even the head scratching equality issue created by inconsistent/uneven police enforcement of all the new untested marijuana regulations from sea to sea to sea.
Tens of thousands of people are currently still sitting in jail cells and now that the flood gates have begun to open for the ‘green rush’ profiteers in the mad scramble to corporatize the once mostly mom and pop owned cannabis industry. The Liberal led government seems prepared to leave our fallen friends and relatives behind filling up prison cells, separated from loved ones, while Justin and friends play an extended game of politics for votes. A sneaky political game that almost seems better timed to coincide the ‘warm fuzzy feeling’ of the upcoming new legalization laws coming into effect to so obviously coincide with the next election campaign cycle, and by stalling the reform they will certainly gain the all important cannabis voter bloc one more time. Justin and friends policies don’t seem like a genuine effort to improve cannabis voters actual lives today. When will the doors be opened to free the cannabis prisoners Justin, or are you going to leave them behind languishing in jail, marked with a nasty criminal record for life while your corporate cannabis buddies like tweed rake in the canna-cash for themselves?
War is hell and the numbers prove it
Historically marijuana arrests are far higher then any other controlled substance, these are the kinds of facts that were true before the election of Trudeau and they remain true. Cannabis smokers have been feeling the full force of the war on drugs with disturbing arrest numbers that are not even close to any of the other controlled substances tracked by Statistics Canada. Packing people into jails for victim-less crimes is so 1984, why cant we address this basic human rights issue in 2016?
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Aggregate Uniform Crime Reporting Survey.
Canadians are subject to different enforcement regionally, and this discrepancy in practice of prohibition can lead to confusion, and a nasty criminal
record for otherwise peaceful hardworking people.
According to Statistics Canada data, in 2014, the rate of marijuana possession charges in these areas per 100,000 people:
Metro Vancouver was 48.47
Meanwhile, in Calgary, it was 36.82
In Toronto, it was 67.44
In Saskatoon, it was 112.69
In Kamloops, it was 250.51 (the highest of anywhere in Canada)
Front line activists – the people who risk arrest daily to free the weed by running seed banks, dispensaries, home deliveries, home grows, etc. would like to know what exact plans the government is making to effectively open this booming new industry up for all of us, many of us have worked tirelessly to compel the government to make changes to our laws with daily sustained political actions, and public marijuana normalization practices. Our community is tired of this endless drug war, but are we ready to stand-down and accept a monopolized corporate industry when a viable open ‘free market’ has already bloomed in cities like Vancouver and Victoria?
With legalization comes new questions like – if we can have bars and pubs all over town then why shouldn’t we have vapour lounges all over town?
The battle for vapour lounges is heating up already in many towns like Victoria where the city counsel is debating the issue as I write this. Imagine the rush to open vapour lounges after legalization and all the opportunistic people realize they can smoke but they have no place to congregate and smoke so they must open them up out of necessity.
Mom and pop versus corporate – who should benefit from the new cannabis boom?
As we head forward into our future we will need to remain ever vigilant as the realities of legalization start to become more apparent to us all. Where will average Canadians fit into the new cannabis regulations, and how stiff will the penalties become under legalization if we prefer to remain private and grow our own plants like many of us have done for decades? I know many have become tired and weary from the struggle to get this far, but judging by the continuing arrests of cannabis smokers we haven’t crossed the finish line yet, not by a long shot.
By Ron Woodruff for World Cannabis | October 28th, 2016
Why hold a Monthly Cannabis Farmers Market Downtown?
People are excited about the farmers market idea, but they want to know why we do the 420 market every month. The monthly farmers market is a project that was established by hundreds of activists working together to create more opportunities for small mom and pop and hobbyist cannabis farmers, as well as to voice our protest of the ongoing prohibition of cannabis. This monthly market gives us a place to meet and greet the public, and teach them about the cannabis products we craft locally in our homes. Many Canadians are unhappy that cannabis is still criminalized. The continued negative stigma prevents them from safely accessing cannabis in their communities. The monthly farmers market is about opening up the doors to reform and refusing to hide our medicine in shame.
It is true that many decades of relentless activism and public education have helped to create a more positive environment for many these hard working mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, who have been growing cannabis quietly for decades under the spector of an irrational and unscientifically founded prohibition. For many years these small home growers have been forced into the shadows, they endure the humiliation and shame of being called criminals by a poorly educated public. While the battle for the hearts and minds of working Canadians seems to be mostly over when it comes to the topic of cannabis legalization, Canadians are not afraid of cannabis they support legal marijuana sales. There is still much work to be done, holding our elected officials and career bureaucrats accountable in ending the war on our healing herb.
Free market supporters Darren & Medikatie at Septembers 420 monthly event.
Sadly many government branches including and the RCMP don’t seem to have received the memo that the public supports cannabis legalization, as shown by a growing number of national surveys. Several important branches of the Canadian government are defying the public’s will by insisting that they must still enforce these unpopular laws in spite of wide public support to overturn the laws.
What do peace loving democratically minded Canadians like hemp farmers do when the government refuses to listen to the public’s voice and change the laws post haste?
The answer – we stop allowing those unjust and unpopular laws to hold power over our lives and daily actions. We get out of our houses. We publicly assemble on the streets, and we protest – by doing the very thing they say is a crime: selling cannabis to each other publicly. This basic act of peaceful civil disobedience is the foundation of the 420 monthly farmers market. 420 Monthly is a free market that is held every month on the First Saturday in downtown Vancouver next to the Vancouver art Gallery. Once a month we gather together in the spirit of love, abundance and peace. We stand in solidarity to compel our government to come to its senses and accept that the public practice regarding the cannabis plant has changed, and now it follows that the laws MUST CHANGE TO REFLECT THE PUBLIC’S WILL.
Local vendors sell their cannabis products in Downtown Vancouver on Robson street.
Public servants are here to serve the public, not vice versa.
The tail does not wag the dog when it comes to cannabis prohibition. Our public servants such as recently elected Justin Trudeau must quit stalling on reforms by claiming cannabis legalization is ‘too complicated’ or by misdirecting the public by claiming legal cannabis is more dangerous then illegal cannabis when it comes to children. Justin bafflingly claims that children might be harmed if marijuana is legalized ‘too quickly’ this recent statement from our prime minister defies logic because the truth is, that in an unregulated market; like we have now, it is far more likely that children will be able to purchase, or discover their parents unlabelled baggies, so if we honestly want to protect children as Justin keeps telling us, we should move quickly. We should move rapidly to regulate, decrim and tax, but the truth is stranger then the Liberal parties fictions about cannabis – two years after Justin took office we are still waiting for cannabis users to stop being arrested all across Canada.
People gather to celebrate with free doobies for 4:20 at the monthly farmers market.
“It is late 2016 now, so why are we still sending Canadians to jail for cannabis possession, distribution, or trafficking?” Ron Woodruff – World Cannabis Editor.
If you support full legalization, and protection of our right to grow our own medicine at home, we invite you to come down to the farmers market every month and join us as we celebrate the love as well as the community of our friends and loved ones. The event is open to the public. It is free to vend and free to attend. Vendors sell everything from BC Buds to tasty cannabis snacks and edibles, the prices are really low and the people are really awesome. We would enjoy seeing you at the next Vancouver 420 market, and if there isnt a 420 market in your city yet, this may be your chance to organize your own local markets canna-fam.
We will continue to gather once a month at the Vancouver Art Gallery @ 750 Hornby St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 2H7, on the first Saturday of every month, until there is no more prison for pot.
Vancouver’s well known Budzilla dispensary has successfully appealed to the Board of Variance, and can now continue with their dispensary license application.
Budzilla Wins a 4-0 decision at City Hall October 5th 2016
Vancouver has been struggling to find medical cannabis solutions while the Liberal government drags it’s feet on legalization. The city counsel decided in 2014 to begin the process of licensing cannabis retail businesses; dispensaries and compassion clubs. This new thinking on cannabis sales from Vancouver’s City counsel is progressive and controversial. The Criminal Code of Canada seems to prohibit all cannabis sales, while several recent court rulings have shown a softer approach by requiring ‘reasonable access’ to cannabis for medical users. Vancouver city counsel has been forced to walk on the edge of a razor when it comes to regulating a new business that police officers might consider criminal, even with a city license hanging on their wall. No one said canna-business was easy.
The drama continues to unfold, as the owner of Budzilla Rej Houle explains to me, his application for a dispensary was rejected by the city on the grounds that it was too close to another dispensary. The city used a ‘declustering’ point system that assigned demerit points based on several categories, to decide what dispensaries would stay open and what dispensaries would be ordered to close. After this ‘declustering’ decision Budzilla Dispensary was ordered to close down by the City of Vancouver. This seemed like the end of the road for this brave little business – which serves thousands of low income and disabled medical cannabis patients including Cassie Camble and Haley Rose.
On October the 5th a group of determined cannabis community members with heavy fluttering hearts entered the committee room and nervously signed up to speak. You could see the looks of tension on the faces of Budzilla’s patients and friends, would this be the end of the road for this important gathering place, or would the board of variance decide to allow this community project to continue?
Rej did very little speaking at the public meeting, and allowed his friends and patients to speak on his behalf. After some heated questions from the committee the consensus seemed to form around the idea of taking a vote to force Budzilla to reapply, or to allow his current application to proceed by overturning the rejection of his current application, by the City. The danger for Budzilla’s patients was that they would lose their safe inhalation site and medication source, if Budzilla dispensary was forced to reapply; as the Budzilla Dispensary might not be allowed to operate as a licensed business until the new application was complete, which could take years. So a vote for reapplication would almost be a vote to close the shop down.
Rejean Houle with David Malmo-Lavine
The vote is unanimous 4 – 0
The result of the important vote by Vancouver’s Board of Variance was unanimous, all four committee members voted in favour of allowing Budzilla to continue to seek a Dispensary license with the city of Vancouver. There were many tears and cheers as a healthy round of applause broke out in the committee room. The looks of relief on so many previously nervous faces made it clear that the these public servants were doing a fair and honest job, so now Rej and his staff can get back to their fair and honest job, of helping people find ‘reasonable access’ to medical grade cannabis. We can now celebrate as we chalk up one more win on the score board for the little guys.
By Ron Woodruff for World Cannabis, September 20th, 2016
Woody Harrelson once climbed the giant redwood trees in California as an activist
Woody is a longstanding cannabis community warrior as well as all-around fun personality – he loves to ham it up on the big screen for his supporters. In the mid-’90s, adventurous Woody climbed the giant redwood trees in California to protest the logging of old growth timber and he often wore hemp clothes to help bring attention to the silliness of marijuana prohibition. Woody Harrelson has always been an outspoken activist, as well as cheeky cannabis advocate for years.
Woody Harrlson is a cannabis point man.
His brave political messages have helped to change the minds of many of his fans, on the subject of cannabis use. From his unabashed public support of hemp clothing to his recent well publicized effort to start a cannabis dispensary in Hawaii. When people talk about Woody the subject of cannabis seems to come up a lot.
As vanity fair had reported back in may 2016: Mr. Harrelson’s application to open a well publicized cannabis dispensary business in Hawaii was not approved.
This atempt to start a dispensary however wasn’t a failure as Woody points out to others in the cannabis community – the longstanding prohibition of marijuana is now coming to a close, thanks to the hard work of millions of activists daily efforts, to free the herb all around the world.
Woody Harrelson and Elizabeth Banks
The dark days of cannabis prohibition are now becoming a memory as the laws change in more and more places. Woody is optimistic that the future is going to be much much greener, as more and more countries, states, and municipalities begin to practice new relaxed marijuana laws. Freedom is coming to this powerful healing herb, Woody is helping show the next generation a better way to be positively proactive activists.
By Cori Peterson, for World Cannabis September 12th, 2016
Cannabis Cash: Not on my Balance Sheet
Two major Canadian banks confirmed they will no longer host accounts for companies associated with the Cannabis industry. There was little public announcement from RBC or Scotia Bank. No mass mailings or press release, was sent to notify account-holders of the major policy shift regarding Cannabis related businesses. The banks are reported to have sent clients discreet letters or in some cases made personal calls to those account holders. This policy change seems to be confusing considering looming legalization and even a bit “insulting” an affected hemp store owner stated.
The spokesman for Scotia bank, Rick Roth said by email that due to privacy concerns, Scotia bank cannot make specific comments about any accounts.
In general, though, Scotia-bank’s goal is to “manage risks soundly while making prudent business decisions,” Mr. Roth said. “We consider our stringent risk management practices a key strength of our business,” he went on to say. “This is why the bank has taken the decision to close existing small business accounts and to prohibit the opening of new accounts for customers classified as ‘marijuana-related business.” The spokesman claim’s that Scotia bank is keeping an eye on the industry and will be ready to pivot should the need arise.
For more than ten years Hemp Country’s account with Scotia bank has not been problematic, regardless of this fact, owner Nathan MacLellan received a letter from the bank in late August cancelling his longstanding account. No actual Cannabis is sold in the Woodstock, Ont., location says MacLellan. The items sold there let patients determine which various delivery methods that may best aid in their therapy as well as recreational use. Included on Hemp Country’s website are more resources to explore and education.
“It’s kind of insulting really, especially when legalization is right on the horizon,” he says. “Nothing in the store that we sell is illegal. Every single variety store sells pipes and bongs nowadays, so why are they singling us out all of a sudden?” Luckily Mr. MacLellan has secured a credit union to conduct business with, but it was certainly not hassle free. MacLellan said that the first credit union he contacted gave him the “same rigmarole” that Scotia bank did.
A potential Licensed Producer in-process of obtaining a licence to grow medical Cannabis through Health Canada received their own notice several weeks before Hemp Country was informed. The pre-LP was reluctant to be named as it could mislead public perception of the novice company but the message remained the same. Banks are ending relationships with established clients.
Culture it seems is shifting from one where Canadians are open and ready to change with the times, however the banks could be a bit behind the times on this one. Scotia Bank and The Royal Bank of Canada seem to be implementing new ‘exclusionary’ policies.