CANNABIS CULTURE – The Freedom Party of Ontario is about to blow up! Tune in to the Freedom Party Money Bomb LIVE broadcast on SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17 to support Ontario’s only grassroots party.
The fuse will be lit at 12:00am EST (Midnight) on the morning of Saturday, September 17 and LIVE video will be broadcast for 24 hours until 12:00am EST on Sunday morning.
The goal of the Money Bomb is to showcase members of the Freedom Party and their ideas and to raise as much money as possible for the upcoming Ontario Provincial Election on October 6, 2011.
Click here to make a tax-deductible donation to the Freedom Party.
The Freedom Party of Ontario was founded by former Cannabis Culture publisher Marc Emery (now imprisoned in the United States for selling marijuana seeds) and Robert Metz in 1982, and has a growing list of candidates running in over 60 ridings across Ontario – including many prominent marijuana legalization activists.
Watch the Freedom Party Money Bomb video.
The Freedom Party promotes capitalism, which members says is the only governmental system compatible with “reality, reason, rational self-interest, and consent”, and holds as a foundation the Objectivist philosophy of Ayn Rand.
“We think the government’s role is to defend your life, your liberty, and your property and we are pretty mainstream and gradualist in our approach,” Freedom Party Leader Paul McKeever told Cannabis Culture. “We’re not promoting revolution over night. We’re proposing that, just as it took several decades to swing things one way, it’ll take time to swing it back the other way. We’re trying to provide the public with a palatable amount of change at a given time.”
McKeever says this idea is reflected, for example, in the party’s plank on medical marijuana.
“It’s a gradualist approach because it takes into account existing changes in the law,” he said, “like the decision in 2000 that says if you’re in need of cannabis for medicinal use there is no law that can prevent you from using it. I think the complete failure of the medical system to provide medicine to people and to provide people with physicians who are willing to sign papers leaves us with no option but to take a different approach.”
McKeever said Health Canada’s current medical marijuana program is inadequate for the needs of sick Canadians, and that this fact is being reflected in current court cases in Ontario like R. v. Mernagh. The judge in that case found that doctors have effectively “boycotted” the MMAR system, leaving ill Canadians with no way to access their medicine legally, and ruled the entire system unconstitutional.
“The current suppliers of medical marijuana are in many cases the compassion clubs,” McKeever said. “We’d like to offer them a way to become part of establishment. They will still be privately owned, but they will be recognized as part of the health care system in Ontario. By doing that, we will give them protections that would be afforded to any medical facility, such as protection of the police when called upon. The other side is that police will not be allowed to come in and raid the place. Under the Freedom Party of Ontario, it would be illegal to raid a medical marijuana dispensary, period, because that would be like raiding a hospital.”
Though the party features 18 election platform positions on different issues on their website, it’s evident that concerns over medical marijuana are taking a central role.
Of the over 60 candidates on the party’s slate, more than half are cannabis activists. The list includes Hash Mob activist and manager of Toronto’s Vapor Central Chris Goodwin, Treating Yourself Magazine publisher Marco Renda, former Marijuana Party of Canada candidate Robert Neron, several employees of local marijuana dispensaries and head shops, as well as many federally-exempted MMAR patients. Even the super hero mascot known as Bong Man (real name Mark Harrison) is a candidate.
Other candidates include a former PCP MPP candidate, a former Toronto mayoral candidate, and a former London city councillor.
A Freedom government will begin the process of creating the necessary medical infrastructure in Ontario to implement the Court of Appeal’s 2000 decision in respect of the medicinal use of cannabis. Specifically:
1. A Freedom government will introduce legislative changes to make properly operated, safe, and clean cannabis centres provincially-registered/recognized health care facilities. Police raids on such health facilities will be prohibited, except where the facility management calls upon police to deal with such matters as burglaries, theft or violent disturbance.
2. A Freedom government will introduce legislation providing that physicians who recommend the use of cannabis for medical treatment shall not for that reason be punished or denied any licence, insurance, right or privilege.
3. To gradually educate the public about the legality of growing, purchasing, and using cannabis for medical purposes, and to ensure the public that the police are upholding the law in respect of cannabis, a Freedom government will require police forces to direct all calls concerning cannabis matters to officers having the particular responsibility of ensuring that patients continue to have safe and reliable access to provincially-recognized cannabis centres. All complaints concerning cannabis or cannabis centres will be forwarded to those officers, who can then explain that the police have a responsibility to defend the lives, liberty, and property of patients who use cannabis centres and of those who cultivate or produce cannabis medicines for patients. The officers will also respond to calls from patients and from cannabis centres in respect of such things as vandalism, burglaries, robberies, or other crimes affecting them.
4. A Freedom government will amend the Civil Remedies Act, 2001 to require all proceeds from the sale of property received in relation to a cannabis offence to be paid into a Compassion Fund to subsidize the medical and legal expenses of medical cannabis patients and providers.
Watch the Freedom Party “Safe Convenient Access: Cannabis Medicine Centres” video
Other platform planks include eliminating Ontario’s gasoline tax, cancelling the 2012 ban on incandescent light bulbs, further separating public schools and organized religion, removing taxes and the government monopoly on beer and wine sales, introducing telephone and internet voting in elections, and restoring a form of two-tiered health care coverage to Ontario.
Go to the full list of platform positions.
“I’m excited about Freedom Party in the October 6 Ontario provincial election for several reasons,” Marc Emery told CC over electronic mail from his prison in Mississippi. “Firstly, Paul McKeever, who produced and directed the video biography of me called The Principle of Pot is a most extraordinary leader; a brilliant, rational, wonderful human being. There’s absolutely nothing in his past or character to drag him and the party’s reputation down, an extremely rare person to have piloting the political party I co-founded in 1982.
“Secondly, voters in Ontario and Canada are in an urgent need of a party that believes in individual liberty, an end to prohibition and the drug war, and rational, limited governance.
“Thirdly, over 35 activists, recruited by Vapor Central’s indefatigable Chris Goodwin, from the cannabis culture in Ontario are running under the Freedom Party banner, and I love it when our people get politically involved.
“Fourthly, the Freedom Party is running a record 60+ candidates for this October 6 election. The money they raise will be used to buy advertising on television. Freedom Party ads are already running on TV in Ontario now.”
Marc said he hopes the party will energize enough people in Ontario and beyond to eventually launch a national Freedom Party to run in the next federal election.
“Canada is in dire need of an effective national political movement and party that espouses the principles of individual freedom, liberty, rational, limited government,” he said, “and an end to the militarism, drug prohibition, the police-surveillance-prison state, and the stifling economic and fiscal policies that are a hallmark of the current Conservative government.”
Read Marc Emery’s latest blog post about the Freedom Party.
Watch the Freedom Party Money Bomb on the front page of CannabisCannabis.com or in the embedded window below all day Saturday, September 17 from 12:00am to 11:59pm.
The event will be broadcasted from Toronto’s Vapor Central and hosted by Hash Mob activist Chris Goodwin, comedians Bryan Ogorman and Mike Rita, and Much Music commentator Hunter Collins. The show will feature live speakers, video clips and discussion with many of the Freedom Party candidates and Party Leader Paul McKeever.
Go to the Vapor Central Livestream page to join in the chat during the show.
Visit the Freedom Party website for more information.