Dear Dana Larsen, and the rest of you Cannabis Canadians,
Surprise! Here comes a letter to the staff at the world’s most brilliant and great magazine: Cannabis Canada. It comes from a Swedish prison, Haktet Prison. I hope that you are in good health and that CC still exists. My name is Ulf Bagenhammer, and I am a prisoner in this fucked up place. I was sentenced to prison by the court for possession of cannabis. I have been here a very long time now, but in September the bells of freedom shall ring for me, and I shall be released from this stinkeroo!
99% of the prisoners here are here for drugs. Cannabis, hash, coke, ecstasy, you name it! Prison isn’t so bad. The only negative thing is that we are “locked up” in our cells 22 out of 24 hours, which leaves only 2 hours each day to communicate with other prisoners.
But we are allowed to read whatever we want. And that’s cool, because my girlfriend sent me some copies of Cannabis Canada. I hope you will be proud to hear that Cannabis Canada is the most read and appreciated magazine in this prison! Me and the other prisoners love CC! Cool, huh? Cannabis Canada is something very special, it’s an aggressive and cool magazine, a bit like the old so-called “free press” underground newspapers. It’s hard not to notice that CC is written and published with your heart, if you know what I mean.
We’re all praying you still exist, because the last issue we read was #9, 1997.
I wish you a happy summer and lots of big fat joints!
Your Swedish Prison Friend
I am so pleased to know that our magazine has found its way into a corner of the world where it can bring some light and hope to pot-people in desolate circumstance. We sent Ulf a stack of CC backissues and a CC hat, which we hope gets through to him safe and sound. Our magazine regularly gets turned away from North American prisons, yet although Sweden is Europe’s most prohibitionist nation, it seems their anti-censorship laws are firmly in place.
Of course, we haven’t been called Cannabis Canada since issue 12, so long ago. I hope Ulf and his cellmates appreciate the changes and improvements we’ve implemented since then.
Thanks to Ulf, the inmates of Haktet prison will be receiving a lifetime subscription to CC.
Cops are losers
To the editor:
This is in response to Cindy in Ontario (CC#18 Pought Thots: Police Bashing?). How can you believe any cop is good? I was taught that it is our duty as a citizen to see bad laws amended. Yet because of those losers called cops, mankind has suffered many a misery. The cops are just following orders… orders to kill pets in front of children? Orders to kill you because you are a nasty pot smoker? This is as stupid a reason to kill someone as because of their color. Yet it is happening.
Dana should have included all cops in his stereotype of losers, brutes in uniform. If the police were honest people they too would take a stand against the persecution of the pot smoker. Police are citizens first, and their loyalties should be to the people they protect, not to the whim of some special interest group.
Keep up the good work.
I can’t agree that all cops are losers and bad people. Although it’s true that every person should strive to take an enlightened stand against injustice, I don’t see how the cop who works in homicide has more special responsibility to call for an end to the war on drugs than does any other person.
Certainly police officers have been guilty of innumerable brutalities against peaceful pot-people. The cop who gleefully busts pot smokers is obviously doing far more harm than good, and richly deserves the epithet of loser.
And it is also true that policing agencies are the primary promoters of increased firepower for the war on drugs. By seeking to expand their own power and influence, anti-drug police forces have destroyed and ended countless lives.
Yet I have some sympathy for the officers who entered the force with good ideals, and then find themselves ordered to harass users and petty dealers. They should of course do the noble thing and refuse, yet to resign their commission leaves the police force filled only with those who enjoy harassing pot-people.
Although open defiance of the police and the laws they represent is often an effective technique to drawing public attention to the realities of the drug war, we will not end the attacks against us with a direct victory over any police forces. Our real battle is not with the police, but rather the cultural inertia and political influence which perpetuates the ongoing war on herbs.
Drug war refugee
Dear Mr Larsen.
I would like any information you could send me about receiving refugee status in Canada. I suffer from asthma and arthritis (as well as several other disorders) that I treat with cannabis. In today’s political climate, I am afraid every time I hear a police officer or hear a siren. I am tired of living in a country where Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness are words without any meaning. Any information you can send that will help get out of this hellish and repressive country would be most appreciated.
RC in the USA
Although a few Americans have tried to claim refugee status in Canada as victims of drug war persecution, realistically this is a slow and expensive process with little chance of success. If you have the resources to hire lawyers and mount a significant challenge then by all means do so. However, I recommend that those fleeing pot-persecution in the US simply cross the border into pot-tolerant Canada and set up residence.
The best plan of action for those planning such a move is to make a preliminary visit to the intended region, scope out the scene and then take it from there. Be intelligent and cautious when crossing the border into Canada.
It’s worth remembering that the BC pot culture and growing scene found much of its roots in the wave of US youth fleeing being drafted into the Vietnam war. So when you get here, do something for pot, and give something back to freedom. Grow lots of pot, sell it at a good price, give some away to medical pot clubs, and be a good and honest person.
Note that although Canada’s pot-penalties are generally lighter than those in the US, Canada is not truly a legal-pot mecca. The West Coast is the most pot-tolerant part of the nation, especially the City of Vancouver. But pot is still illegal by federal law, and people get busted and go to jail for pot all across the nation.