Ian Jessop, and Corrie Yelland.
Ian Jessop has been a radio journalist and political communications specialist since the early 1970s. A graduate of the Columbia School of Broadcasting, he was legislative reporter at CKNW in Vancouver in the 1980s; press secretary for Premier Van Der Zalm; and director of communications for the BC Liberal Caucus, and the BC Liberal Party, sequentially, until the early 2000s. For the past three years, he’s done ‘One on One with Ian Jessop,’ a talk show program on CFAX Radio that ran from 1-3 pm Mondays through Fridays. Local readers might be familiar with Jessop as the talk show host who conversed with Canadians on all manner of subjects, including cannabis. Those conversations ended abruptly on June 21st 2016, when the bosses at CFAX told Jessop that the radio station’s priorities had changed, and that his services were no longer required. CFAX is owned by Bell Media. As no substantive reasons were given for the dismissal, there is no way of knowing where the order originated. Jessop was a controversial figure, judging from online commentary, so it is likely that he rubbed a shareholder or two the wrong way. Democracy thrives on dissent. Thus, the unhappy consequence for followers of CFAX Radio is that they have one less dissenting voice to hear, one less place to air non-mainstream views, and that much less democracy in their lives.
Corrie Yelland has been a strong voice in the medical cannabis community since 2012. Yelland had heart surgery in 2007, and had struggled with ineffective painkillers since that time. Then in 2011 she was diagnosed with anal canal cancer; she was offered radiation treatment that promised horrific, life-changing side effects. When she refused, she was told she had two to four months to live. As so many others have done, Yelland began to search online, and found Rick Simpson’s, presentation: Run From the Cure. She also read everything she could on PubMed, and elsewhere. Yelland began taking the oil concentrate orally, and applied it topically. Within two weeks the pain she had been experiencing since her heart surgery had all but disappeared. And at her next visit with her oncologist, she was pronounced free from disease.
Since that time Corrie Yelland has developed an international presence, attending conferences, and helping patients around the world to source cannabis concentrates. During Jessop’s year at CFAX, she was a frequent guest, and was able to chat with, and inform listeners. Today she joins Jessop in the first of what they hope to be a long timeline of podcasts on medical cannabis.
A podcast on medical cannabis, with an international focus. Jessop and Yelland’s first few programs will be pre-recorded, as they are both new to DIY podcast technology. But the plan is to go live as soon as possible, allowing listeners to call in. They have a pan North American phone number: 1-844-877-3123, where listeners will be able to call in for free. With help of Yelland’s contacts, they hope to interview medical experts, patients from, scientists, and others from around the world.
There are, of course, other examples of informative, cannabis radio podcasting in Canada. What Jessop and Yelland bring to this activity is a new level of professional expertise, and skill in production values. They are thus well positioned to reach a new, wider range of listeners, more used to the mainstream media sound. Moreover, most podcasts air once a week. Cannabis Health Radio plans to air daily. I asked Jessop if he didn’t think that ‘daily’ would be tough act to carry through. No, he said. At CFAX he had done 20 shows weekly. Egads. Some of us write a blog a week, and pat ourselves on the head for such perseverance.
Daily, beginning today. Here is episode ONE.
Check the websites for updates on times and programs at:
Cannabis Health Radio
And check them out on Facebook and Twitter.
Headquartered in Victoria BC, but available everywhere in the world that allows people to tune in.
Now more than ever, as Canada struggles with legalization, and patients struggle to gain access to medicines, public education on cannabis is crucial. As Canadian governments have refused to take responsibility in this matter, it falls to independent spirits to offer leadership. Mainstream radio has lost Jessop and Yelland, but the cannabis movement has gained them.