The Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club can’t fit into the box that our current legal framework has created. It would be impossible for the VCBC to comply with the current regulations and still offer the same life-saving products at non-profit prices.
Two options become available. The club can either shut down or stay open. If they close, they will cut off cannabis access for critically ill members that depend on their medicine. If they remain open, they risk further persecution from the government. One option will lead to devastation, hardship and avoidable death and while the other could result in fines or jail. For the VCBC, the choice to remain illegally open is not hard to make.
Thinking outside the box
Ted Smith, the founder of the VCBC is no stranger to fighting the law. A veteran in the war on drugs, Ted has been through 6 raids and still finds a way to keep on, keeping on. When it comes to regulations, he will tell you that it’s important to read them if you want to find ways around the rules.
Section 130 of the Cannabis Act states that The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations exempting the following from all or part of one or more provisions of this Act:
(a)a person or entity;
(b)a class of cannabis;
(c)a form of consumption of cannabis;
(d)a thing (e)an action, transaction or circumstance;
How to get an Exemption
Basically, what this means is that a total and sweeping Cannabis Act Exemption is attainable. To get one, you need to have it approved by the Lieutenant Governor in Council. A neutral role, the Lieutenant Governor does not get involved with the countries politics, issues or laws. For approval, the Provincial Executive Council makes a decision that the Lieutenant Governor agrees with. If that happens, it’s calling an approval from the Lieutenant Governor in Council. In order for the VCBC to stay open, they need to garner the support of the Provincial Executive Council and then use that for leverage.
Last Thursday, the Mayor and City Council of Victoria voted unanimously to put forward a cannabis exemption recommendation on behalf of the VCBC. While it may be a massive step in the right direction, the battle is still far from won. The next step for the organization will be to secure support from Provincial MPs such as Carole James and Mike Farnworth, and Premier John Horgan. Once that’s been done, the Provincial Executive Council can officially recommend an exemption to the Lieutenant Governor, thus, making it a decision approved by the Lieutenant Governor in Council. When that happens, it’s home free.
So why are the Mayor and City Council of Victoria helping the VCBC to get Cannabis Act Exemption?
Having the support of the City speaks volumes and without it, the VCBC would struggle to get the recommendation needed from the Provincial Executive Council. When dealing with the law, it’s very important to remain open and polite while you stick to your guns, and while you come up with solutions. The reason that the Mayor and City Council of Victoria are helping the VCBC get an exemption is simply that the effort has been made to build the relationship. Thanks to the work put into communicating with one another, they have come around on understanding what the club is actually doing and can speak confidently when doing so on their behalf.
What this could mean
Considering the way that the regulations are written, the right wording can nullify the entire act. The VCBC is hoping for an exemption that would enable them to keep on making, providing and educating about their products. It would also mean they could keep using their private, safe inhalation room; another essential service unregulated by the government.
The Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club can use all the support it can get in applying for this exemption. If you would like to help their cause or find yourself frustrated with the state of cannabis legalization, please contact these politicians:
- Carole James – carole.james.MLA@leg.bc.ca – 250 952 4211
- Mike Farnworth – firstname.lastname@example.org – 604 927 2088
- John Horgan- email@example.com – 250 391 2801
Featured Image courtesy of CTVNews.