Ted Smith is facing jail time after a bust on his Cannabis Buyers’ Club in Victoria, BC on January 3, 2002. Smith teaches an informal cannabis class called Hempology 101, and has been known to hand out marijuana cookies on the sidewalk. He is well known for his community service, bravery and compassion. However, in this strange world where bravery and compassion are often punished with arrest, it is sadly not very shocking that he should be in hot water for his activities. The shocking part is that he is in trouble for trying not to offend the authorities.
“The police were brought in here by Terry Christenson, a patient that I had cut off for trying to resell marijuana from the club,” Smith told Cannabis Culture. Patients who resell medicine often put clubs at risk of police harassment, and it is a policy of medical cannabis clubs everywhere to cut customers off if they give or sell their medicine to other people.
After Smith explained the situation to the officer, the thoughtful cop refrained from pressing charges or closing the club. But a month later, the police decided to go after Smith anyway, and on February 4, he received a notice in the mail saying that he should appear in court on charges of possession for the purpose of trafficking charge. Smith, was already on probation for handing out free pot cookies on November 15, 2000.
“Because it directly breaks my bail condition, there is a good chance that the crown will try to keep me in jail, perhaps until my trial,” explained Smith. “They have tried to have me keep in jail before because I am an activist. Now they are going to throw the book at me. They have obviously made decisions to seek prosecution and penalty and we have to be prepared for a fight.”
Despite increased harassment, Ted Smith has been inspiring others to put their lives on the line to help the sick and dying. Next Thursday, February 22, Smith will hold a press conference to announce the grand opening of another cannabis buyers’ club in Halifax, based on his club’s model.
“I am talking to another guy in New Brunswick, and we will be announcing the opening of that sometime in the next couple months, too,” enthused Smith.
In the meantime, he hopes to convince the judge to let him stay out of jail by presenting hundreds if not thousands of letters written on his behalf.
“Some of the letters that we are collecting in support of me are really awesome to read, said Smith. “People have turned their lives around. There’s one from a guy who came in here with a wheelchair and now a week later is walking around and in a good mood. Some came from people who have extended their lives because of cannabis they bought here, and are living much more happy. I know of many people who wouldn’t be alive today without this medicine.”
This is your chance to do something, to lend support to a wonderful man who has the guts to stand up and fight against injustice, even if it means being harassed, arrested and punished by a brutal and uncaring legal system. Send an e-mail on behalf of Ted to his e-mail address below, addressing “the BC courts” and asking them not to imprison him. Tell the courts that with the BC Liberal government’s recent cutbacks to our prisons, they would be better off saving that jail cell for a murderer, rapist or violent offender. Tell the the courts that they shouldn’t even bother with someone as helpful and kind as Ted Smith.