As the world nears drug-war Armageddon, persecution of the cannabis culture is on the rise. Even in seemingly pot-tolerant Canada, where the nation’s drug laws are thought by many to be utterly defunct, police jump to the strings of White House pot haters. Will signing a petition to free Canadian pot activist Marc Emery change anything?
Last week, Marc Emery, Canadian pot-movement mogul and leading activist, was convicted of trafficking because someone saw him passing two joints. He was sentenced to three months in a Saskatchewan jail. The jails in that province are reputed to be some of the worst in the country.
Emery’s arrest sets a dangerous precedent that raises serious questions about the future of Canadian justice. I can see narks even now pondering the perilous possibilities. Can they throw anyone in jail on trafficking charges just because someone saw someone else pass a joint? Or was it a tobacco cigarette? No matter, off to jail with the lot of them. And what about medical users who pass their joints to other medical users? Well that makes them a bunch of drug traffickers! No more medicine and off to jail with the lot of them.
Luckily, narks can now also dispense with such niceties as the constitutionally enshrined freedom of speech. On Saturday, August 21, at a Cannabian Day pot rally, police demonstrated their powers by beating an innocent protester into the dirt. His crime? He propped a sign that read “Legalize it” and “Weed my lips” against a statue of King Edward.
It’s also a good thing that narks don’t have to know the law. If they did, they might learn that our pot prohibition isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. Already, challenges are mounting that attack the law on several grounds, including the government’s failure to carry out the orders of Ontario’s highest court, which last October told the feds that the possession laws weren’t constitutional unless they fixed the country’s med-pot regulations.
The government’s failure to fix the med-pot regulations is one basis for a recent court challenge by Philippe Lucas, founder of the Vancouver Island Compassion Society (VICS). Like other challenges I’ve profiled on this website over the past couple weeks, Lucas is arguing that the law is utterly invalid.
Like Emery, Lucas was fraudulently styled as a “trafficker”. His club was raided not long ago for growing their own medicine, after he made national press for criticizing the government’s ridiculously expensive and heavy-metal contaminated medical buds. Some have said he made the mistake of advertising a superior product in a government monopolized market. Lucas certainly had the market advantage: his organic, unpolluted buds cost only about $1,500 per pound to produce, as opposed to the thousands of dollars per gram the government spends growing poisonous bunk weed. But the government had the advantage in terms of sheer force: police willing to uphold injustice instead of the constitutional freedoms they were sworn to protect.
“Since the bust,” Lucas told me, “we’ve seen the increases in harms to the organization and the members as a result of the RCMP raid. The product on our menu went from completely, fully THC and heavy-metal tested to completely untested black market supply. We went from 100 percent organics to about 40 percent. The cost has gone up significantly to the organization and some of that has been passed onto the membership.”
Lucas was also doing research the government has long promised but never moved forward on.
“The VICS was about to undertake the first high-THC, smoked cannabis and chronic pain study in North America, but the RCMP seized over two pounds of research-grade cannabis during the bust, setting our protocol back indefinitely. In other words, not only are Health Canada’s policies leaving medical users and distributors vulnerable, they are also impacting our ability to move ahead with legitimate research.”
Shortly after my interview with Philippe last week, the Canadian government announced that it will stop researching cannabis medicines.
The question that should be lurking in everyone’s mind is “why all the fuss over a little herb?” It simply doesn’t make sense that the government should go to so much trouble to ruin the lives of countless people just for taking a sinsemilla siesta now and again.
Our planet is lurching toward an extinction equivalent to that which ended the dinosaur age, with some environmental scientists predicting that 70 percent of the scrap of nature we have left today will be gone in 30 years. The world elite have already formed a World Water Council, which has identified Canada’s richest water resources as locations with a high potential for armed conflict in the coming decades. The UN freely acknowledges that our species is currently propagating faster than our planet’s capacity to support it. Social scientists, who compute simple population trends and have no environmental agenda, say the world will become so overcrowded that refugees will pilot any floatable device, becoming a vast and limitless army of flotsam on the world’s oceans, hoping to wash up on any beach where conditions are not as intolerable as where they came. Hoping, in fact, to wash up in North America. Some researchers believe that human society will utterly break down in many parts of the world for these reasons. Whether you are a capitalist, a socialist, a rightist, a leftist or whatever, this should be profoundly shocking news.
Properly applied technology is our only hope, but so far the best thing we can think to do with it is build weapons to destroy ourselves faster. We are in the grips of a mass self-denial, fueled by government propaganda and hate mongering. The world as we know it will soon be gone, as the only true and just laws – the laws of nature, green and gentle like spring sunlight on our children’s cheeks – spiral into disarray, as broken as our constitution, as vengeful and unforgiving as all of humanity with the veil of propaganda lifted from its collective eyes.
A perfect example of this propaganda is the drug-war myth that cannabis and other euphorant, medicinal plants are destroying the environment. Meanwhile, in an attempt to kill these very plants, thousands of pounds of rainforest-decimating toxic chemicals are sprayed over vast tracts by government contractors, wiping out food crops, native plants, and dozens of species – killing human children quickly but letting their parents linger a little longer as guinea pigs for potential future cancer research.
In the wake of this big picture, the drug war is a tool of mental, spiritual, medical and physical oppression. It is the excuse to kick in the door of any activist, to haul free thinkers to jail, to limit our ways of understanding and expressing our views of the world. It is the murderer who sneaks into our homes to kill our families, but cuts the phone line to our higher selves first, so that we forget who we are and why the murderer is there. It is the hand that covers our mouths, stifles our voices, and extinguishes our spirits.
Is Marc Emery in jail for passing two joints? Was the protester beaten for his innocent and harmless sign? Was the VICS raided for growing medicine? Hardly. They were raided, jailed and beaten for standing up for and daring to live their truths, instead of cowering in fear like the overpunished dog that most of North American society has become, largely thanks to the war on drugs. Their sacrifices would be unnecessary if people everywhere simply refused to accept unfair and inhumane punishments as the status quo.
You can start now by signing a petition to free Marc Emery. And, yes, it will change something. Not only will it help to free Emery, it will help to free yourself.
? Cannabis Culture would like to express its gratitude to Chuck Beyer for his initiative in creating the petition to free Marc Emery.