Good Times Provincial Election Volunteering

I put the blogging pen down when the Ontario provincial election was announced to pitch in for my neighbor ONDP Jonah Schein’s reelection campaign. The first few days during Schein’s campaign I worked on a two man sign crew. We drove around Davenport in a minivan stocked with large lawn signs, listening to Lou Reed, and then pouncing when we found a supporter’s address.

Until Schein’s campaign I had no experience working a staking sledge, but I can take credit for staking a few hours of lawn signs on his behalf. There are way more Schein signs in Davenport than the Ontario Liberal candidate and when I see them I feel really involved in the political process.

Anticipate a feeling of political contentment when you volunteer for candidate – like what you did matters. Because it does! This is why I encourage everyone to get become involved with their local representative. Find the candidate you believe in and give them some of your spare time.

The weather is too gorgeous to be inside. Already too much of my time is spent indoors on the phone or in front of the computer – so all my volunteer activities are outside based. It’s been an awesome experience to be mindful and medicated walking Davenport. I love walking and consider myself an above average enthusiast, but doing a poll or two a day is tiresome.  

My creative mind is getting cleared by combining my two loves – walking and politics. I’ve used the time to work through a third book idea – which after researching – I’ve already pitched to Green Candy Press. A solid chunk of the idea came from being involved in an election campaign because it allowed me to think differently.

These outside influences have played a tremendous role in developing my writing and activism.

The Ontario provincial NDP have a progressive harm reduction strategy that includes cannabis reform. In my ideal world a provincial body much like the LCBO, but for cannabis, would treat marihuana like wine (with a grow your own option).

Cannabis prohibition does affect the province – especially financially. Our provincial prison system has a great number of marijuana offenders in it and our legal aid system is paying for more cannabis crimes because of mandatory minimums.

Right now though, people living on Ontario disability pensions can no longer afford medical marihuana, even if they have a legal document to possess cannabis. Many disabled Ontarians who were growing their own medicinal cannabis legally and most importantly very affordably, can no longer do so because the federal government removed this option.

The MMPR allows nurse practitioners to sign the document required to legally medicate, but the provincial legislation in every province prohibits them from doing so.  

However, it’s Schein’s tireless dedication to Davenport that has me coming out every day. We have plenty of other provincial and neighborhood concerns we connect on.

While walking Davenport in my cannabis leaf Converse a mother on her porch commented she liked my sneakers.

I’ve also come across potheads having a porch session and Vapor Central stoner Sunday’s and Yuk Yuk’s comedian Mike Rita – who lives in the neighborhood. BTW – all those Parkdale jokes now have to be changed to Davenport.

Rita thought I was the pizza guy and was surprised to see it was actually me dropping off literature. We had a quick chit-chat about Jonah and the neighborhood. It was exactly what neighbors ought to do!

Davenport has some amazing people because the affordability has many young families and creative types settling here. The cannabis champ and Rita aren’t the only people representing. We also have Damian Abraham who stopped by the campaign office while I was folding letters to sign up for a reelect Jonah Schein sign. One day while on Bloor St. before leaving for a poll, I met my neighbor and fellow blogger Stoner Girls Guide, who was going for a coffee.     

Jonah Schein is like that too. I’ve run into him while being out and about in Davenport. You’ll see him on the Dufferin bus or St. Clair streetcar, buying a coffee or a pint at neighborhood bar or cafe, and possibly on your doorstep.

Matt Mernagh is author of Marijuana Smoker’s Guidebook The Easy Way to Identify and Enjoy Marijuana Strains from Green Candy Press. Available from Amazon, iTunes and Urban Outfitters

Matt Mernagh
Matt Mernagh

Matt Mernagh is author of Marijuana Smoker's Guidebook The Easy Way To Identify and Enjoy Marijuana Strains ( by Green Candy Press and hosts a weekly weedy webcast The Menahuana Zone on Pot.TV every Tuesday. The Mernagh Ruling is a test case of Canada's cannabis laws and was spearheaded by Mernagh, lawyer Paul Lewin and 22 witnesses from across Canada.