Cannabis Canada has a new look with this issue, hopefully more pleasing
to our readers than the ugly new look our nation has developed over the
past few months.?
We put our magazine
onto glossy stock because we weren’t happy with the way our colour pictures
looked on the paper we had been using. We are happy to announce that we’ll
be reincorporating some hemp paper into our next issue, and hope to continue
increasing our use of hemp paper over the coming year.?
The nation of Canada however, has become far less attractive for the cannabis
community than ever before. The Controlled Drugs and Substances Act was
put into force on May 14, and within three days two hemp stores had been
raided and proceedings had begun to seize the first grow house. One of
the hemp stores even had literature like Cannabis Canada, High Times and
various grow books seized as well.?
The scene in Vancouver has been undergoing some unpleasant changes as well.
On June 11, Vancouver Police used machine guns and assault rifles to raid
an underground smoker’s club called Arthrology. Of course no weapons were
found on the premises, nor was there any reason to think there would be.
The cops have apparently forgotten the lessons they learned in 1992, when
they shot 22 year old Daniel Posse to death in a botched raid that netted
The Cannabis Cafe in Vancouver should finally be open by the time you read
this, which is a milestone in its own right. This smoker’s sanctuary won’t
actually be selling pot (at least not for a while) but they do provide
a safe, healthy and comfortable atmosphere in which to enjoy all aspects
of cannabis culture.?
That sanctuary is desperately, as Mayor Philip Owen has been calling for
“anti-drug action” and more “community policing”. The cops have decided
this means they aren’t busting enough pot smokers, so they started coming
by Hemp BC to harass their customers. On June 27 they actually arrested
an unlucky patron for possession of less than a gram of marijuana.?
The cops also found the time to intimidate a port-a-potty dealer who was
going to rent portable toilets to Hemp BC for the July 1 Cannabis Day Celebration.
They threatened to seize the toilets if they were brought to the event.
It’s good to know Vancouver’s finest have the spare manpower to waste with
Mayor Owen has ensured that local cops will continue this fine tradition
by hand-picking Bruce Chambers as our new Chief of Police. Bruce has spent
the last few years honing his skills as top cop in Ontario’s Thunder Bay,
where he oversaw police raids and seizures in two different stores selling
pipes and vapourizers. We’re hoping he mellows out in the big city, but
realistically, we’re bracing for the worst.?
What does all this mean for the Cannabis Canadian on the street? It means
that although we’ve made massive progress in the past three years, things
can still get worse before they get better. It means that if you don’t
get off your ass and do something to help yourself, you might find yourself
and your friends in jail, your family on the street because the cops seized
your home, your car on the auction block because of that half-ounce in
your glove compartment.?
Yet this doesn’t mean that it’s time to pack up and head to a more sympathetic
nation. Holland’s already crowded enough as it is, and remember that the
spasms of violence we are now experiencing might just be the death throes
of the mighty beast. It’s too early to tell for sure, but know that the
more we press forward the more desperate those who oppose us will become.
As their numbers diminish their ranks will tighten, and they will become
more extreme, further alienating those who might support them.?
Their over-reaction is our strength. Their increasing violence and intolerance
will ultimately reveal the War on Drugs as the morally bankrupt, corruption
riddled, destructive monstrosity that it is. Let’s work together to make
that process as short and as painless as possible.?
Dana Larsen, editor?