Harm Reduction Club

“I’m Selling Marijuana!” 20.10.96

October 19 marked another victory for the marijuana anti-prohibitionists in Vancouver. This date was the first day for the Harm Reduction Club, a cannabis buyer’s club in Vancouver. Unlike the well-known club in San Francisco, the HRC does not require a doctor’s prescription to purchase marijuana. Only proof of age showing the buyer is over 13 years old and club membership is required. Setting a good example for other legal drug sellers, club membership includes a promise not to operate “heavy machinery” while impaired.

To start the club off, a large public marijuana sale was held on Commercial Drive. Several hundred people showed up to publicly purchase marijuana, while others smoked, talked, made music, laughed and played in the cold air and warm sunshine. Police attended the event and watched from the perimiter of the park, eventually leaving before the event was over. Many reporters were also on the scene, inlcuding video cameras from the local BCTV and UTV, and the national CBC.

Over a hundred people became members of the club, and during the day over 1 pound of marijuana was publicly sold in the park. With membership, members could buy a one gram joint of “very good bud” for $10, or a smaller $5 version, one per person. While the police stood by, club founder David Malmo-Levine could be heard to sing loudly “I’m selling marijuana!” so there would be no confusion as to what the commotion was about. No arrests or charges were made by police.

The following is excerpted from a full page ad that appeared in theVancouver weekly newspaper “Terminal City”. The full ad is at least eighttimes as long and goes into the history of the drug war and the currentsituation with the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. For more info email[email protected], or call (604) 253-6357

Harm Reduction Club
Free Market Tam-Tam

Free speech. Free music. Cheap pot.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 19, 3PM (sharp)Grandview Park (William & Commercial Drive)For more info call 253-6357


Pot will be openly sold, but only on and after the 19th, and only to club members.

In 1993, the hemp movement began to remove the shame from “possession” byholding rallies where many people could commit that crime, shamelessly. Thegovernment’s reaction was to back off.

Well, it’s now time to do the same thing with “trafficking”. The HarmReduction Club is an experiment. Right now it’s just a person who knows hehas little to lose by risking five years less a day for trafficking, ratherthan letting the shame remain unchallenged, thereby risking a lifetime in aSingapore-style police state – or perhaps even an environmental nightmare.

Let’s get together and remove the last remaining bits of shame associatedwith marijuana, using the profits from the sale of good organic herb to:

  1. provide free legal services
  2. fund education projects to teach people smarter smoking strategies
  3. provide medicinal and nutritional hemp information
  4. promote soft, natural drugs over hard, synthetic ones
  5. teach drugless methods of getting high
  6. create an atmosphere of safety and tolerance to enjoy marijuana in
  7. educate the public about the dangers of prohibition.

These are the seven goals of the Club.

Any money collected above a living wage will be put towards the seven goalsof the club. In addition, in exchange for cooperation from the government,we will donate 10% of all earnings to cash strapped charities – the needleexchange and the medical marijuana buyers club, for example.

But if the government continues to arrest us for something that theythemselves have indicated is a health issue, well then that 10% will go tolegal defense – possession, trafficking, causing a disturbance, resistingarrest, toplessness, whatever – you’re covered.

That’s right, you heard correctly, free legal advice and defense, asafer-smarter-smoking guide and a gram sized joint for just 20 bucks.When’s the next time you’re gonna hear an offer like that?

Join the club.

The club will kick off it’s illegal-yet-noble activities at the “FreeMarket Tam Tam” on Saturday, October 19th, at 3pm sharp, in Grandview Parkon William Street and Commercial Drive.

There will be an open microphone, and the club invites anyone who disagreeswith legalization to come out and give reasons why, and see if it canwithstand criticism (and see if the criticism can withstand criticism….it shouldn’t take too long to exhaust all the arguments to prohibition andget to the bottom of this mess).

If it turns out that someone possesses a compelling reason why we shouldn’tsell pot to anyone over the age of thirteen who a) signs a pledge not tooperate heavy machinery while impaired on our marijuana, and b) agrees toread our “safer-smarter-smoking” kit – hey, we’ll bow to reason. We’ll takeour buds and split. The shame of being a pot “pusher” will remain. BigBrother will have won the day.

About the rally: Interstellar Rootcellar, SKAB, Wes and a number of othermusicians will perform some acoustic sets, and the club will smoke-up anyother musicians or drummers who perform that day. We will also pass thejoint to any videographers who hang out all day, ready to preserve anddistribute the magic moment if and when the cops decide to bust us.

Bring Cameras, food, pot etc. to sell (this is, after all, a free market)but leave your aggression, hard drugs (especially alcohol) and shame athome. Be prepared to hug anyone who is getting arrested without reason – wemay be stoned, but we’re not going down so easy.

"Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerlessmeans to side with the powerful, not to be neutral."

-Paulo Friere

A new world is growing inside the old one.

The club could end up becoming the path to freedom for many people,economically and politically. The medical marijuana buyers club in SanFrancisco had 90 employees – four people got hired full time just to weighout buds. The Vancouver Harm Reduction Club itself is non-profit andcollectively run.

The government is really to blame for this enterprise. They denied us anylegal mode of evolution nor justification for a lack of evolution. If theyuse force, it will be because they lack reason. If the police get caughton film using force without reason, prohibition is done for. If they leaveus alone, we’ll out-grow the synthetics. The only way they can win is tointimidate people away from joining up.

The Harm Reduction Club non-transaction info line is 253-6357. Pot willopenly be sold, but only on/after the 19th and only to club members.

Almost everybody knows the drugwar is a joke. The real crime is that good,potent, organic bud isn’t easily available from a reliable, responsiblesource. How many times in your life will you again be given the opportunityto party, dance, sing, smoke pot and hug people in order to fight thepowers-that-be and save the economy and ecology?

See you on the 19th.

Dana Larsen [email protected]
Editor, Cannabis Canada, “Canada’s National Magazine of Marijuana & Hemp”
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