Venerable Councilor Kerry Jang,
I am an East Vancouver resident with concerns regarding Federal Regulation of Cannabis. In light of Trudeau’s Drug Futures Forum, I’d like to express a few words regarding the Culture of Delay within Federal government regarding British Columbia’s right to secure livelihood. I’d like to end prosecution of local cannabis activists, Marc and Jody Emery. They are targeted for their political activism, entrepreneurial spirit and support of legalization. Their cause has deep roots in North America and their voice resonates and represents many Globally.
“Paul Goodman famously wrote, “Suppose you had the revolution you are talking and dreaming about. Suppose your side had won, and you had the kind of society that you wanted. How would you live, you personally, in that society? Start living that way now!”
Growing up in the western suburbs of Chicago in the 1970’s, I learned of Cannabis as it grow illegally on unincorporated land, apparently sown by a the Catholic Italian neighbor. It was an informal introduction by a 12 year old, to a line of siblings and friends following down a wild path along a creek. By the time I was 13, I was reading my brothers secret stash of “High Times” Magazines, and marveling at the grow-op that he started secretly in his room under his bed!. The plants were about 3” tall when my Mom and Dad ended my brother’s grow-op experiment.
The illicit nature of ILLEGAL DRUGS, kept the truth in plain sight with a thick stigma of embarrassment for my parents which was transferred to me in the stone silence of the forbidden. Heavy enforcement would come to the Chicago area within decades. In Spring 1995, I was nearly embroiled in a D.E.A. conspiracy plot which asked a University graduate, musician friend, to implicate associates in a web of conspiracy to traffic a “Narcotic”(Cannabis is not a Narcotic). I remember the scenario. I put my chattels in storage, and I left Chicago within days of the story of my friend’s plight with law enforcement breaking into the national news. I was in New York when I spoke with my parents on the phone. They said that they saw my friend on the “Busted” TV series. This was the War on Drugs in action. Black Inner City kids busted by the D.E.A., plead guilty, acquiring criminal records and jail time, losing their right to vote in Federal elections, while white kids had access to family lawyers or credit options which enabled quick exodus escaping charges.
With a 3 month study visa, I found a good job in Vancouver, and secured a work visa in Dec of 1995. By 1998, I found myself compelled to write an “avidavit” to Ann McLellan in the defense of a young woman who applied for Refugee Status in Canada. Renee Boje, was being extradited to the United States on “conspiracy” charges stemming from a medical grow op bust in Los Angeles in 1995. Renee, like myself, was a freelance artist, and we both headed for the Canadian border alone, horrified with the D.E.A. scenario. You see, the 1995 Clinton Administration supplied funds to advance drug law enforcement and expand the private prison scheme. It was a time of heavy handed federal mandatory minimum sentences, where medical notes were not admissible in Federal trials, nor was word to be spoken of the benefits of Cannabis.
It is now 40 years after my civilian introduction to Cannabis. The dream of growing legal cannabis is nearly realized, but here in Vancouver, Federal influence on Cannabis “busting” is at an all-time high.
Why the Government culture of delay is bad Management
Pierre Trudeau and Justin Trudeau gained favor with the public by tapping into the call to “de-criminalize” and “legalize” the Marijuana plant within a gap of nearly 50 years. In the time between Pierre and Justine Trudeau’s leadership seats, the public has been a source of enduring, unrelenting, tenacious, political resistance for legalization of Cannabis against our own government’s prosecution. The published literature supporting the historic culture of Cannabis, seed sales, and breaking the marijuana law lead to a public re-education, research, production techniques, and the creation of a network of people in a movement toward vindicating the majority who think that criminalization causes more harm than Cannabis use.
Trudeau spoke of immediately Decriminalizing Cannabis as a campaign promise. Instead he doubled back, and under his administration’s “Project Gator” the most influential and articulate Political Activist and his equally outspoken wife, Jody, of the Cannabis Legalization movement are barred from their own business and charged with crimes. Trudeau delays meaningful change while prosecuting the leaders on the Frontlines.
It looks like “Project Gator” is a politically motivated operation by Bill Blair of the Legalization Task Force with the aid of local Police aimed at shutting down the public voice of the Cannabis movement, so corporate entities can co-opt the market. It has become apparent that slow Executive and Legislative management, sets international corporate interests above Canadian interests. This has been happening for decades as Pharmaceutical lobby to keep Cannabis illegal. For instance, in Arizona, L.P. Insys, spends $500,000 on the prohibition of cannabis in 2016, while releasing synthetic cannabis pills. The Insider/Outsider attitude of Insys Theraputics is to operate it’s business, strictly within Government, while the people are dying from their patented drug Fentanyl.
Anne McLellan, who served as the Minister of Justice, Attorney General and the head of the Legalization Task Force, has affiliation with a Law Firm central to managing government backed Cannabis Licensing Producers (LP’s). This is a conflict of interest which makes her ill-fitting of her job in public service to citizens. I believe Licensed Producers will turn cannabis into a weapon, just as Bayer manufactured the first amphetamine and heroin used on the frontlines of the First and Second World Wars. The Cannabis hypocrisy is aweapon used against citizens Marc and Jodie Emery. Cannabis plants are better off in the hands of the people, because L.P.’s have a capital intent to profit their shareholders over the interests for public good. Just look at Insys THeraputics as a stand alone patent, responsible for the Fentanyl Crisis and tell me that insider drug peddling in the Lobby hasn’t been a factor for 20 years of Government.
Legislators have been backing corporate synthetic drugs to the exclusion of natural plant based medicine because a corporation cannot patent a plant, and big legal business loves patents. Poppy production has been pushed to the corners of lawless Afghanistan because the governments and drug companies have banished the flower. Synthetic drug fentanyl is causing an overdose crisis in North America, and the patent holders seem to bear no responsibility for their monstrous chemical creation. Millions of people have died on patented opiate drugs produced by Licensed Producers. 3-Methylfentanyl has even been used as a biological weapon by law enforcement on a crowd with lethal effects.
It appears that the 50,000 people who die every year in North America from overdose are overlooked. While Trudeau’s “project Gator” is looking to prosecute citizens, Marc and Jodie Emery. The government delays legalization of Cannabis to get Licensed Producers of Cannabis modelled like Pharmaceuticals companies who buy influence with government with lobbying power.
The world drug market is a $4 Trillion dollar industry, and Ottawa is looking to control the cannabis market and punish Canadian producers who are not accepted by the corporate Health Canada agenda. The insiders control Ottawa legislation. Jodie Emeryrespectfully asked to be included in the Task Force, but is barred fromher business instead. With a corporate model in mind, from McLellan down, the monopoly of the supply side of Cannabis through L.P.’s is being set in motion. The legislators and investors are checking the stock market, and watching their pension futures as the legalization of Cannabis favors big business, and prosecutes our championed voices for Legalization.
This “War on Drugs” as announced by Nancy Reagan in 1982, puts the innocent civilian at the center of a war in which prison, fines and criminality is a penalty for using Cannabis. The war as I see it has been between legislators, corporations, cops, and unions with good dental care, extended medical benefits, free prescription drugs, padded retirement packages and private futures options, and the punished under-pensioned worker who doesn’t get free prescription drugs, but bears the burden of finding relief.
Canadian’s are overprescribed opiates and anti-depressants. Health Canada secure their pensions in the stock market, investing in Licensed Producers of Pharmaceutical drugs, while the masses fell into an addiction to oxycodone, morphine, Ritilin and anti-depressant. The true benefit of drug L.P.’s is that they have teams of lawyers who craft contracts, secure patents and clauses within Government which obscures the liability of overdose death and injury from side effects. The financial profits and tax breaks go to the big business and the liability is often death to the public user.
The most vulnerable in our society come from families broken by racism; intergenerational foster care, residential school and systemic childhood abuse often lead to addiction and poverty issues. These children are the most likely to be introduced to Ritalin as children by health care workers then seek illegal amphetamine or escapist drugs. Without extended medical benefits, those with chronic pain will seeks their drug on the black market. My concerns are for the people who have been on the wrong side of the pension scenario. These are the people who want freedom and choice in a heavily regulated nanny state. They have been hung down with “narcotics” federal charges in their late teens for possession of Marijuana. Or, Young Adults who left the Rez, and found themselves under employed, then, swiftly end up on the street with free government needles and a job running drugs. This is the welcoming to the heart of Vancouver on unceded Musqueam /Salish/Squamish territory to Aboriginal youth in many cases.
The bottom line: Let humans grow Cannabis plants, and end the prosecution model for small growers and the public at large. It shouldn’t cost $10 million dollars to become a licensed producer to grow plants, and make Cannabis infused oil. Nor, should Bayer/Mosanto or other L.P.’s be allowed to monopolize Cannabis seed. Free the seed. Grow your own.
On closing, please consider the points which I have made.
IF you’ve read my public litany,
Thank you for reading,
And thank you for your service to community,
Photo Courtesy Vancouver Media Co-op