Posted on August 8, 2016 by Judith Stamps
Sixteen days to go until Health Canada announces its new plan for medical cannabis, and hopes are sinking. Mine are, anyway. Dispensaries raids continue in Ontario, sending menacing vibes to Canada’s cannabis growers, the ones not sanctioned as LPs; to Canadian patients who choose dispensaries as the source of their medicines; and of course, to the dispensaries themselves. My sense of foreboding is based on two guesses. One, that the raids in Ontario are about money; and that there are well funded lobbies fixing for a legal fight with non-LP cannabis growers and medicine makers. Second, that the Trudeau government has no fondness for cannabis culture, and will set out to weaken it however it can. Am I off base? I hope so. If the Health Minister comes out to say: LPs, carry on; MMAR growers, carry on; municipalities, you may license dispensaries if you wish; and patients, you may grow your meds or buy them at the shop of your choice; and thank you for the service you have all provided to Canadian patients; I shall recant, humble myself, and eat my copy of the latest Cannabis Digest, if that’s not too corny a pun. Of legal battles, soon to come, I will say little. I leave that topic, with confidence, to the experts in the field, who for nearly twenty years, have brought us this close to legalization. This blog is about preserving cannabis culture.
northern ireland_cannabis_communityI begin by offering two definitions of culture, supplied by a dictionary search. One: “the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement, regarded collectively.” And two: “the knowledge, art, morals, laws, customs, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by people as members of society.” By either definition, there is such a thing as cannabis culture. It is diverse, and internally conflicted, as are all cultures. But it is real, and worth preserving. Its contemporary expression can be seen in dispensaries, established in the1990s; in the concurrent invention and continuous refinement of medicines, and methods of intake; in the accompanying advances in growing techniques and cannabis strains; in the mountains of research literature on all of the above; and in the network of related associations. These elements are infused, too, with the cannabis culture of the 1960s and 70s, responsible for the beginnings of a legalization movement in this country. Many of the values established in this period remain essential to cannabis culture today. These include the commitment to individual liberty; the welcoming of diverse races, cultures and sexual orientations; rejection of war and other types of violence; the rejection of consumerism as a way of life; a corresponding DIY mentality; and an embrace of spiritual beliefs, in particular, of new age religions. Today, those values include a commitment to environmental health, and the rebirth of romanticism, the love of nature that dis-establishes humans as the centre of the universe, and ascribes consciousness to all living forms.
Many Canadians, indeed, most Canadians, do not know that the published works on cannabis history and cultivation would fill a modest bookstore, and the research literature, a small library; that their authors are intelligent, and hard working, and have, over seventy years, formed the basis of much of the knowledge we have today on the subject. Thanks to the collectors of patients’ stories, we have a our disposal the concept of being ‘illegally healed.’ To this concept we must now add others: illegally educated, illegally aware, illegally talented, and illegally informed. That Canadians have had little incentive to be thus informed is due to the plant’s negative legal status, to the fact that it remains illegal for bookstores to carry literature seen as promoting cannabis, to the willful ignorance of journalists and police, and to ill mannered, but legally informed, media-driven rhetoric that focuses on criminality.
This rhetoric creates a clash between mainstream-Canada and ‘harmful’ Canada, and divides us. But we don’t have to stay divided.
Here are some ideas on forces that may unite us, and some practical thoughts on how to harness them.
Continue reading… Original article: http:// http://cannabisdigest.ca/saving-cannabis-culture-ideas-combatting-post-regulation-blues/