NORML Canada: April 2015 Newsletter
Greetings Cannabis Law Reform Community
In this month’s newsletter:
NORML Canada was present amongst the thousands of Canadians rallying for support of marijuana legalization this past April 20.
NORML Canada was present in Calgary, Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver to highlight the organization’s plan to unseat the Conservatives and support the Liberal Party of Canada in the 2015 Federal Election. One of the most popular initiatives of the day were the hundreds of signed post cards collected to be addressed to Stephen Harper warning him to expect to see thousands of law abiding citizens “pounding the pavement to defeat your government in the general election”. The postcard adds that “We will vote on this one issue” because bad laws hurt good people.
The Ontario Regional Director for NORML Canada, Paul Lewin made an expressive appeal to Canadians supporting marijuana legalization for this October 19 election, please click here to watch it again: www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjqWSUCeLhg
NORML Canada would like to thank Skunk Magazine, the Hash Mob, Cannabis Culture, and Bob Erb for their kind assistance in advance of 420.
The Marijuana Revolution aired on CNN on April 19. Dr. Sanjay Gupta continues his exploration of the world of medical marijuana and takes viewers for an insider’s look at the politics of medical marijuana research, with a special focus on governmental regulation blocking further research into medical marijuana, and Dr. Sue Sisley’s work to study medical marijuana for U.S. veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Dr. Sanjay Gupta also interviews President Barack Obama and asks him if he supports the bill presented to the Senate to re-schedule marijuana from schedule 1 to schedule 2. Weed 3 can be watched here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=arPQIa4Y4Pw
Pierre Claude Nolan was the bold, independent-minded Conservative Senator who was the chair of a Senate committee that issued a major report recommending that Canada legalize marijuana in 2002. “Scientific evidence overwhelmingly indicates that cannabis is substantially less harmful than alcohol and should be treated not as a criminal issue but as a social and public health issue,” he said at the time.
Pierre Claude Nolin was a veteran Quebec Tory and was only appointed to Senate Speaker late last year. He is remembered for being leader who saw beyond partisan lines. He was a NORML Canada Canadian advisory board member which consists of individuals from around the world (representing either themselves or particular groups) whose relevant experience can contribute to the anti-prohibitionist strategies of NORML Canada. Nolin had spoken publicly about receiving medical treatments for a rare form of cancer, following a diagnosis five years ago.
The City of Vancouver is considering the regulation dispensaries. In a report released April 21, 2015, various recommendations are put forward. The Report finds that although the city has no jurisdiction to regulate the sale of cannabis, it has clear jurisdiction over business regulation and land-use. There is both good and bad to this significant development. On one hand, the City of Vancouver should be applauded for taking the long-overdue step of regulating dispensaries. Dispensaries are effectively unregulated. Dispensary operators and employees are subject to arrest and there are no rules which ensure they are run in a responsible manner. On the other hand, the Report contains some punitive provisions. Each dispensary would have to pay an annual fee of $30,000 per year. Dispensaries would not be permitted within 300 metres of each other. Each individual is limited to one business license. The Report suggests a police information check for the applicant and all staff should be required. This suggests that a criminal record (even one for cannabis) might be a bar to working at a dispensary.
I did not think I would be a typical member when I joined NORML Canada. After all, I am a CPA who spent the last thirty years at one of the big accounting firms. I soon learned there is no typical member of our grassroots movement – we have lawyers (one of whom is arguing before the Supreme Court right now), academics, students, grandparents, people who need cannabis because they or a relative are sick, and people who simply believe adults should have the right to use cannabis as that use harms no-one else.
We have never been closer to legalization than we are today, and maybe we never will be. There is an election coming, and the Liberals have staked out a clear position on this issue. I will be voting Liberal, for the first time in my life, because it really is that important. Two thirds of Canadians say they want decriminalization or legalization – politely as we are Canadian after all – but if our government refuses to listen, this significant majority will soon demand it.
I know you share our goals, and at this crucial time we need your help. If you can donate a few dollars through Paypal we will use all of it to push for legalization this year, all of it. Nobody with NORML Canada is paid. We are all volunteers. This is your chance to be on the right side of history, to tell your children and grandchildren you did the right thing. Thank you for your time and support.
Please do the right thing by visiting www.norml.ca and clicking on the “donate” button.
|Help end cannabis prohibition in Canada by donating to NORML Canada. Please stay tuned to NORML Canada’s social media and YouTube channel in order to see videos of our National Conference and the fascinating discussions prompted by our series of panel discussions on the legalization debate.
Thank you for your support.