Sunday, March 13, 2005

Cannabis, Compassion and Peace in Canada

Lester B. Pearson, Canada’s 14th Prime Minister from 1963-68, never took himself too seriously, but he took what he believed in very seriously, and turned those beliefs into action and achievement. Pearson oversaw the introduction of the Canada Pension Plan, a national system of universal Medicare, the Commission on bilingualism and biculturalism, and the Maple Leaf Flag. "Mike", as Pearson liked to be called, is probably best known for his peacekeeping efforts. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1957, the only Canadian ever to do so and he is the man responsible for the compassionate peacekeeping reputation that Canada has today. Of the many things I am most proud of in this country, the accomplishments of Lester Pearson are at the top of my list. What I am not proud of is the utter lack of compassion our government displays toward cannabis users.

In the Introduction of Pearson’s book, ‘Peace in The Family of Man’, Robert Stewart, Director of Canadian Centres for Teaching Peace said, "It is also very important for Canadians to consider our responsibility to help build peace in our communities and world. I believe Canada is well placed to play a special role. Canadians are blessed with resources and skills, and hence we have more responsibility to serve the world in building peace."

Canada is known to be a compassionate, peacekeeping country. So why does the government insist that its own citizens live in fear of having their lives ruined over a medically beneficial plant? Pearson once said, "Misunderstanding… arising from ignorance breeds fear, and fear remains the greatest enemy of peace."

The government’s ignorant stance on cannabis breeds fear into the citizens. This fear remains the greatest enemy of achieving peace in this country as well as with our neighbors to the south. We cannot achieve peace in this country until we stop persecuting and prosecuting Canadian citizens who choose to use a harmless plant. Some people seem to think that if we stop prosecuting cannabis users that we will suffer consequences from the US. If Canadians are so blessed with natural resources and skills and have more of a responsibility to serve the world in building peace, why do we heed the threats from the US?

Rather than worrying about the US we need to be concentrating our efforts on peacekeeping within our own country. In his book Pearson said "When you have to compete against this kind of appeal, you can only hope to show by policy and example that your kind of society offers the best model to emulate." The US has chosen to lead the world in the war on drugs and ruin the lives of billions of people. Canada, as the leading peacekeeping country should be legalizing cannabis and using a harm reduction approach rather than joining in the war on drugs by prosecuting our own citizens. Canada should be offering the best model of harm reduction for other countries to emulate rather than forcing millions of harmless cannabis users to live in fear of prosecution.

In 1969, on the recommendation of Minister of National Health and Welfare John Munro, the Government of Canada appointed a Commission of Inquiry into the Non-Medical Use of Drugs. The commission became known as the Le Dain Commission after its chairman, Dean Gerald Le Dain. The Interim Report of the commission, published in April 1970, said:

  • "In the case of cannabis, the positive points which are claimed for it include the following: it is a relaxant; it is disinhibiting; it increases self-confidence and the feeling of creativity (whether justified by objective results or not); it increases sensual awareness and appreciation; it facilitates concentration and gives one a greater sense of control over time; it facilitates self-acceptance and in this way makes it easier to accept others; it serves a sacramental function in promoting a sense of spiritual community among users; it is a shared pleasure; because it is illicit and the object of strong disapproval from those who are, by and large opposed to social change, it is a symbol of protest and a means of strengthening the sense of identity among those who are strongly critical of certain aspects of our society and value structure today.
  • The conclusion of the Interim Report of the Le Dain Commission also included this:
    1. The use of marijuana is increasing in popularity among all age groups of the population, and particularly among the young;
    2. This increase indicates that the attempt to suppress, or even to control its use, is failing and will continue to fail - that people are not deterred by the criminal law prohibiting against its use;
    3. The present legislative policy has not been justified by clear and unequivocal evidence of short term or long term harm caused by cannabis;
    4. The individual and social harm (including the destruction of young lives and growing disrespect for law) caused by the present use of the criminal law to attempt to suppress cannabis far outweighs any potential for harm which cannabis could conceivably possess, having regard to the long history of its use and the present lack of evidence;
    5. The illicit status of cannabis invites exploitation by criminal elements, and other abuses such as adulteration; it also brings cannabis users into contact with such criminal elements and with other drugs, such as heroin, which they might not otherwise be induced to consider.

  • For all of these reasons, it is said, cannabis should be made available under government-controlled conditions of quality and availability.
    (Source)
Cannabis serves a sacramental function in promoting a sense of spiritual community among users. Why then is the government trying to keep this sense of spiritual community from growing by keeping the plant illegal? It’s been almost 35 years that the government has been ignoring the Le Dain Commission report. Since then the cannabis community has grown and the number of Canadians supporting legalization is now over half the population.

In his book Pearson says "When progress is slow the idealists are always in danger of becoming cynics, while realists grow in sober confidence and hope for the longer future." He also said "In technological and scientific advance, we have scaled the heights, but in social and political change, we are stuck in the swamps of human behavior. We are giants in brain power but we are pygmies of the spirit."

Our government has been waiting us out, waiting for the cannabis culture to become so cynical that we fight amongst ourselves and burn ourselves out. I think they underestimated cannabis users. We are giants in brain power but cannabis users are not pygmies of the spirit. I think most cannabis users are idealists, we can see a more perfect world full of peace and compassion that could be felt by all if we weren’t prohibited from using it freely. Like Lester Pearson, most cannabis users don’t take themselves too seriously, but we do very much believe in the spiritual healing aspects of the cannabis plant. Many activists turn those beliefs into action and minor achievements. We have been trying to educate and inform others of how wrongfully cannabis users are being treated, but we need to have every cannabis user and supporter collectively campaigning for freedom.

It is time to get out of the swamps of our human behavior and force some social and political change in order to gain our freedom. The liberal attitudes of the sixties when Lester Pearson was Prime Minister need to be resurrected. We are not all at peace in Canada when millions of cannabis users are living in fear because of the stigma attached to the plant. Our government has the power to erase that stigma with the legalization of cannabis and by publicly admitting that cannabis is harmless enough to be legalized.

Canada can become the real leader in peacekeeping by keeping the peace within our own country. Canadians must be allowed the freedom to choose their own medicine or recreational drug. Peace cannot be achieved without a feeling of freedom first. With millions of Canadians being prohibited from using cannabis, legalizing its use would release the feeling of freedom necessary to achieve peace within our own borders. We have a responsibility as citizens to let our government know that we are not free to live in peace and have been persecuted long enough.

We need to urge our members of Parliament to actually read the Senate and the Le Dain Commission reports and educate the rest of the country with the truth about cannabis. The government has a responsibility to help build peace in our communities. It is time for the Canadian government to do that by finally accepting the Le Dain Commission report and do what they recommended – legalize and regulate cannabis and make it available under government controlled quality and availability for all to use. If the millions of cannabis users and supporters in Canada were to speak out and contact the media and their government representatives, we would be heard. As the saying goes, "speak up now, or forever hold your peace." We’ve been holding our ‘peace’ for far too long; it is time to speak up so that we can all feel the peace and pride in our country.

MY REPORT ON ‘FILL THE HILL’

I had no idea what to expect when I attended my first marijuana legalization rally. The wide variety of people was impressive. The ages of people varied, as did the attire. From business suits to pot related clothing to a dominatrix wearing only Latex hot pants and nipple rings with a big black floppy hat and high black boots. I have since learned that she is a dominatrix and a Marijuana Party candidate in Ottawa. One guy wore a very large snake around his neck and there were lots of Rastafarians. The visual sights also included banners, signs, flags and cards promoting the legalization of marijuana. I think my favorite sign was, "Don’t Fear The Reefer!"

The visual treats couldn’t compare to the delectable scent, however. From the beginning of the rally to the end, the strong smell of burning marijuana could be smelled by anyone inhaling in the front lawn vicinity. What a rush it was to smoke up in the Capitol City of my country on the front lawn of Parliament Hill, right in front of the RCMP! At the peak of the rally, there were about 3000 people in attendance and maybe a dozen RCMP. I only saw 7 officers together at once, the others would patrol the perimeter or elsewhere and return. Even though they are called the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the only officer I saw mounted was on a bicycle, not a horse. The RCMP were gathered near an SUV parked at the top of the drive to the Parliament building, overlooking the event. There was a video camera set up on top of the SUV, in the event that the crowd got unruly, but I only saw an officer up there once – and the camera wasn’t aimed in my direction. ;)

The speeches started a little late, because as we all know potheads can be a little slow and forgetful. Prior to the show, a ghetto-blaster had been hooked up to the main speakers, but they forgot CD’s, so they were appealing to the crowd to help them out. The show got started about 15 minutes late.

The Master of Ceremonies was Dominic Cramer, owner of the Toronto Hemp Company. Dom wore a green and white Toronto Maple Leaf style jersey with the #420 on it and ‘THC’ inside the maple leaf crest. He introduced Marc-Boris St. Maurice who read a bilingual letter from Senator Pierre Claude Nolin who couldn’t be in attendance due to a busy campaign schedule.

The next speaker was Philippe Lucas, Founder and Director of the Vancouver Island Compassion Society (VICS), a Canadian non-profit therapeutic cannabis research and distribution center. He is also a member of Canadians for Safe Access. Philippe reported that VICS tested marijuana grown by the Canadian government for medical patients and it tested at 5% THC. The government had claimed it had a much higher content than it did. VICS returned the marijuana to the government and told them to re-test it. They finally admitted to Philippe, it was in fact 5% THC. The RCMP recently raided VICS and all the plants that were the sole source of medicine for hundreds of members were destroyed. Philippe reported that the wasted plants that were grown at VICS had 19% THC content.

Libby Davies, from Vancouver, British Columbia, is the NDP House Leader and federal NDP Spokesperson for Social Policy, Housing and Homelessness; Human Resources Development Canada; and Post Secondary Education. Libby is busy on the campaign trail as well and could not be in attendance, but Crystal LeBlanc, NDP candidate for Ottawa-Orleans filled in on behalf of Libby Davies and read a letter written by Libby for the event.

Eugene Oscapella, an Ottawa lawyer and one of the founding members of the Canadian Foundation for Drug Policy spoke of the need to reform Canada’s drug laws and policies.

Jason Gratl spoke in place of Kirk Tousaw. Jason is a criminal defence lawyer and is executive secretary of the British Columbia Civil Liberties Union.

Next up was Jack Cole, the Executive Director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. Jack reported that he retired as a Detective Lieutenant after 26 years with the New Jersey State Police. He said that for 14 years he was an undercover narcotics officer. He ended his undercover career after living nearly 2 years in Boston and New York City, posing as a fugitive drug dealer wanted for murder, while tracking members of a terrorist organization that robbed banks, planted bombs in corporate headquarters, court houses, police stations, airplanes and ultimately murdered a New Jersey State Trooper. Jack saw first-hand how unjust the war on drugs is and since retiring, he has been working to reform current drug policy as a way to redeem himself from his own participation in the war on drugs. Jack’s main message to Canada that he drilled into the audience was, "Don’t follow the U.S. down the path to prohibition!" He was wearing a black T-shirt that had a badge on the front and on the back it said, "COPS SAY LEGALIZE DRUGS-ASK ME WHY."

Jian Ghomeshi, the TV host of CBC’s series called "Play", was a surprise speaker. Jian and his team at Play are working on an hour-long cannabis special to be aired on June 25th. Jian called for everyone to move in closer to the stage so that he could use the crowd as background for the opening segments of the cannabis special. The Play crew wore black T-shirts with a green pot leaf and ‘play’ in white lettering that looked sharp. Jian told the crowd that he had recently interviewed Pierre Burton, a well-known Canadian author. During the interview, Pierre Burton admitted to 40 years of marijuana use and when Jian asked him where he got his pot, he said he got it from his kids. Be sure to watch Play TV on CBC for Canadians, Americans can try looking for it on PBS, on June 25!

Jude Renaud, a schoolteacher, gave a speech titled; "Prohibition is Anti Child and Anti Family." Jude is the Executive Director of Educators for Sensible Drug Policy, as well as a member of the Canadian Cannabis Coalition and a member of the Alliance of Reform Organizations. After being an administrator in the northern parts of British Columbia, Jude faced teen suicides, drug and alcohol abuse and violence. She became concerned about the counter-productive law enforcement and realized that many of the RCMP officers were as discontented as administrators and teachers with the lack of drug education in schools and disapproved of the much-criticized American D.A.R.E. program. Now Jude is also helping to create an organization made up of teachers openly committed to Drug Policy Reform called TAP, Teachers Against Prohibition. Jude was an exceptionally articulate speaker and spoke with a lot of wisdom. This is my favorite quote of hers, "The value of working in drug education is to see educational policy and reform come from a place of progressive change where students, parents and teachers work together to provide a quality of schooling that reflects a place where what is learned is lived, based on solid scientific evidence and where truth matters."

All the way from Alabama, Loretta Nall, President of the US Marijuana Party and news anchor for Pot TV, came to speak of her arrest and trial for possessing .087 grams of marijuana. Loretta was well spoken and her southern twang was a delight to listen to. Loretta was a surprise guest speaker. She was originally scheduled to speak at the Ohio Hempfest, but it was canceled and she was flown in and added to the list of speakers. Loretta had the crowd roaring when she called the leaders of the U.S. "Imperialistic Bastards"! I introduced myself to Loretta before the show and a little later went back and gave her a joint in appreciation for what she is doing. I was truly glad to meet her.

Alison Myrden, a federal medical marijuana exemptee, member of LEAP and NDP candidate for the Oakville riding, gave a resonating, passionate speech about the need for quality medical marijuana. Disgusted with the marijuana provided to her by the government, she said, "the government gave me a prescription that I have to go to the streets to fill!" Alison suffers from Multiple Sclerosis and has chronic pain in her face from Tic Douloureux.

The speaker that followed Alison was John Akpata, a candidate for the Marijuana Party of Canada in the Ottawa South riding. He is also a Poetry Champion and he gave a poetic speech after explaining that he went to Carleton University only to become a pothead. He also said he heard a rumor that Margaret Atwood, another well-known Canadian author, grows her own marijuana near Point Pelee, Ontario. He said it’s just a rumor, but you never know.

Chris Lawson, wearing a Cat-In-The-Hat style hat in green and white with pot leaves on it, described himself as a Pot Poet, activist, ex-minister, school principal and NDP Party member and supporter. He actively writes and campaigns for a greener planet. Once he remembered his first line, he recited one of his poems for us.

Criminal defense lawyer and Associate Professor of Law at Osgoode Hall Law School, Alan Young successfully challenged the constitutionality of our drug literature prohibition in 1995. He has represented exemptees and has provided, usually free of charge, counsel and advice to medical users and people charged with simple possession. He has also represented about 25 cultivators; preventing every one of them from jail time and establishing the precedent that the smell of marijuana by itself is not just cause to search a vehicle or home. Alan Young encouraged people to "Light Up!" He said "lighting up is an act of disrespect for laws that are corrupt and it is an honorable act of civil disobedience."
In my opinion, David Malmo-Levine was the most entertaining speaker. He added a lot of humor to a fairly serious program of speakers. This is how Dominic Cramer introduced David:

"And now, it’s Malmo time! David Malmo-Levine describes himself as a Cannabis researcher/activist and cop rodeo clown. Yeeha!David became a cannabis activist in 1993 in Edmonton, Alberta, where he began organizing smoke-ins and producing Potshot magazine. He moved to Vancouver in 1995, working with Hemp BC and Cannabis Culture. He got busted in 1996 and 97 for dealing cannabis openly in his "Harm Reduction Club". Since then, David's worked with the BC Compassion Club, Brian Taylor of Cannabis Health, and Pot TV (where he hosts the show "High Society"). With John Conroy's help, David represented himself at the Supreme Court of Canada for the right to sell pot. With his new company: "We're the Shit", David has begun to sell and promote organic fertilizers. His latest project - the "Ounces of Prevention Open-Air Marijuana Market Protest" - promises more fun and dignity at future Vancouver rallies.

"Here’s Malmo! "

David had everyone laughing when he started off by saying he had smuggled 20 joints on his flight from B.C. on West Jet and would be selling them on the lawn later. While the RCMP pretended not to hear that, he went on to extol the virtues of Amsterdam. He compared Holland to Heaven and said, "everyone should have a little piece of Heaven before they die! How many people have seen Holland? How many people have seen a little piece of Heaven? I know that we can have the same dignity here that they have in Holland!" As is with a lot of potheads, the attention span can be a little short and the minds tend to wander, but everyone was captivated while David spoke. I think they probably heard him in south Ottawa with his powerful voice and comfortable use of the microphone. David ended his speech with "We’re Here! We’re High! Get Used To It!" and then called for a big smoke-out.

At 4:20 p.m. a moment of silence was held for all the medical users and potheads alike that have passed before us and then everyone sparked up "memorial candles".

During the 4:20 celebration smoke-out with David Malmo-Levine, Marco Renda started his speech and I was distracted by the nearby smoke-out, so I didn’t catch much of his speech, unfortunately. I did hear his introduction by Dominic before I got distracted, however. Dominic said, "Marco Renda is a Medical User and Patient Advocate. He operates a compassionate organization known as Treating Yourself, and was one of the meduser applicants in the Hitzig v. Canada civil court case. Marco is known to go out of his way to help out fellow medusers, by running seed auctions and other acts of kindness."

By this time of the day, I was sunburned, hot, tired and I’d been stoned since 7am and I was looking forward to getting out of the sun. I have to admit that I didn’t take as many notes for the last speakers due to a serious lack of energy. I’m sure Marc-Boris St. Maurice, leader of the Marijuana Party of Canada, was a wonderful speaker, but at least half of what he said was in French and I’m not bilingual, so I have no idea what he said.

Marc Emery, the Prince of Pot, was the final speaker of the day. Marc is the BC Marijuana Party President and the publisher of Cannabis Culture magazine, the producer of Pot-TV and founder of Hemp BC and the Cannabis Cafe. Prior to the event, I picked up some of the controversial 3x5 NDP cards to distribute from Marc. Chris Watson, the NDP federal secretary threatened to sue Marc for circulating these cards across Canada. Some of the ‘old-guard’ in the NDP would prefer to go with decriminalization, but Jack Layton, federal leader of the NDP Party spoke on camera in an interview in Marc’s home for Pot TV and said he was for full legalization of marijuana.

As soon as Marc’s speech ended, it was time to get out of the sun and hit the road. We only got as far as the street that runs past Parliament Hill and we got to witness a long parade of Ferraris going past. It started right at 5pm and I wonder if it was timed and a planned part of the ‘finale’ to the days events, but I don’t know for sure. There must have been over 30 Ferraris in red, black, yellow and white. Unfortunately, I filled my floppy disc up in the middle of the parade and was busy digging out another one, so I only got a few pictures of Ferraris. The show of Ferraris was an awesome finale, whether planned or a coincidence. On the way home, the friend that I went with said, "I got stoned on Parliament Hill! Something to tell the grandkids about someday." I heartily agreed. All in all, it was an absolutely beautiful day. Perfect weather, traffic was light, no cops seen on the 6 hour trip each way and the speeches, sights, sounds, aromas and atmosphere created a wonderful memory that I will never forget. By the time I made it home and got to bed, I had been stoned for 21 hours straight. Do you think I felt like doing the ‘wake n bake’ thing on Sunday? Ooooh Ya Baby!

Click here for lots of photos of the event!


Fill The Hill '04 Posted by Hello

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Oh Cannabis!

Sing to music of "Oh Canada"

Oh Cannabis,
Our homegrown native plant
True healing power in all thy strains combined.

With glowing joints we see thee burn
From St. John’s to BC!

From far and wide
Oh Cannabis, we strive to set you free!

God gave this plant, to you and to me
Oh Cannabis, we strive to set you free!

Oh Cannabis, we strive to set you free!


Canabian Flag Posted by Hello

Friday, December 03, 2004

'Twas the night before Christmas - for Cannabis lovers

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
The creatures were all stirring, even the computer mouse
Pipes were being filled, joints rolled with care
In hopes that a good buzz soon would be there.

The mistletoe and flowering buds were all hung
A golden retriever was licking up crumbs with her tongue
And while I was sampling some cannabis sweets
Some late arrivals stole the last empty seats.

We passed around joints, pipes, bongs and bottle tokes
Sharing and celebrating with other cannabis loving folks
We shared memories and reminisced happy times
And even recited some silly poetry rhymes.

One guest gave a heartwarming speech
Another did a perfect impression of Cheech
He sounded just like him - I swear
I laughed so hard I fell out of my chair!

The mood was festive and light
The laughter contagious the whole night
A good time was had by all
Especially the man that had the Budderking ball.

For those who haven't tried it
It only takes just a tiny hit
To send you higher than you've ever been
Showing you a world that you've never seen.

Being that high just felt so good
I knew that we all understood
That we're a culture of our own
And we are far from alone.

The guests that partook of the fine herb
Came from cities, towns and suburbs
They owned businesses, held PhD.'s and other degrees
And made it look like they did it all with ease.

Potheads have created a culture so completely diverse
That you'd think no one would be able to converse
But that's the magic of Mary Jane
So alluring is her domain.

She brings us all together, united as one
With a core of compassion that can't be outdone
She opens hearts and minds all over the earth
While enhancing the senses we've had since birth.

Marijuana, cannabis, pot or weed
Call it what you want, there are those in need
It is life saving medicine to the ones that suffer
The only remedy that can make them tougher.

Christmas is a time for rejoicing and giving
No matter how much we make for a living.
It is a time to give, to show that we care
And for reaching out to others, no matter where.

And so it was, on that special eve
While others were waiting for what Santa might leave
That we were gathered together that night
To do what we felt was right.

We pooled together all of our pot
Then split it evenly, the whole stinky lot
We made up gift bags and delivered them by sleigh
To people that needed it for keeping pain at bay.

As we returned to the house after spreading our cheer
I looked at my friends around me and shed a tear
I was so grateful to know them, such a compassionate bunch
That I felt like my heart had been given a punch.

We did a good deed that warmed our hearts
And left us knowing that we had done our parts
We broke the law not caring a whit
About consequences or any such shit.

We showed in our efforts how much we love
This wonderful culture that we're a part of
What we did, harmed not a soul
Relieving pain was our only goal.

At the end of the night, as we all said good-bye
I saw a shooting star that disappeared in the blink of an eye
But I closed my eyes and made a wish real quick
I didn't even have to pick.

I knew right away what I would wish for
Without even having to think a little more
I wished for all cannabis lovers to have as much weed
As they could ever possibly need!

When I opened my eyes, I smiled big and wide
The happiness in my heart impossible to hide
So I said, "Merry Christmas to all and have a good night,
And may all your joints be rolled just right!"

~ Suetaz


Have a Cannabis Christmas! Posted by Hello

Friday, November 26, 2004

The Cannabis Tree

It is hard to believe, but she is eight feet tall
Making the shrub beside her look pretty darn small
Her strong skunky scent is a fragrant delight
But her leaves and buds are sure sticky all right.

She is a cross between Afghani and Northern Lights
Her flowering buds are such beautiful sights
The hairs red and gold with sparkling crystals
The tips pointing bravely like little pistols.

Her leaves are a dark, vibrant green
She stands straight and tall, just like a queen
As if she is used to such royal fame
And couldn't possibly feel any shame.

But we just had the first autumn rime
And now it has finally come time
Not much more time with her will I spend
It's almost like losing my best friend.

As she is hung up to dry
I wipe a tear from my eye
But it feels so much better knowing
That she'll help to keep others going.

She will go on to relieve those in pain
Plus reduce swelling and induce weight gain
The THC in her could shrink a cancerous tumor
Or relieve stress by inducing a little humor.

Her future will be like one of a saint
Because harmful is one thing she just ain't
She's more like a savior of sorts
To those that don't like pills, pints or ports.

She was raised with lots of love and care
Knowing she'd compassionately share
The fruits of her fairly short life
With someone's mother, son or wife.

She'd never destroy an organ or kill
Not like what's in a prescription pill
That's just not what she's capable of
She can only relieve, heal and love.

She has so many positive uses
For the medicine in her sweet juices
Besides just getting high
It's truly not a lie.

There is so much that she can do
It's not just one ailment or two
She really is a miracle tree
Helping those with glaucoma to see.

She is the cannabis tree of hope
So much more than just typical dope
She's not just sticky and smelly
She can calm an upset belly.

With all the diseases we can get
We don't know her full potential yet
But the future is looking bright
Giving sufferers hope to fight.

She goes by many different names
And has endured some real nasty claims
That she is evil and will make you go mad
But it's those that lie about her that are bad.

The truth is, she really is amazing
So set your joints and bowls a-blazing
Choose whatever means you use to bake
Or whip up some batter and make a cake.

There will always be a much healthier way
Than what the feds and drug companies say
So learn for yourself before you say no
And get on the side of those in the know.

If you accept the truth about this sacred gift
And allow her to give you a positive lift
She will open up your mind and set you free
Because she is the soul of the Cannabis Tree.






The Cannabis Tree Posted by Hello

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Now is the time

There comes a time
When the world needs to change
When we the people
Need to gather and arrange
We must come together
With all our voices as one
To let our lawmakers know
We want something done

We must end the War on Drugs
To take the strength away
And to lessen the fear of
The terrorists of today
We must end the waste of money
Our governments use on propaganda lies
To con us into believing
Marijuana has no medical ties

We must let it be known
That we do have the right
To force them to uphold
The constitution’s plight
We must point out to them
We still have freedom of speech
And that we will use it
To truthfully inform and teach

We must never be afraid
To stand up for what is ours
Or to publicly expose
Corrupt government powers
We must inform those that we elect
The error of their ways
When they choose to carry out
Harmful federal raids

We must urge them to use compassion
Before voting on a bill
To not take from us
The right of our free will
We must open our hearts and minds
Until we all know
That prohibition is a crime
And it is time for it to go

This world could be a better place
Without prejudice, lies and greed
If only we could live our lives
With an understanding of others’ needs
The treatment of our fellow men
Should reflect upon our own desire
For fairness and equality
And the peace to which we aspire.

~written Mar./04

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Cannabis Blogs and Forums

Learning the hard way

The first time I ingested cannabis, I learned the hard way how many cookies was too many to eat. I used a milk chocolate chip cookie recipe and used the powder I had been collecting from my grinder to make cannabutter. I ate two cookies when the first batch came out of the oven, then I ate two when they were done and then later I just had to have another and then another. As I was eating that last cookie, I realized I was having a hard time swallowing it because my throat was swelling up. I started making the cookies around 5pm and by 10pm, I was too stoned to function, so I went to bed.

I woke up at 4am with a sore, swollen throat and the worst hangover I’ve ever had. I couldn’t believe how awful I felt. I was a News Admin at Marijuana.com at the time and I was supposed to have 4 articles programmed to the front page for 4:20am. I couldn’t get my eyes to focus, so I didn’t get the news posted. Thankfully, potheads are understanding about first time eating adventures. I took some Advil, drank some fluids and went back to bed. When I awoke again, I felt just fine, but the last thing I wanted was another cookie.

Before I got too stoned, the high I experienced was absolutely incredible. Eating weed is like getting stoned backwards. Smoking it produces an almost instant high that stays for a while, then gradually wears off. Eating it takes time to digest, so it sneaks up on you and the high continues to build for much longer than smoking it even lasts. I felt that the high I experienced was completely different from smoking it. Smoking it, to me, is like getting stoned from the outside in, but it never quite reaches the core. Eating it, the high starts at the core and you get stoned from the inside out for a total and complete body buzz.

As for the taste, the weed flavor was like a ghost. The milk chocolate cleansed my palate and erased the weed taste so fast, that I wasn’t sure I had tasted it. Before long, I wasn’t sure of much of anything.

So what did I learn? I learned that the powder from my grinder has a wicked potency. I learned that I have no willpower against chocolate chip cookies. I learned that there is such a thing as a weed hangover. I learned that cannabis goodies should be tested for potency first and to have some patience waiting for the high to come. I learned that I can trust Marijuana to teach me how much is too much, but not to harm me in any way. I learned to have even more respect for Marijuana and what she is capable of and learned to love her even more. I learned that there really is something better than smoking weed – eating it!

~written Nov. 14/04

Printed in Cannabis Health Magazine - March/April 2005 issue

Mother Nature's Gifts

I believe in Mother Nature. I've seen what Mother Nature is capable of. She is capable of mass destruction as well as breathtaking beauty that can bring tears to the eyes. Mother Nature may seem mean and hostile at times, even sneaky and full of surprises, but no matter what, she is always honest. Honesty can be interpreted in different ways. I'm not talking about lying, cheating and stealing, I'm talking about honesty that is defined as genuine and without pretension.

I think any plant that grows in the wild and has been around for thousands of years is a part of Mother Nature, a gift from her for us to appreciate and use. When we give special gifts to our friends and loved ones, we expect them to care for the gift and if it is useful, to use it wisely and not waste it. I think it's reasonable that Mother Nature would expect the same of us with the gifts she has given. But we don't. We stripmine for diamonds and coal and other natural resources. We are depleting our forests at an alarming rate. We pollute the air we breathe and the water we drink. We have killed off rare species of wildlife and continue to threaten more. There is a long list of gifts from Mother Nature that we have abused and not used wisely.

Not only are we abusing Mother Nature's gifts, we are neglecting some. To me, to neglect is just as bad as to abuse. Mother Nature has provided us with trees as well as with hemp. If Mother Nature expected us to use the gifts wisely, she must be sadly disappointed. The trees that take years to grow are harvested almost as soon as they are mature. Hemp, a plant that is full grown in mere months compared to years, is illegal to grow in most parts of the world. I think Mother Nature must be shaking her head at this one. I know I am. The one plant that could help us correct our past mistakes and we aren't allowed to utilize it. Growing hemp could help revitalize the earth and return more oxygen to the air we breathe. It has thousands of uses and it is the healthiest food to eat on the planet.

To top it all off, Mother Nature gave us the gift of Marijuana, hemp's sister plant. Another gift she meant for us to utilize that is being neglected. I think Mother Nature intended for us to use Marijuana as medicine. A medicine with possibly as many uses as hemp, we just don't know it yet. We have been kept from utilizing these gifts by other greedy, corrupt and racist human beings. What I don't understand is how so many people buy into the lies told by these greedy, corrupt people and not trust Mother Nature. I don't see how anyone could trust a human being over Mother Nature. I think we should be ashamed of the way we have treated Mother Nature's gifts. I think the only proper thing to do is to stop abusing certain gifts and start using and caring for all of her gifts. If we do the right thing, I trust Mother Nature to reward us accordingly. After all, how can I not trust Mother Nature when she has the power to make everything look golden with her last rays of a day's sunlight?

'Twas Almost 4:20

'Twas almost 4:20, when all through the house
All creatures were stirring, even the computer mouse.
Bongs were being filled, joints rolled with care
In hopes that a good buzz would soon be there.

While the group were all getting their meds,
Thick clouds of smoke danced above their heads.
Stoner guy and his pipe, Marijuana Man with his bong
A woman in the corner passed a joint along.

As all were lighting, puffing and toking,
One guy just wouldn't stop joking.
He had everyone in tears, or fits of giggles
And he rather enjoyed watching the girls' jiggles.

Once the laughter died down, the munchies started to hit
But the bunch were too stoned to do anything but sit.
One guy soon started to snore
Another slid off the sofa onto the floor.

Movement was a challenge to some
Like remembering to chew a piece of gum.
But one thing a stoner can still do
Is come up with an opinion or two.

Some were only capable of color fascination
Others were guilty of procrastination.
While one claimed to see flying geese
A trio were discussing world peace.

A harmless bunch they seemed to be
Not an unhappy face could you see
It was hard to believe they were breaking the law
They were funnier than an old re-run of Hee Haw

While alcohol and other drugs can turn people mean
At the most, weed might cause someone to do something obscene.
Why would anyone want to incarcerate these folks?
Just for having a few harmless tokes?

The propaganda lies that have been told over the years
Have rooted in many the deepest of fears
Lies about a God-given plant, it's really just a weed
That can easily be grown by anyone from seed.

A long list of things that are legal can kill
Yet marijuana saves lives and is illegal still.
The arrogance of the courts to forbid marijuana use
Makes medicinal patients feel the abuse.

It's time for the truth to come out
Regarding what cannabis is all about.
The lies need to stop, right here and now
So we can light up without someone having a cow.

The stigma on marijuana needs to be erased
So it can be used without feeling disgrace.
There are those who use it to improve their health
And legalizing it would take away from the smuggler's wealth.

Never mind delays at the borders
It’s time for Canada to stand up and give the orders.
European countries are showing the way
And even some parts of the U.S. of A.

We shouldn’t have to fight for the right
To keep a plant in plain sight
When women can go topless anywhere they please
And let it all hang out in the breeze.

For someone that needs it the way Steve Kubby does
It's stupid to jail him for catching a buzz.
How much proof do the courts need,
Before clueing in that it's not a bad seed?

We, the people, have a choice to make
Medicinal users lives are at stake.
If more tokers would get out and vote
They could earn the right to smoke.

Just listen to each candidate
To learn which one would eradicate
The prohibition of a weed
Of which so many are in need.

The laws need to be changed
And that can be arranged
The right person will see to it
If we all do our own bit.

Marijuana users unite
Someday it may be all right
To just get high
Without living a lie.

Before it's too late
Do something great.
In the meantime, as long as there's plenty
The time is always 4:20.