Ted Smith

We need your help. The planet needs your help. Now is the time. Here is the plan.

As long as cannabis is prohibited, many problems will continue to drain our communities and environment. There are three fronts on which this battle is being waged: hemp, recreational use, and medicine. While many choose to focus on one of these issues, it is certainly possible to contribute to positive advancement in all three of these directions every day.tedsmithaward

In Canada, we have never seen so much momentum toward positive change, yet so much resistance from the federal government. With efforts to legalize the herb taking firm hold in the U.S. and other parts of the world, it seems critical mass is being reached. As science and experience continue to prove, this plant is for the healing of the nations.

Prohibitionists are not giving up easily. Canadian patients in particular are under attack. The new program is a perfect example of how police and politicians have colluded to create a program that seriously undermines our ability to use this plant to its full potential. Giving corporations exclusive rights to grow cannabis is not acceptable.

While the majority of us are healthy and do not suffer from a severe medical problem, the new regulations threaten all of us in the long run. Most of us hope to live a long age, and with that, one should expect some persistent medical problems. Hell, it looks like most of us should expect to fight cancer at some point or other, too.

Before I started selling medicine as a young man, I realized how unfair it was to think that people already suffering should be expected to help themselves and others in similar plights, while changing the laws at the same time. Most people are totally thrown off their life courses when the conditions manifest, and it can take years to adjust to the challenges a severe medical problem presents. Likewise, many people hope to avoid politics their whole lives.

Learning to make and use cannabis-based medicine properly takes time and good communication skills. In the last few years, major advancements have been made into researching the use of this plant as medicine, in large part because of activists and patients sharing information about their activities and experiences. This network is continually improving our collective ability to grow good medicine, make extracts and juice, and develop unique strains. That is why dispensaries are so important in the collection and sharing of information.

So when we hold national rallies against the MMPR on Oct, 1, it should be far more than patients and their caregivers standing out on the streets. There should be family members of patients, there should be neighbours, there should be co-workers, there should be friends and pot smokers of all stripes. While this might look like a rally for patients, it is really about all of our rights, because if the right to grow medicine is lost now, it could be lost forever.

But we need to do more than establish the rights of patients to use this herb. We need to fight until everyone can freely grow and use cannabis without fear of the law. For the first time in Canadian history, we have a chance to make that start happening, beginning in B.C. If you have not yet heard of the Sensible BC campaign being lead by Dana Larsen, then you are not paying much attention. This campaign is critical for herb lovers across the country. If it is successful here, then it will have an impact across the country. Just as in the U.S. where Washington State and Colorado have made it legal, B.C. has the opportunity to lead Canada away from prohibition and towards legalization.

It is critical for people in B.C. to get signatures for this campaign from Sept. to Nov. It is a big job. However, we only have to do this once, and when that is done, we will definitely win the vote itself. There is no doubt that if a vote occurs, people in B.C. will support change. Giving them the chance to vote by collecting enough signatures will be the hard part.

Activists across the country can help by writing letters to the media and generally encouraging B.C. citizens to get more involved. This is our best chance yet to turn things around, and if we fail, it will take a lot of wind out of our sails. However, if we are successful, it will have a ripple effect across the country leading up to the next election.

Meanwhile, we all have an opportunity every day to buy hemp food and other hemp products. This is the best way to support the hemp industry, and the revival of the plant. Eating hemp food is the best way to maintain your own health while helping to finance the farmers and suppliers who are promoting the use of hemp. The more hemp being grown and sold, the more the general public loses its fear of this plant, and the more accepted cannabis is as a whole.

Every one of us has the power to change the world. Every one of us has a duty to make the world a better place. Every one of us has the capacity to help others. What better better place than here? What better time than now? What better plant than cannabis?