The 11th-annual Victoria Cannabis Convention this past Sunday, Feb. 28. The smell of sweet skunk and...

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Marijuana masses meet at Vic Cannabis Convention

Mar 04, 2010 01:57 AM
Bruce Dean

The smell of sweet skunk and sounds of cannabis coughing were tell-tale clues for the location of the 11th-annual Victoria Cannabis Convention.

Many members of Victoria’s cannabis community gathered this past Sunday, Feb. 28, in UVic’s David Strong Building, to celebrate and educate people about marijuana’s benefits.

The event was hosted by Hempology 101, a non-profit society that looks to educate the public on marijuana’s medicinal, industrial, environmental and social benefits. The society gathered a who’s-who of marijuana activists to speak on issues confronting the marijuana community, marijuana’s history and new opportunities and products from this plant.

The list of speakers included lawyers, police and advocates.

Bill Finley from Victoria’s Hemp & Company spoke of “the beauty of this plant, from an environmental perspective.”

His company views their role beyond retail sales to include environmental education and excellence, right down to the construction of their stores. They recognize that their product, hemp, is a sustainable source of fabric, food, bio-fuel, paper and natural beauty products, all grown without toxic chemicals.

Finley, like other speakers, talked about “the many misconceptions that prevent hemp from realizing its potential” and the reefer madness that surrounds marijuana as medication and a social drug.

Ted Smith, president of Victoria’s Hempology chapter, sees the marijuana advocates’ biggest threat as “the Conservatives’ agenda to throw pot growers in jail with whatever C-crap [Bill C-15] they come up with next.”

Smith is also concerned about “the complete lack of [marijuana] research being done in Canada.” Currently, the only federally funded marijuana research is directed toward schizophrenia.?

The conference wasn’t about re-hashing the issues marijuana activists and enthusiasts face, but focused more on education and building a sense of community.

Smith felt that the convention was a success.

“If one person decides they are going to do more out of this day, we have done real well,” he said. “[Cannabis conventions, with people] just getting together and speaking has not only informed people, but has made them feel like they are part of a greater community of people that are interested in more than just partying and getting high — to me, that’s really powerful and can have a great impact.”

?Government and Bill C-15

The Conservative Crime Bill C-15 has been put on hold until Parliament resumes. But just how tough Prime Minister Stephen Harper plans to be remains to be seen. ?

The Liberal party has not been very vocal on the issue either. However, on his last visit to Victoria where he spoke to students at UVic, Liberal leader Micheal Ignatieff said he would not legalize marijuana.

The NDP’s Libbie Davies — MP for Vancouver East — and Victoria MP Denise Savoie have both publically commented on the new legislation.

“There’s a lot of information, both in the U.S. and in Canada, that shows that mandatory minimum sentencing regimes for drug offences are ineffective,” Davies told media. “It’s based on the U.S.’s war on drugs, which has been a complete failure.”

Savoie has similar feelings on the issue.

“The current federal government’s approach to drug policy is poorly targeted, attacks symptoms while ignoring root causes and misses creative economic opportunities,” said Savoie. “This U.S.-styled war on drugs is simplistic, knee-jerk and counter-productive: we already spend 73 per cent of our drug strategy on enforcement, yet drug use continues to rise.”

Comments...

Bill Harris wrote:
One need not travel to China to find indigenous cultures lacking human rights. America leads the world in percentile behind bars, thanks to the ongoing open season on hippies, commies, and non-whites in the war on drugs. Cops get good performance reviews for shooting fish in a barrel. If we’re all about spreading liberty abroad, then why mix the message at home? Peace on the home front would enhance global credibility.

The drug czar’s Rx for prison fodder costs dearly, as lives are flushed down expensive tubes. My shaman’s second opinion is that psychoactive plants are God’s gift. Behold, it’s all good. When Eve ate the apple, she knew a good apple, and an evil prohibition. Canadian Marc Emery is being extradited to prison for helping American farmers reduce U. S. demand for Mexican pot.

The CSA (Controlled Substances Act of 1970) reincarnates Al Capone, endangers homeland security, and throws good money after bad. Fiscal policy burns tax dollars to root out the number-one cash crop in the land, instead of taxing sales. Society rejected the plague of prohibition, but it mutated. Apparently, SWAT teams don’t need no stinking amendment.

Nixon passed the CSA on the false assurance that the Schafer Commission would later justify criminalizing his enemies, but he underestimated Schafer’s integrity. No amendments can assure due process under an anti-science law without due process itself. Psychology hailed the breakthrough potential of LSD, until the CSA shut down research, and pronounced that marijuana has no medical use. Former U.K. chief drugs advisor Prof. Nutt was sacked for revealing that non-smoked cannabis intake is scientifically healthy.

The RFRA (Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993) allows Native American Church members to eat peyote, which functions like LSD. Americans shouldn’t need a specific church membership or an act of Congress to obtain their birthright freedom of religion. God’s children’s free exercise of religious liberty may include entheogen sacraments to mediate communion with their maker.

Freedom of speech presupposes freedom of thought. The Constitution doesn’t enumerate any governmental power to embargo diverse states of mind. How and when did government usurp this power to coerce conformity? The Mayflower sailed to escape coerced conformity. Legislators who would limit cognitive liberty lack jurisdiction.

Common-law holds that adults are the legal owners of their own bodies. The Founding Fathers undersigned that the right to the pursuit of happiness is inalienable. Socrates said to know your self. Mortal lawmakers should not presume to thwart the intelligent design that molecular keys unlock spiritual doors. Persons who appreciate their own free choice of path in life should tolerate seekers’ self-exploration. Liberty is prerequisite for tracking drug-use intentions and outcomes.

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