I was invited to attend the pre-opening party for David Levine’s new Vancouver School of Drug War History and Organic Cultivation, otherwise known as “Herb School” at 123A East Hastings street, right next too Vancouver’s new Safe injection site near Main and Hastings. (Just look for the Chinese barber shop.)
David Malmo Levine, activist extraordinaire, Drug war history tour was very empowering. Dave has put together a comprehensive well researched booklette, a printed copy of his tour notes and theories, which should be soon available for a nominal fee.
It’s David’s fondest hope to elevate the reputation of “Pain and Wastings” and to help in it’s improvement, much in the same way as Marc Emery was able to revitalize the 300 Block of West Hastings.
Don’t worry, David’s tour will be documented on the ICTV cable channel 4 in Vancouver station on their EAST SIDE show and available on Pot-tv.net, “Newshawks.”
Levine told the story of ‘the gas town police riot’ (Details of are in flash’s Anthology under Artistic Inspirations on the www.cannabisculture.com Forums). At the gassy jack statue he told how the bar keeper founded this town by making a deal with the mill workers; if they’d build the bar Gassy would come up with beer.
There, David introduced his crowd, of 25 to thirty in attendance for the tour and curious onlookers, to top quality organic guano-grown cannabis and which many took advantage of to buy a joint or two and light up.
A Paladen security guard tried to bully Dave with his imposing presence and soon got a tongue lashing from the excited hempster activist, ending in a friendly hand shake. I shook the guards hand too and stepped between Dave and him, with my blazer on like I was protecting the president from a crazed fan and he soon moved on.
The booklette gives the essentials of his tour of Vancouver starting with the late 1880’s when Vancouver was pristine temporal rainforest bountiful with medicinal herbs and entheogens. At victory square David also reminded us of the fallen of world war 1 and 2 and the involvement of the Bayer company in National Socialism and in creating the gas used on the Vancouver troop of Canadians poisoned in W.W.I.
Now Bayer, who rewarded the Jewish inventor of Bayer aspirin from willow bark with his own private room in a Auschwitz. Bayer also invented heroin and has its clutches on a patent for a new gas, a cannabis spray ‘satiavex,’ that doesn’t get you high, but singles out two particular canibinoids, thc and a cbd and applies it orally to your tongue, in no way providing the quick delivery of a plethora of active canabinoids that taking a couple tokes of the smoked product does.
David spoke of safe smoking and harm reduction techniques such as water pipes and vaporizors and the need for medical community to once again accept ‘smoked medicine as medicine.
He showed his tour the original site of hemp BC and the history of it and his brief stint with the harm reduction site. David also showed us the burned out ruins of the arsoned Blunt Brothers caf? which the police have seized to even try to investigate after only two days.
David revealed in his tour he’s only 33. All this time, because I look up to him, I always thought him somehow older than I. Now I realize how young he still is and its unfathomable how much he will accomplish given how much ground he has already covered.
David Malmo Levine is an activist domino. When the DEA and CIA Drug war dragon of prohibition is finally defeated and driven out, it will be David Malmo Levine, Chris Bennett and Marc Emery’s, John Conroy, Richard Cowan, Jodie G., Renee, the Kubbys, Dana Larsen, journalist Pete Brady, Ian Hunter, Ted Smith, Hilary Black and Rielle, the compassion club and Da Kine cafe staff, Bubbleman, Ken Hayes and his smart shops, Alan Young, Libby Davis and Sven Robinson, Ed Rosenthal, Tommy Chong, and other names that will be mentioned in oral tradition and stuff of legends and Hollyweed. For putting their noses to the grind stone and shoulders to the wheel, standing up to be counted and celebrating liberty with civil disobedience.
When David’s not organizing events or creating programming for Pot-TV, or spending time with his beloved, his greatest joy in life comes from clipping and pasting together his series of “POT-SHOTS” magazines.
Here on the walls of his museum he was able to expand on his talents and decorate them with clippings and historical documents much like his magazines.
It is the culmination of 10 years of collecting literature and artifacts of the ongoing drug war he says, and quite impressive it is. I had him tag one of his posters to set aside with other pieces Malmo has created, for when Levine is as famed as Andy Warhol. It must have taken me 20 minutes to travel the short distance from the front to back of the museum, so taken was I, by the art on the walls.
Not until then, did I realize there were comfy chairs and couches in the back and a fridge for beverages. Indeed, a group of David’s friends and staff were gathered there. His employees seemed all cut from the same cloth; an Earth Toned or Tie-Dyed cloth, for the earth friendly crew.
David is just waiting on city electrical inspectors to “OK” his business license. The school includes a ‘Green Space’ where organic tobacco and helpful entheogenetics will be grown to demonstrate organic methods of gardening.
David hopes to have his school up and running by Sunday November 21st 2004 and also will be conducting tours from the facility on Tuesdays and Sundays from 3pm till 4:20 p.m., which includes the Mini-Museum, Photo Display and Video/Newsprint Archive. Organics 101 will be taught from the school as well as “A History of Fertilizers” and “Dangers of Radioactive Chemical Fertilizers.” The best tool for ‘Harm Reduction’ being: Hempucation.
I was surprised to run into Drug War Refugee Ken Hayes at David’s soiree. It may be already too late for Hayes whose fame comes from the Medical Marijuana clubs he founded along with Denis Peron in California which helped so many suffering with A.I.D.S. and even Cancer.
Hayes fled to Canada with his two baby girls and supportive wife. Ken received support from Marc Emery and others which he says he is extremely thankful for, his eyes moist. His court date is approaching when he will be given a date by which he must return to the United States to serve Federal time for what was legal in his State but not Federally.
The truth is that there ARE Americans in our midst that ARE seeking to defect to Canada, as if the USA were cold war U.S.S.R., and are Truly seeking Refugee Status from the now Justice Minister, the Hon. Irwin Cotler.
They are not just escaping because of the senseless World War Three that Bush is embroiling America in, or even fear of a future draft, but to escape the other war, this one civil, that America perpetuates: “The War on Drugs.”
Steve Kubby and his wife and two beautiful daughters at least have had the financial support from the cannabis community to fight to remain in Canada through every legal means.
Steve Kubby brought in Proposition 215; a ballot referendum allowing people who were using marijuana for medical purposes to obtain and use the herb legally in the state of California but was nevertheless driven out of the States by Sheriffs and is likewise, in the slippery hands at our Justice Minister and the Courts.
Irwin Cotler during the Federal Election won over the 25,000 of us a day who visit the Pot-tv.net site by saying he was “Man of the Year on Pot TV” according to his “children who watch it” even though our “Man” at the time was clearly Layton.
Now we know Irwin was cruelly joking as he is refusing to give any indication in if he will grant any of these Freedom Fighters Refugee Status from the draconian U.S. Prohibition laws and dreadful D.E.A.
Renee could be taken from our midst at any time. Renee Boje is looking at 10 years in a federal prison in California charged with Conspiracy and Cultivation in the States for assisting in illustrating a book on How to Grow Medical Marijuana and not testifying against Tod McCormick who’s serving a ten years minimum sentence in the U.S. Peter McWilliams, R.I.P., whom, HIV like myself, died choking on his own vomit and pills denied his healing, sacred, useful, medicine while under House Arrest. Renee will have to leave her two year old and Canadian husband behind if not granted asylum in Canada. www.reneeboje.com
More recently James Geddes a “Reefer Refugee” in Canada is who facing 150 years for growing 5 plants in Oklahoma and has arrived on the nearly fictitious ‘Underground Reefer Railway’ leaving everything he has behind with next to no means to support himself.
Prime Minister Paul Martin joked Americans shouldn’t expect preferential treatment just because they’re neighbors.
“The fact is we are a country of immigrants and we’re prepared to receive immigrants from anywhere. (But) I doubt very much if refugee status is the way that I would characterize it,” Martin said.
I stayed a while at the evening soiree but was nodding out reading a coffee table book on “Why Cats Paint” till I had to bus it home feeling better informed and hempucated on history and issues involving the war on drugs.