In part one of this interview Jason Wilcox speaks with Ted Smith, founder and owner of the Victoria Cannabis Buyer’s Club, and a longtime advocate for cannabis users and growers rights.

The purpose of the interview was for Jason and Ted discuss R. v. Owen Smith (no relation). In 2009, Smith was charged with producing a variety of editable products and cannabis extractions for the Cannabis Buyers’ Clubs of BC, in order to help medical patients alleviate suffering due to various illnesses.

In August the Court of Appeal for British Columbia had issued a 2-1 decision in favour of the defense, in which the province’s highest court gave the federal government one year to change its regulations to permit the purchase of cannabis extracts. The 2-1 split decision does, however, allowed for the government to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Jason and Ted’s conversation lays the groundwork for the intentions of the interview, but also provides insight into Ted’s evolution as an advocate. From his introductions to baking and extracts, to his work with Hempology 101 in educating public, and his seminal book, Hempology 101 Text book, “a comprehensive and easy-to-read account of humanity’s long and complicated relationship with hemp, from its early use as a source of food and fiber to the quagmire of misregulation and disinformation that is the ‘War on Drugs’.”

The conversation continues in discussing both Jason and Ted’s experiences with AIDS and cannabis and Ted’s work in “legalization by education”, as well as the MMAR, his trouble with the law, the evolution of the discourse in the US, as well as the hope for a fair free market.

Smith is a seventh generation farmer, and became a cannabis activist by way of environmental concerns, and interest in legally farming hemp. He has never been one to shy away from confrontation in this ongoing battle against prohibition of our plant. While he does his best to avoid politics, he has run for mayor of Victoria, BC. It’s within the disparity of that sentence that makes Smith a compelling character in this fight, and an intriguing interview.

[See part two here.]

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