Gil Puder, RIP

On November 12, Vancouver Police Constable Gil Puder died of cancer.
Gil Puder was a police officer who spoke out openly, publicly, and loudly against drug prohibition. He decried the police corruption and attitudes spawned by the drug war, and his articles and letters showed up regularly in Vancouver and North American newspapers.

Puder took great risks in doing what he did. He was repeatedly pressured and threatened by his superior officers not to speak out. He risked his job, his career, his future to do something that he saw was important, and in less than two years he made a lasting impact on police forces across North America, if not the world.

Puder wrote letters to the editors of dozens of newspapers across North America. He used the internet to respond publicly to pot-bigots and drug cops who otherwise went unchallenged in their local papers. He spoke on television, on radio, and before crowds countless times. None of these things required special training, or really even that much time. What they did take was a recognition that this is important, a desire to make an improvement in the lives of others, and the bravery to speak out despite peer pressure and threats.

Anyone can do what Gil Puder did. Any police officer could come forward and say that the drug war corrupts law enforcement. Anyone could spend fifteen minutes a day writing letters to the media and promoting drug peace. Yet what made Gil Puder special is that he made the extra step between theory and practice. He made just a little bit more effort than his fellow cops, than his fellow humans, and that made all the difference.

The death of a loved one is a source of grief, but it must also be an inspiration to live our life to the fullest. Don’t delay to do those nagging things you know you should, but have been putting off for whatever fear. Let Gil Puder serve as a reminder of the impermanence of life, and of the necessity for immediate action.

Tell that special someone that you love them. Fulfill the fantasy of which you’ve been dreaming. And do something proactive to make the world a better place.

Dana Larsen
Editor, Cannabis Culture
The Magazine of the Marijuana Millennium

CC Corrections:

? Last issue we misnumbered our cover. Observant readers may have noticed that the cover said #22 while the inside listed it (correctly) as #21. To suit the almighty distributors there is no turning back, and so this issue is #23. Last issue will forever be called #22, and there will never be an official CC#21.