May 2012 NORML Canada Newsletter
Global Marijuana March
Saturday, May 5th will mark the 14th annual Toronto Global Marijuana March (starts at 12 noon). There will be many things different about this year’s event. The past several years has seen the GMM join forces with the Toronto Freedom Festival to put on a full day of celebration and protest. This year, the City of Toronto has denied permits to the Festival, as a result, some of the familiar infrastructure will not be available to protesters attending the march. Toilets, stages, security and first aid services will not be present this year due to the lack of permits and funding that allows for such required services. The march this year will kick off 2 hours earlier than normal and will follow a lengthened route that will walk through the downtown core of Canada’s largest city. The NORML Women’s Alliance of Canada is the official grand marshals at this year’s event.
An event of this size, without the proper infrastructure is bound to present some challenges to Toronto’s emergency services. One organizer describes this year’s event as a “grand social experiment”. There is a continuing need for more volunteers and marshals to ensure this year’s parade is as safe and enjoyable an experience as possible. Those interested in volunteering for the GMM are asked to go to globalmarijuanamarch.com/volunteer/ and sign up.
There are a number of other Canadian cities hosting a Global Marijuana March. If you cannot attend the march in Toronto, perhaps you can find one closer to home here.
Updated Canadian GMM event list as of May 2:
The annual 4/20 celebrations across the country were very well attended this year. By all accounts, despite Harper’s attempt to frighten us, attendance was up across the board with more than 5000 people in both Ottawa and Toronto, estimates of 15 000 in Edmonton and 20 000 in Vancouver, with smaller celebrations held in communities all across the country. This day of civil disobedience has grown year after year and is a clear indication that prohibition has failed as a policy to curb usage.
Prohibition on medical cannabis extractions ruled unconstitutional by BC Supreme Court
Justice Robert Johnston has struck down a section of Canada’s medical marijuana laws that said licensed users cannot possess marijuana in any form other than dried. This ruling means that licensed medicinal patients may make creams and other extracts from their cannabis. Previously it was not legal to consume marijuana in any form except smoked or vaporized.
Justice Johnston has given Health Canada one year to respond to his ruling that the restriction to dried marijuana in Health Canada’s Marijuana Medical Access Regulations is unconstitutional.
He suspended his declaration for 12 months but said the suspension will not affect people authorized to use medical marijuana.
NORML Canada has begun the redevelopment of our website after lengthy discussion about how best to redesign it to serve our members. We would like to hear your thoughts on what you would like to see on your (our) website. NORML Canada is member funded and directed and we need both funding and input from our membership on how to best serve them in our mission to end cannabis prohibition. We are proud of the relationship we are forming with our talented web development team at ion8.net and littlerocket.ca, and look forward to unveiling our new web property to you in the near future. If you have development or social media skills, or perhaps you’re a skilled writer or other potential contributor, we need you now more than ever.
Springtime is a time for growth, and for us at NORML Canada it is also time for membership renewal. Those of you that have generously contributed through the years are encouraged to do so again, and for those of you that haven’t considered making a financial contribution, perhaps you’d be willing to volunteer or contribute in some other way. Send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org
We’re happy to announce the arrival of our black I AM Cannabian t-shirts. These black shirts, and the original white version, can be purchased through the NORML Canada website. There’s a rumor that there may be some t-shirts available at this year’s Toronto GMM…
Treating Yourself Expo
Come see us at the 3rd Annual Treating Yourself Expo on May 25 – 27, 2012 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre – Booth #540.
John Q Public
When we left off, John, his wife, and his 18 year old son had just been arrested and were being lead off by police to start their adventure in the criminal justice system.
“Do you know why the police are here Jimmy and Suzy?” The social worker from Children’s Aid asks the youngsters who are clearly shaken up about the events of the evening. Suzy just stares at the stranger, unable to muster the words. Her 9 year old mind struggling to understand why daddy was being taken away by the police; “the police are our friends” she thought. “Why would they take mommy and daddy away if they are our friends?” Twelve year old Jimmy senses his sister’s fear and tries valiantly to answer the lady’s questions. “They came because of Daddy’s medicine” Jimmy stammers out.
“What can you tell me about Daddy’s medicine Jimmy?” she asks “It smells funny when he smokes it” replies Jimmy, as the social worker ticks the box that asks if the parents consume around the children. “I tasted it once and it made me cough really bad” Suzy volunteers, “but don’t tell Daddy I tried it, he’ll be mad” The worker ticks another box.
“That’s all we need for now children” says the satisfied social worker “Mommy and Daddy won’t be home tonight, is there somewhere we can take you to spend the night? Like grandma or an aunt’s house?” “No” says Jimmy, “we don’t have any grandparents or other family that lives around here.” “That’s okay Jimmy, we have a nice foster home we can take you to for tonight, let’s get your toothbrushes and get in the van kids.”
“I don’t want to go anywhere with you” Suzy yells. “You have no choice Suzy, you must come with me now; there are no grownups here to look after you so it wouldn’t be safe. Don’t be scared, this is a nice home, just like your home” she says, adding “without the drug dealing scum” just barely loud enough to be heard by the kids.
Jimmy and Suzy follow the path their parents were just lead down and get into the Children’s Aid van. Suzy can’t help but openly cry as they close the door and drive off to the foster home. Jimmy wonders if he’ll ever see his home again, he overheard the police talking about seizing the home as the proceeds of crime. “What are proceeds?” he asks the worker. “Oh I’m sure you’ll find out soon enough Jimmy” Have you or someone you know gone through experiences with the Children’s Aid Societies as a result of your cannabis use? We want to hear your story, send us a line to email@example.com and let us know how the experience worked out for you.