It is happening more and more. It used to be the odd random time but now, when I converse with my friends working in the Cannabis industry, legalization is always a topic. Crushing exorbitant fines and a 14 year jail sentence are nothing to blow smoke at.
The options for those who work in cannabis are simple yet unappealing; stop any production or activity that goes against the new rules, or, keep on keeping on.
Everyone I have spoken with has some degree of concern for their personal well-being in the face of these cannabis consequences and that is completely understandable. However, I am genuinely not the least bit concerned even though they will be gunning for people like me … Here’s why.
Background info: I could get in trouble…
Personally, I am in a position that makes me as liable as can be. I manage a very vocal compassion club that is extremely public in its refusal to comply. Currently, I am the only person other than Ted Smith with financial signing authority for the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club. I am Vice President of the Board of Directors and have almost finished a full two-year term. My name can be found on many a legal document and with my signature written below it, so plausible deniability is not an option.
I am also a medical patient who relies on my dispensary. I am 31 years old and have had 16 operations, some of which have been serious enough to force me to travel. Regardless, I cannot find a doctor who will sign an ACMPR.
I do everything I can to treat my body well and stay as healthy as possible but I am not getting younger. The chances that I will need cannabis medicine in the future is pretty certain.
I would rather fight this battle when I am healthy and able, rather than wait until I am sick and desperate, unable to access medicine.
The VCBC has been in operation since 1996 and has been raided four times. Charges were beaten on all four occasions, creating legal precedents for all Canadians. We have a reputation. If they are truly serious about shutting down dispensaries, we will likely be one of the first they come for. Honestly, I hope that they do.
If the Police were to come to close the VCBC, it would give us an opportunity to fight and be heard. Our club has over 7,000 members with incurable medical conditions; when the medical system failed them, we provided access and information, filling in the cracks. Every time the VCBC has faced legal charges, calmly explaining what we do and why has always been able to reach the people involved.
Coming after the VCBC would put the club right in front of a judge; because what we do is right, we can defend it to anyone.
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. ” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
It is not often that you are faced with an important battle and know that without a shadow of a doubt that you are completely in the right. For the compassion clubs, dispensaries, producers and craft growers who truly work for the patients and the movement, the good news is that the truth is with you.
Ask anyone who works illegally in this field and they can tell you about someone who’ s life they saved. I challenge you to try it if you don’t believe me.
The only thing that would make so many people want to risk 14 years in jail would be knowing that the alternative is to let people die.
This is our area of expertise. Thanks to our experience, it’s our duty to ensure that the public is properly educated and that their rights are being respected, especially when it comes to medicinal use. If the legislation doesn’t reflect the needs of the people, we are the ones who have to fix that…
They might be coming to shut the VCBC down and that is ok. Really…Because they won’t ever be successful. The Federal Government has extremely irresponsible in their treatment of medicinal cannabis patients and I am certain that any judge would agree.
Until they get it right, we cannot stop.