Our readers speak out
An open letter to the Canadian Cannabiz Community
The current climate in the Canadian cannabiz industry has given rise to new problems on our path towards cannabis decriminalization. These problems aren’t coming from the police or the politicians as much as from within the cannabiz community itself.
Imagine my shock when, while on the phone with a potential new supplier, I was told that they’re not interested in doing any more business with Canada. “We’ve got nine accounts up there, and eight of them are way past due.”
It turns out that there are quite a few Canadian hemp stores which are not operating within the boundaries of a legitimate business. I’m not talking about situations where retailers have deliberately challenged laws by pushing the envelope (like the selling of seeds and clones). I’m talking about the day to day practices of many in the cannabiz.
Examples of the problems include: non-payment for goods from suppliers both domestic and international. Shady, under-the-table deals and non-reported cash sales. Not collecting tax revenues, or worse collecting them and not remitting them. Badmouthing or slandering others in our industry. Sales of smoking accessories to minors. Being late with deadlines and invoice payments. A complete lack of business professionalism and integrity topped off with a blatant disregard for the law.
Shouldn’t we be setting an example and showing that our industry is ready for the mainstream? When you visit a Canadian Tire store for some hardware, do they sell it tax free? Do they accept lower offers and make cash deals? I don’t think so.
Yes, we need to make changes to the system. There are many things that simply don’t work and need to be fixed. Legitimizing the Canadian Cannabiz Industry is a number one priority. It can only happen if we work within the system, and play by the rules governing all Canadian business.
As retailers it is our duty to offer a selection of quality products at reasonable prices. Customer service is a number one priority in both the sale of products and the dissemination of information. Services such as Visa and Debit Card are a must for the 90’s consumer. We must shake off the 80’s “head shop” image, and replace it with the new and improved version called “hemp shop”.
Our goal is cannabis decriminalization. To obtain this goal we must strive to bring the cannabis issue to the appropriate level, one that places it above alcohol and cigarettes as a safer, cleaner, more respectable industry: Cannabiz.
Swindling Ads & Grow Tips
Congratulations on your excellent magazine, but please don’t imitate the “American way of doing things”! For example, High Times’ swindling advertisements for “magic pills that get you high for $9.95.” And yes, we want growing tips, but only a few pages.
I’m sending this email to Cannabis Canada without a smile on my face.
Your new look says that “Glossy pictures are more important than seeing what is possible.” This is a very rude discrediting of the entire hemp movement.
Cannabis Canada provided a vision and a proper direction by demanding and supplying hemp paper. That spoke for itself to thousands of enthusiastic readers. In fact it’s exactly why I buy your journal.
Every step we take should move us toward our goal, but this gloss stops us dead, and we devolve.
Re-incorporate hemp indeed. When? Now is tomorrow remember?
Get back to reality and help make the transition to an environmentally sustainable economy, by once again selling Canada’s premier cannabis magazine on hemp paper.
Sincerely, Robert Skof
If you’ve been buying CC because you thought we were printed on hemp you haven’t been paying attention. We haven’t been printed on hemp paper since issue #3, almost two years ago.
We’d love to print every issue completely on hemp, and one day we will, but at this point we would be forced to sell the magazine for $10 an issue to pay for the hemp stock.
Aside from looking better, the glossy stock also weighs much less, saving us a great deal of expense in shipping and mailing costs. This is part of the reason that we can now afford to use some hemp paper, which we are proud to present with this issue.
Safe drugs and dangerous drugs
I think that the war on drugs can be divided into two sub-wars. The war on safe and natural hallucinogens and the war on hardcore addictive and dangerous drugs.
With education and understanding of the issues at hand, average people can be shown that substances such as pot and ?shrooms are no worse that alcohol.
When the bulk of the population is shown that most of the time the war on drugs is really the war on freedom of the mind, they will be sympathetic towards pot users and this will give us a whole lot more power to build a better Canada.
One of the major reasons that marijuana is considered a “soft drug” is that when made into a concentrate it is not substantially more harmful or dangerous. The effects of hash are not much different than those of bud, and unlike almost all other drugs, even super concentrated amounts of marijuana do not cause death.
With that in mind, it’s worth noting that when a drug is banned, it is sold only by underground smugglers. As a simple matter of efficiency and economy, underground smugglers tend to deal in the most concentrated forms of their drug. Thus during alcohol prohibition smugglers did not transport beer and wine, they made and sold only strong liquors like whisky and gin. During the current opiate prohibition there is no-one dealing in opium tea, they only sell heroin.
The point of this is that it is generally meaningless to classify one drug as “safe” and another as “dangerous” without some context as to the potency.
If the government is to regulate drug sales at all, it should be by level of potency, so that safe versions of all substances are readily available.
I live in the Czech Republic and our parliament is about to release a “new” law about possession of drugs.
Currently, we are free to possess any drug. Only manufacturing and dealing are considered illegal activities.
But now some political activists (christians) are blowing up hysteria about drugs. They’re talking on TV about how the “Dutch model is bad and ineffective,” and that “the US War on Drugs is the only way to protect our children from drugs.”
They are completely stupid. They don’t have any drug-preventing experience. It’s like a bad dream in our land. Non-educated politicians shout to the people with the most populistic phrases. And the stupid nation is silent.
Luke in Czechoslovakia
Parliament is a Loser’s Game
Man, don’t you get it yet? Waiting around with baited breath for Parliament to do the correct thing is a loser’s game. As long as they can keep you playing their game they win!
Just ignore them!
When you let yourself get strung along by them you’re playing into their hands. I decided long ago to simply not participate. I don’t hope against hope. I don’t rabble rouse. I don’t stick my neck out. I just quietly do my own thing and stay out of the way.
I’ve been around the block with this and have paid my dues for the benefit of all mankind. I’ll just gaze through the haze for the rest of my days if you please.
Walrus Of Love
I agree that waiting for Parliament is a chump’s game. If we were waiting for Parliament thismagazine wouldn’t exist, as according to Parliament it’s still illegal in Canada for me to write down the words: “I enjoy smoking marijuana.”
Unfortunately, there are many people who do think that they must do as Parliament dictates, and quite a few of them wear guns and blue shirts. It’s hard to ignore them when they handcuff you and take your possessions. Although it might be nice if we could convince them all that Parliament was not really worth bothering about, it’s unlikely to succeed.
The best way I know of ensuring that the cops won’t haul me or a loved one off to jail for growing forbidden plants is to convince the cops’ master to get them to leave me alone. And the best way to do that is not by being “discreet”, but rather to act as if things have changed already. Do it publicly, deliberately, and as often as you can.
Oh sure, the cops will beat us back as we march boldly off into uncharted territory, but if we keep striding forward, we will eventually come to place where Parliament will be forced to grudgingly acknowledge what is already commonplace, and pretend that the decriminalization of marijuana was their idea all along.
Is Ruderalis the Shit?
Thanks to the SCCC for the great article “A Small Commercial Garden”. There is much insight about the herb but a glaring error in breeding.
The SCCC may have taken its name with a nod to the now defunct SSSC, but they forgot one of their great teachings. The SSSC taught that the Ruderalis strain was a “shit”, “no high” strain. They refused to breed with Ruderalis and advised to eliminate it from the gene pool of serious marijuana breeders.
I notice the SCCC shows Ruderalis in two of the four pictures in the article. What gives? Why would they use this “shit” “no high” strain for breeding?
The Cannabis Creator responds:
You are correct that the pure strain Ruderalis is generally a low THC variety of cannabis originally used for its fibre content. However, the Ruderalis plant tends to exhibit other characteristics which are very unique in cannabis.
The Ruderalis plant tends to flower according to its physical height or chronological age, rather than requiring a particular light cycle to begin flowering.
The variety in question is not a pure Ruderalis, but a Northern Lights X Ruderalis. Northern lights is world renowned for its potency and quick flowering period. Through selective breeding, the desired characteristics of each plant can be obtained in the offspring: in this case, an extremely fragrant, chunky, super-fast strain with a high calyx to leaf ratio and an absolutely mouth watering flavor, which begins flowering even under 24 hour light, while it is still vegetating to the desired flowering height, and then ripens in a 40 day flowering cycle. I think the benefits of this are obvious.
I will grant that this particular strain is the least potent of the eight that we currently maintain, but please understand that that is like saying that she is the least gorgeous supermodel.
There has never been a complaint about this variety of herb. Nothing under a nine makes our list. I’m sure if you tried some all of your concerns would quickly be allayed.
From the Belly of the Nightmare
I just found your site on the web, and I’m impressed by your campaign, both printed and virtual, to promote decriminalization. From where I sit, the battle has been deadlocked for as long as I can remember.
To those of us who live in Ontario – the belly of the Orwellian Nightmare ? the prospect of combatting “The People in Charge” is about as likely as soliciting a goosestep from Frank Capra. We here in the Niagara region tout the quality of our wines and the age of our Loyalist money more readily than our ability to live outside the crease, where the telescreens can’t see us.
Ontarians look to BC as though it were some kind of spiritually enfranchised Xanadu, whose subjects can cultivate marijuana with relative impunity; whose cops look the other way on the CBC; and whose courts order the brakes to be put on misdemeanor prosecution.
Perhaps the Rockies act as some sort of fantastic natural shield, behind which young Ontarians can (and do) take refuge from the odious and medieval chokehold placed upon its hemp “culture”.
One thing is certain, the Controlled Substances Act is nothing new here in the land of the eternal Counter-Reformation.
Yours truly, JA, Ontario
Letter Writing Cures Sickness
Reading what my government wants to do to me makes me sick. I was physically ill this morning at the thought of increasing the drug war.
I gave the cause more than an hour. I got in a morning of letter writing and I feel a bit better. I started with the Vancouver Police and Vancouver City Council. I then moved on to a letter to the Vancouver Sun as well as to my local paper. I also wrote Ujjal Dosanjh, Allan Rock and Anne McLellan (our new minister of justice)
Please keep up the good work getting the info out to us. I know a lot of people stay in the closet about their pot use and don’t help the cause at all but some of use do write and I really appreciate you giving us the addresses as well as the information.
L Williams, BC
I’m always happy to hear from someone who actually takes the time to pen a few letters to the media and government. I hope your testimony will inspire some more of our readers to send some words to the powers that be. If only all our readers were like you, we’d have marijuana legalized in no time!
It kills me to read about the backward action your government is taking on the marijuana issue. I live in the US and see the life destroying effects of such laws. I thought Canada was a progressive and open-minded country.
Does your government not see the economic and medical advantages of legalization? Or the criminal implications? I live in Portland and see firsthand how our tax dollars are wasted on imprisoning thousands of peaceful, non-violent, tax-paying mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, grandmothers and grandfathers.
When will voters and politicians understand that this is a war on their own people?! Are drug users so evil and dangerous that lethal force should be used on them? I fear the latest assault on Canadian cannabis users is due to US government pressure, they make no secret that they would like to stop drug use worldwide.
Our only choice is to fight back and never give up, never lose hope.
As an American, you have an added responsibility to work for an end to America’s worldwide enforcement of prohibition. We are doing all we can to subvert your government from Canada, but without the steadily increasing internal pressure on the US from state initiatives, high profile court cases and other actions, our efforts here would not succeed.
An Equal but Opposite Reaction
Regarding the passage of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and the raids on the hemp stores: it sounds like things are going to get worse before they get better.
I like to think of it in terms of Newton’s law of physics: for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
A lot of progress towards the hemp cause has been made in the last few years. People are not as afraid of the plant as they once were, and I am finding pro-legalization sentiment in unlikely places.
This must have authorities more than a little worried, especially those who have ulterior motives for keeping the plant and the truth about it under wraps. This kind of fear-fueled reaction has to be expected, and can actually be seen in a positive light if one considers that only success on the legalization front could spark such a reaction.
Those taking the hit now will be looked upon as warriors for the cause once the pro-cannabis effort becomes successful on a grander scale. It is my belief that such a time is not far off.
MH, Wolfville, Nova Scotia