Looking forward

Looking back over the 50 issues we have produced, I am reminded of how much things have changed for us in Canada, how much we have accomplished, and how many successes the marijuana movement has enjoyed over the last decade.
When we began publishing Cannabis Culture in 1995, hemp cultivation was banned in Canada. There were no compassion clubs, and bongs were very hard to come by. California and other US states had yet to pass ballot initiatives legalizing medical pot. Awareness of hemp, medical pot and other marijuana issues was generally quite low.

When we began publication there was only one other pot magazine in North America; now there are five and likely more to come. When we began publication the Internet was in its infancy; now it has become a powerful tool for drug law reform, with a proliferation of anti-prohibitionist websites acting to network activists worldwide.

Since we began publication we have had many adventures at this magazine. We’ve been pulled off store shelves, our publisher has suffered many marijuana raids and arrests, and we have seen the marijuana paraphernalia industry grow and develop into a major business and financial force. Our centerfold this issue documents some of the history of our publication.

There’s no worry that things will slow down, for the excitement here always seems to continue. For example, Vancouver’s “pot block” was recently hit by arson: a devastating fire which destroyed Blunt Brothers and damaged the BC Marijuana Party Bookstore. We can still smell the smoke at the CC offices, on the same block.

Over the years, I have learned that sometimes things don’t turn out as planned. One current example is that we have ceased publication of our German-language edition, Cannabis Kultur. Despite strong newsstand sales over 10 issues, sadly we weren’t able to draw in the advertising dollars we needed to continue.

Yet our North American edition is doing remarkably well. We have enjoyed steadily increasing newsstand distribution, and our ad sales are so strong that we will be bumping up our page count in the coming issue.

After 50 issues we have witnessed and chronicled many changes, battles, victories and defeats in our efforts to spread the truth and end the pot war. How much longer will it take before the laws are changed so that the marijuana plant, and the vibrant culture that surrounds it, can be free? Your guess is as good as mine, but you can rest assured that Cannabis Culture will be there when it happens!

Dana Larsen
Editor, Cannabis Culture