? This issue marks the second anniversary
of Cannabis Canada magazine. Although the past two years have seen Cannabis
Canadians rising up from our underground roots, growing and blooming into
a viable and self-defined culture, we are still a long way from reaping the
harvest of freedom and tolerance for which we have been working.
In the two years that Cannabis Canada has
been in existence, about 200,000 Canadians have experienced the humiliation
of being arrested for marijuana possession. Of these, about 70,000 have
been convicted and been given the life-long burden of a criminal record,
and an additional 12,000 have suffered the indignity and brutality of being
sent to prison. Countless others have been harassed, intimidated, and verbally
and physically abused by police and other authorities, all simply for having
a few grams of green flowers in their pocket. These numbers will only increase
when the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act is finally put into force.
Yet don?t let these horrific figures fool
you: there is no war on drugs. Drugs far more dangerous than those which
are banned are easily available across Canada and around the world. They
are advertised on TV, prescribed by doctors and sold in corner stores.
??? What is called the War on
Drugs is actually a war against an idea, the idea that people can be free
to consume whatever herbs and substances they choose, to medicate themselves
as they see fit, and to be free from unreasonable state interference into
their body and mind.
This war is fought on TV and in the papers
every day. The weapons used against us are fear and ignorance. The prizes
to be won are the usual, power and money, to be gained by winning control
over as many bodies and minds as possible. The victims of this war are society?s
traditional scapegoats: the young and the poor. They are punished and held
up as examples for the rest of us, so that we will feel ashamed and afraid,
too ashamed and afraid to speak out or admit that we too are a part of this
universally oppressed minority.
Prohibition touches all Canadians. We all
suffer from the loss of civil liberties, the increase in crime and violence,
the high price of synthetic pharmaceutical drugs, the shame and fear and
mistrust upon which prohibition breeds and feeds and thrives. We cannot
fight this oppression if we are too frightened to admit that it affects
us all. It is important and necessary for all Canadians to realize that
they are victims of what is called the War on Drugs, and that it is up to
them, up to you dear reader, to do something about it.
Make no mistake about it, there is plenty
you can do. Every movement is a collection of motivated individuals. When
you?ve read ?Homegrown Revolution? in this issue you?ll have some ideas
as to how to put on rallies and otherwise educate your community. If you?ve
got a few dollars to invest and are looking for rewarding and challenging
work, then pick up a copy of our Fall 95 issue and learn how to open a hemp
store. Writing a letter a week is an excellent and easy contribution, send
them to different media and government officials, responding to current
events and expressing your ideas about prohibition. Or just send some money
to anti-prohibitionist organizations, it?s an investment in your future
and that of your children.
Don?t just daydream about how wonderful it
would be if marijuana were growing free, make it happen. You can make a
difference. Only you can free marijuana.