Opening Statement



Friday, 17 March 2017

Oh Cannabis News y Views!

High! I'm revamping my stoner newz blog series! Stay tuned. Lot's still coming. Last edition @

 
Cannabis Culture Busted!

HEAD NEWSLINES

The Cross Canada Marc Emery's Cannabis Culture Dispensaries Busts: Read my firsthand Project Gator Toronto courthouse coverage -Marc y Jodie, Chris Y Erin Goodwin, Britney Guerra are released on bail @ Here! @

My mainstream and social media news link primer is @ There!

Even more details and links are under "Across Canada" etc. below ....

Green Market Toronto M-Edibles are back this Sunday March 19th from 2-6pm! See "Green Market" below for my review of the last show.....

ACROSS CANADA

 
Welcome 2 Canada 2017!
 
Busted! The onerous charges against activist Marc and Jodie Emery put at risk their considerable investment in Cannabis Culture 's business ventures. Also a couple of life times of activist work. Marc's commitment to his Libertarian principles shows! He describes his acts of civil disobedience as a "mission for legalization" and "cannabis for freedom" @ Sun

Cannabis Culture Church Street reopens with the staff taking over ownership as the new managers. Marc and Jodie consider their next move. They are planning a May cross country tour! Stay tuned! More @ Now

Toronto Police Services [TPS] made a big mess trashing the inside of Cannabis Culture, Church St Toronto during the Project Gator bust. BTW, Chris and Erin Goodwin told me that police also seized all the kiddies computers, devices and games when their home was raided. For shame! Church Street Photos @ CJB

Save Our Dispensaries! Despite what Toronto Police Services [TPS] claim, cannabis patients are not very well served by Health Canada and it's licensed producers [LP's]. Any one of us can tell you that it's mail order system totally sucks! Will Marc Emery's acts of civil disobedience finally help make the Trudeau government reconsider it's hard assed position against listening to and allowing our small biz craft dispensaries a place within the legalization process? We know that they actually work, and help us a lot, when they aren't getting busted! Here's some preliminary notes on making store front dispensaries the "next big fight" @ Globe

Whack-a-Mole Department: The London dispensary raids and re-openings show that police crackdowns aren't working @ LPL

Medical Cannabis: Canada now has almost 130 K prescription users @ CP


Law + Odor: Ironically, the City of Toronto allowed Uber to operate for a good year before it was regulated. Not so our cannabis dispensaries, which police have decided to bust non stop since legalization was announced last spring. Widespread confusion exists as the "law" is enforced in a haphazard, draconian fashion across Canada. Who can sell? What? When? Where? How? It really stinks, but the Project Gator busts could finally help force the underlying issues to a head. Does Trudeau think legalization is just a big $$$ windfall for his hoodwinkin' Neo Libs and their Big Pharma/ LP buddies? Even the mainstream Canadian media has finally taken notice, in it's typical half assed way @ CBC

Project Gator -Lost in the Legal Swamp! Great shades of the infamous, "Bath House" raids, the Toronto Police are at it again! The charges from Project Gator have little real chance of holding up in court. LGBTQ activism after the bath house raids lead to lots of big, legal changes. What happens next after the police crackdown on Cannabis Culture? Read as CC Lawyer Dan Stein punches legal holes into the TPS's leaky paddle boat, while he fights to free Marc Emery @ Now!

A Crown Affair: Meanwhile, Durham police are allowing a cop to co-own a pot dispensary. Huh?!? Does the right hand even know what the left hand is doing? Seems some of the officers want in on them too. Hmmm. What to think? @ Star

Canadian Cannabis Court: Weed arrests are badly clogging up our already overloaded court system. Police arrests continue to soar across Canada. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rules out decriminalization. Dithers about with legalization. Sigh! Alas! Canadian cannabis advocate Dana Larsen shows how Canada's justice system is crumbling. Welcome to the Canadian police state circa 2017 @ Huff


CC's Chris + Erin Goodwin Rock Toronto!

Party Politics: Marc Emery is succeeding in putting PM Justin Trudeau on the hot seat for mishandling the legalization portfolio. Did you know that he has endorsed CPC candidate Maxime Bernier, a fellow Libertarian for the spring Conservative party leadership race? Will Bernier have the balls to break CPC ranks, and speak out for legalization? Support Marc? How the mighty fall by the wayside, one by one by one, as push comes to shove. And Maxime? Marc's planning to attend the Toronto CPC leadership convention on May 26/27th to cheer him on. Good! It's important to get the issue out on the floor. Wonder what O'Leary will say? Ha! More @ GeorgiaStraight

Trudeau Pot Czar Bill Blair digs in his heels. He says the government won't rush legalization. To be expected @ Bloomberg

Good Buds: Since Project Claudia's dispensary raids began in Toronto last spring, 10 owners and managers have been "committed to trial". As for the additional 151 bud tenders arrested in the raids? They've had their charges "stayed"/ tossed out of court. What a senseless waste of time and legal resources! More @ Citizen

Cannabis at Work: Canadian employers are already considering how to "cope" with legalization in the workplace. Safety issues are a big focus. Know this: Workers, unions and cannabis activists need to get involved asap, to make sure that they get it right! Otherwise?!? @ CBC


Got A Pot Medical Benefits Plan? The Nova Scotia Humans Right Commission has ruled that a union insurance fund discriminated against an injured worker by denying him coverage for his medical cannabis prescriptions. Let's hope this helps set a precedent @ EmploymentLaw

Driving on Cannabis: Manitoba is considering legislation for "impaired" driving checks, while looking at ways for the police to do it @ Globe

Pre-Emptive Strike: New zoning changes in Edmonton Alberta close "loopholes" for the cities cannabis lounges and dispensaries, prior to legalization @ Journal. You'll find copies of the new regulations here @ PDF's

No Canada Wall? Seems the Trumpster isn't worried about legal cannabis in Canada. Still, beware of carrying weed through US customs @ MassRoots

AROUND THE WORLD


The Trump Effect: While President Trump is a pretty scary, unpredictable dude there could be a silver lining to all the BS at the grass root level. Until he decides what to do, and does it, "Big Marijuana" [Banking, Pharma, and Tobacco] are sitting on their hands among all the uncertainty. That gives the small cannabiz sector a chance to grow and develop some more in the meantime. More @ MJIN

From Russia With Love: Maybe/ maybe not! Another theory is that Attorney General Jeff Sessions might get too tied up and distracted over the Rooskies to crack down on weed @ HighTimes

Congressional Cannabis Caucus: So far, 28 states have legalized cannabis for recreational and/ or medical purposes, mostly the latter. However, only 4 congressmen are openly advocating for the cannabis industry. 2 are Democrats. 2 GOP. Meanwhile the Trump administration continues to send out confusing smoke signals over whether the Fed's are going to meddle in the state's biz @ Entrepreneur

Crossing State Lines: What's legal? Where? The USA is different than Canada when it comes to legalization. So far, it's has been left up for them each to decide, so the laws vary from state to state. Here's what you should know while travelling around, so you don't get busted @ Cannalytics


Mister Trump -Tear Down That Wall: Ronnie Reagan knew that the Berlin Wall was BS. Fast forward to now. Legalizing cannabis would hurt Mexico's drug cartels worse than any great wall ever could. But is the Donald listening?!? @ Reason

Legal Pot Clubs: The senate wants to permit cannabis "social clubs" to open in Colorado. However, the Guv doesn't want tobacco smoking to also be allowed or he could nix them. These clubs are very popular in Spain. Marc was going to scout them out at one point, told me he thought no tobacco was best. Dunno if he did. It's an interesting concept @ AP

Worldwide Round Up: Here's how different countries around the world are dealing with legalization. Or doubling down on prohibition. Malaysia? If you're caught with 7 ozs or more, it's the death penalty! Same with trafficking in Saudi Arabia! For weed?!?!? More @ CCRegister

GREEN MARKET


Hooray Green Market Toronto 4 the yummy treats!

Green Market Toronto returns this Sunday March 19, 2-6pm, location TBA @ Event

The Toronto Centre for Social Innovation Green Market as it's otherwise known, readily provides M-Edibles to a hungry city. The courts have ruled that medical cannabis users have the right to access medical cannabis in all it's forms. Without our cities dispensaries and the Toronto Green Market, that's not possible, unless one somehow makes them yourself, or buys on the street! More @ Star

Green Market Toronto M-Edibles: Alas! Toronto Police busts have decimated the local medical cannabis market for both patients and recreational users alike! Fortunately, Green Market Toronto keeps popping up to fill our wants and needs. On March 5th, our local friendly, well informed and helpful producers once showed up to provide everything from infused honey's, oils, candies, chocolate, to topical creams etc. etc. etc. Standouts for me included "Fritz's" popcorn, gummies and chex mix. "Cannaloves" gluten-free medibles. Also "Extreme Infusions" honey, syrups and oils. Good news to see expiry dates being listed on the products -absolutely necessary from a consumer/ medical patient perspective! "Toko" and "High Ends" disposable vapourizer's were out in force. The occasional dud pen continues to be a concern, refund policies vague, but otherwise a handy little product. Cody Van Gogh's creative 2 gram joints now come in a nice gift pack. Free medible samples abounded.  A "Take Care with Cannabis" health tip guide was handed out to customers at the door. Trez kool! Truly, at the Green Market Toronto, a splendid time is guaranteed for all! Follow @ Facebook


With Cannalove!

It's A Pop Up Market: Another Green Market Toronto Review is @ Civilized

Toronto Weed Map Anyone?!: The new TTC [Toronto Transit Commission] public transit "Weedmap" angers city prohibitionists! One hopes that they will soon be going the way of the Doddo bird, but don't hold your breath. Meantime, Weedmap now shows Torontonians where the nearest local dispensary is. Police continue to play "Whack-a-Mole". Raid a shop. They re-open next day. Good to have a map, but the whole scenario is very bizarre, to say the least @ CBC

Vapor Cartridges -The Inside Story: What are you vaping? Where does it come from? Is it safe? Pesticides are a concern. More @ MerryJane

Online Weed: What to look out for in choosing a good site to buy from @ CannabisCulture


Cannabis Infused Tampons?!? Hey don't laugh. They are getting rave reviews for reducing cramps and lower back pain. Plus they're organic! @ Independent

Cannabis Stock Ticker: Canuck cannabiz stocks have taken a bounce on speculation after the dispensary raids. Hmmm. The raids were good for business?!? Which ones? Why? Maybe it's time to put together a personal cannabiz portfolio? I think so. The plot thickens @ FinancialPost

Cannabis Social Clubs: They provide a novel, cost effective way for members to grow their own supply of non profit weed. Sounds ideal for the medical cannabis patient. But where are the big buck$ for the big boy$ in that eh? More @ Lift

HIGHER LEARNING


Cannabis 101: A Visual Buyers Guide! What to look at when shopping for weed @ Leafly

"Extracts 4 Dummies": or "Shattered": TPS tried to create a big reefer madness horror show about discovering the "potent" and "dangerous" cannabis concentrate "shatter" during the Cannabis Culture Church Street bust. At the media scrum outside the court house, everybody laughed! Here's some much more knowledgeable info on concentrated cannabis extractions @ HighTimes

Getting Lit 101: A creative writing workshop on cannabis, anyone. Wait!!! You mean some folks actually write while stoned on weed?!? No..............!? Yer kidding me, eh? Ummmm, by the way ... toke! toke! toke! ... It's BYOC @ HighTimes

Medical Cannabis: The Patient Experience is a free symposium where folks can participate in an interactive learning experience. It's April 2, 1-4 pm downtown Toronto. For more info call 844-456-1515. RSVP @ social@growisehealth.com

"Women's Use of Cannabis for Pleasure": A McMaster University School of Social Work candidate is seeking participants for a bona fide "research ethics" approved study! It will be done one on one via Skype. In return you will get a summary copy of her thesis! Contact @ kozakte@mcmaster.ca

KULTURE KULT


Political Activism 101: CC's Erin Goodwin shows us how it's done! Be prepared at our cannabis community protests and events. Don't let the mainstream media set the agenda with negative "drug war" imagery! Think, act, share .....

History of Women and Weed 101: Activists Jodie Emery? Erin Goodwin? Britney Guera? [Add your fave here ....]? Females' are filling a leading role in the emerging cannabiz industry and protest movement. That should come as no surprise! Women have a long history of being caregivers! Learn a lesson in caring and healing @ JaneStHealing

Tokin' With Queen Vic? Maggie Mead?!? Yup! Here's a crash course on 7 famous women who smoked weed @ Herb


Vic: Toke? Who? Me???

Fake Pot News: "Fake News" is rampant in America during the Age of Trump. Some weed stories have turned out to be real whoppers too. Recognize any of these? @ HighTimes

Cannabis and The Arts 101: Don't just sit there stoned! Your friendly local art gallery, museum and zoo are very trippy, potent and mind expanding after enjoying a puff or two or three! Here's what strains go best with this higher learning experience @ Marijuanomics

Do It Yourself Corner: Here's 5 DIY bongs and pipes you can make for yourself in a pinch. Real cheap! Very grass roots! Heh Heh er .... @ GrassCity

No! Really?!? Jimi Hendrix, our "man with the guitar" smokes a little boo back in the day @ Youtube

Sweet Marijuana: Mistery's "Save Di Earth Riddin" rocks my house these daze @ Youtube


Bad Doggie -Not Good?: Tweed Weedster Snoop Dogg freaks out the Donald with his new video, and receives one of his infamousTweets @ HighTimes Watch the video @ Youtube

Welcome to Jam Rock: Bob's youngest offspring, Damian Marley steps up in the new millennium! Damian's planning to set up a "global medical cannabis platform and brand" franchise business @ JaGleaner

US Cannabis Festivals: Here are 5 big ones! Suppose with legalization pending in Canada there will be a lot more to watch out for here this summer! Read @ Allbud

Weed Roots: A health scare cancels several Willie Nelson shows, but it seems like he's back again @ KHOU.

It's All Going To Pot! Yeah, Willie knows the score. Gotta love this space cowboy anthem with one time Okie from Muskogee, Merle Haggard @ Youtube


COMMENTS: 

Monday, 13 March 2017

Oh Cannabis Culture: The Project Gator Bust!


 
Welcome to a "Special Edition" of "Oh Cannabis Winter News and Views"[Here]! I've already posted a firsthand account of my 2 days spent at the Toronto court house covering the proceedings on social media. [Here] You'll find the the best of the mainstream news links below. Together, they can hopefully help us better understand the awful, twisted pretzel logic behind the Project Gator Cannabis Culture [CC] Busts. Here's what we know:

CC's Marc and Jodie Emery were arrested at Pearson International Airport on Wednesday night, March 8th, while departing for a flight to Spain. The Church St. dispensary's Chris and Erin Goodwin, as well as Britney Guerra from the Hamilton shop, were also arrested Thursday morning as a part of "Project Gator". Seven Cannabis Culture [CC] dispensaries were raided simultaneously across Canada in all, in Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton and Vancouver.

Toronto Police Services [TPS] arrested, handcuffed and charged Chris and Erin, the former Church Street managers, in a chilling police state show/ non show. It happened before our very eyes inside the old Toronto courthouse, where they'd come for the Emery's bail proceedings. Britney, from Stoneycreek, was arrested as TPS raided her Hamilton Cannabis Culture dispensary location. 


Britney at work ...

All were finally released on $30,000 bail early Friday evening, then unceremoniously tossed out into the bitterly cold Toronto night. The charges include "trafficking", "possession", "failure to comply" and a "conspiracy to commit an indictable offence". There is a rather confusing publication ban on further court proceedings. Meanwhile, the accused cannot talk or meet, except with their spouses. They are to live at their places of residence, the Emery's and Goodwin's here in Toronto, Britney in Stoneycreek. They can't be involved in any way with "Cannabis Culture and marijuana dispensaries". 

Here are the complete "who", "where" "what" along with the 11 specific charges that have been laid by the TPS @ TPS

 
"Targeting Unlawful Dispensary Danger": In a further news release, the TPS cite organized crime, and the seizure of "shatter". It's a popular, widely available distilled cannabis resin that they describe as very "potent" and "dangerous". They stress the danger of manufacturing "shatter" and include a vague reference to an August 2016 Eglinton Avenue dispensary explosion, for reasons unknown. The accused will be disputing all of these charges. They see this as a civil liberties/ civil disobedience case. They do not believe that they have broken the law. However, here's how the very heavy handed TPS are arguing their case against them;
"Project Gator was designed as a large franchise operation of alleged high level drug traffickers. The public should know that this isn't an altruistic venture, this is purely a profit-motivated venture. Anyone with a prescription for marijuana can go through Health Canada, who have an abundant supply." [TPS]  
More on the conspiracy, the court ban, and the police report on "illegitimate sources", including the TPS concerns about shatter are @ CP24

Time Line: Here's an excellent one for the events at the courthouse. It includes many insightful social media links. The social media surely owned the day, compared to the mostly befuddled and ham fisted mainstream media. Sadly, they often seemed to be struggling for a credible news handle to help explain the developing Canadian legalization issues and cannabis scene. Read @ Leafly

Hamilton CC Bust: Here are some further news details @ Spectator


The Vancouver CC Headquarters Bust: Watch @ CannabisLifeNet

Re-Opened -The New "Village Dispensary": Cannabis Culture Church St. has changed hands. It reopened for business Friday March 10th, under new management with a new name. Employee Jamie McConnell is now 55% owner. Also 3 more staff each own %15 of the business. Jamie advises me that the LGBTQ/ cannabis good fight on Church Street continues. We are watching some more pure, undistilled civil disobedience, this time without Marc! Details @ Dankr.ca

The Speeches: Upon his release, Chris Goodwin very succinctly explained that CC was being targeted for it's political activism and civil disobedience in challenging Canada's flawed legalization process. Also, that CC does not produce shatter, nor sell dangerous drugs. Erin, he and the family have put everything on the line for this case. Britney Guerra denounced the "dirty, crappy" conditions that they were kept in while under arrest. On this, the occasion of Jodie's first arrest, she emphasized how the ongoing and "unjust" police busts are hurting lots of innocent people. In no uncertain terms, she also expressed her humiliation at being strip searched twice as a part of a cannabis bust, from a distinctly Women in Cannabiz perspective. Marc Emery ruminated on his 36 jail visits. He was quite positive. Thankfully, CC is now "making progress" in finally getting the real civil liberty issues behind prohibition legalization openly discussed as a very necessary democratic part of the legalization debate. My phone died in the freezing cold, but here's an excellent video of the speeches, courtesy @ Dankr


"I am finally free ..." Upon her release, Jodie rallies the protest troops as she confidently assesses the ongoing fight from the Emery's Toronto home front @ Facebook

"When We Rise 2" or "The CC Legal Briefs":  Emery barrister Kirk Tousaw explains the cannabis communities "moral outrage" over the raids. There is no place for any of this in a "free" and "democratic" society @ TousawLaw 

Barrister Dan Stein, compares the TPS legal ignorance about CC to the 1980's Toronto bathhouse raids. He also touches upon other significant policing horror shows that helped create change. Police are actually the ones showing "blatant disregard" for the true "legal", "social", and "political" issues at stake on the eve of legalization. He provides pertinent legal and case references for our perusal @ DanSteinLaw

"We Are Seeds" Here are some notes on the Vancouver CC headquarter raids. Incoming Cannabis Culture magazine editor DanKres square frames the dispensary raids as a Big Pharma and Licensed Producer [LP] big business/ monopoly issue @ CannabisCulture


TCOB!

"Not-Yet-Legal": Much of the main steam media seems ready to write off Marc Emery as a crazy "die hard libertarian". Indeed, Canada's "National" newspaper tries to argue a very lackie "law is the law" and "rule of law" case against CC. Their fallback is an old, discredited "Reefer Madness" prohibition argument. Read how they attempt to discredit the very viable, democratic, and socially aware free enterprise/ free market option provided by the dispensary movement. Obediently, Canada's establishmentarian rag follows the tired TPS script. Accordingly, CC is just run by criminal opportunists trying to cash in on legalization for profit and self gain @ Globe

A Hallelujah Chorus: Too bad for Marc's critics! Turning him into a martyr can only strengthen his case @ Georgia Straight

"Justice Tarnished" Then come hints of a sea change, from Canada's hardnosed neo conster Sun news chain @ VSun


A Different Kind of Trudeaumania #1: The shifting parliamentary dates for legalization, and the ongoing police busts are a blatant power play to totally remove the dispensaries from the Big Pharma/LP legalization game plan. As a result, the real "pioneers" of legalization are being cut off from even participating in the consultation process. The aim? To exclude them totally from the new legalization business model. Marc Emery has largely footed the bill for while helping to champion legalization in Canada since the 1990's. Many of the former Reefer Madmen whom now stand to profit from his absence, were very busy fighting against legalization back then. This is just plain wrong! However, beware of the Sun. It is NOT a progressive newspaper, but read on @ TSun

Medical Cannabis Denied: The courts have all ready ruled that the government is unable to supply us with our prescription needs, regardless of the TPS and Health Canada's claims. The ruling should be used to allow the dispensaries to help fill them for us. Instead, they are being busted. Not fair! Very unjust @ Globe

How badly do medical cannabis patients need the dispensary's? Even after the busts, patients were lined up outside Jodie's Ottawa CC store, in our nation's capital @ OSun and @ Citizen


In Warmer Daze: Chris y Erin Goodwin!

Libertarian Food For Thought: Cannabis as a  freedom of choice issue. Marc has shared this Ron Paul video link online. Cannabis prohibition exposes a glitch in the political matrix, revealing the police state at work in our own backyard. In Canada we have our Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, this speech is US content. Still, Project Gator shows us the police state mentality here, baring it's teeth. The Goodwin courthouse arrest certainly helped make that clear @ Ron Paul

Meet Jodie Emery: activist, entrepreneur, and pothead @ Flare

The Britney Guerra story: from a student to a teacher @ HighwayPage62

Erin Goodwin is @ PotTV

Here are some interesting Marc Emery documentaries:

Marc Emery -Canadian activist @ Youtube

Marc speaks at IdeaCity 2003 @ Youtube


The Prince of Pot verses the US government @ Youtube

Marc Emery verses Justin Trudeau @ Youtube

Follow Jamie McConnell @ Facebook


The Village Dispensary is open to serve you ....

COMMENTARY: Just some thoughts-

Our local cannabis community shared the Project Gator Bust story best using the social media. It was timely. It was unfiltered. It was informed and empowering.  Much more so than a lot of the mainstream stuff. I was very honored to meet those of you who've read my blog and tweets. Also humbled by those of you whom are doing so much more.

Maybe we should consider organizing our social media skills and resources, in whichever ways we reasonably can, to help support and further the local activist legalization agenda? Flash mobs are one useful technique used by other groups, to rally support for a protest event. What might we be able to do, for the cause, in the daze ahead, as the CC case makes it's way through the courts? As the other dispensary raids continue full thrust?

Civil Rights Now: Most unfortunately, the Trudeau government has proven itself in gross neglect of it's responsibilities and duties. The often critical needs of many medical cannabis patients are simply not being met. Meanwhile, the government continues to run roughshod over our rights and freedoms. Where's the medical compassion in that?

Despite our other handicaps, we sometimes have more free time than other activists. While we need to have our own medical needs met, our good fight can also help others a lot too. As medical cannabis patients, we get that. With so much at stake, the time to act is now! How might we best use some of our free time to help support the fight for charge, at the grass root level? Can we afford not too?

A Different Kind of Reefer Madness: Marc once told me that he's sold the movie rights to his life story. He has had so little time to write, until now that is!

Have no doubt, Marc Emery is still living the story too! It's not over yet! We look forward to the next chapter! Ditto for Jodie, Chris, Erin, Britney and all our other warriors in the legalization good fight too! Let's make sure that Trudeau gets it right, rather than leave it to sheer dumb chance! Or god forbid, the big Pharma and LP boys!

Peace + Solidarity!

David C


COMMENTS: 

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Free The Emerys: Cannabis Culture Bust!


 
You can follow my live Twitter coverage:
 
@davidchiarelli [Link] #FreeTheEmerys [Link]

Here's video of the Emery, Goodwin's and Guerra's release @ Toronto Toker
More links coming! For now, here's a great summary with the details @ Dankr.ca
 
Friday March 10th:

Canadian Cannabis Culture activists the Emery's, Goodwin's and Guerra were finally released from 2 days in jail into sub zero temperatures, without jackets, around suppertime last night. It was another day of long, drawn out delays. We were unceremoniously kicked out of the court house around 5pm, in no uncertain terms. A small circle of ardent, local cannabis community politicos, well wishers and friends awaited in the bone chilling cold, to cheer them on. The media too.

CC Battle Grrrrl Erin Goodwin came out first. Let the coterie of cameras know that his was hardly over. Chris Goodwin gave an impassioned speech on the need for civil disobedience in the legalization struggle. Next Britney Guerra. Then Jodie Emery spoke on her first arrest. She was angry, shaken but undeterred by 2 body searches, confinement and her loss of rights, quite rightfully so, as a woman cannabiz activist. Marc, down but not out, challenged Prime Minister Trudeau on the hypocrisy of "legalization".

My camera froze up, but there is no shortage of materials to share. Lots of cool and insightful links! The local cannabis social media really stole the show. Mainstream, seemed/ seems largely befuddled. I will post.

Afterwards, I went over to warm up at Cannabis Culture Church St, now the "Village Dispensary'. It was re-opening and packed! The fight continues!

Please check my Twitter feed. The whole 2 days are there, live as they happened. Blog updates will follow here. Y'bet! But It's been a long stint at the old Toronto courthouse. I got some catching up on the home front to do!

Stay tuned -Pax! Solidarity! Cheers!

BTW it was great to meet some of my local readers; old and new! You totally rock!


Thursday March 9th:

I was at Court 103, in the old Toronto court house, for Marc and Jodie Emery's bail hearing today. Some real in your face civil disobedience, a la Henry David Thoreau; a good primer for today's activists and news junkies whom might forget how it's done. 

Details remain sketchy: The Emery's were arrested at Pearson International airport on Wednesday evening. Their passports were possibly tagged by a warrant as they went through Departures. They were catching a flight to Spain, hoping to scout out business opportunities and attend a cannabis show.

A long day! Waited around with the other cannabis activists and mainstream media. Marc and Jodie were in transit. There was no court docket, or list of charges available. CBC, CTV, Global, City etc scrambled about trying to figure out what was going on.

A Chilling Police State Moment: Cannabis Culture Church Street's Chris and Erin Goodwin arrived late morning, to find out their shop was being raided by masked cops. We watched on Chris's IPhone. Police arrived to remove them from the courtroom. Security told us no pictures. They were lead away in handcuffs. Scary! Scary!

Marc and Jodie finally arrived after lunch. Still fighting the good fight, Marc waves at us in the courtroom. Jody gives us the peace sign. The judge is not impressed. Got pretty snarky as the case was remanded until Friday morning. Charges are still pending. 

This must be Marc's 30th bust. Jodies 1st! My understanding is that all of Cannabis Cultures 20 dispensaries across Canada including Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, and Hamilton were raided simultaneously. The rumour is that the Cannabis Culture shops are going to be restocked and reopen asap. Meanwhile the legal department plays their cards close to their chest, as the Emery's await for the charges to be pressed tomorrow morning.

Hope you can come out to protest. Probably best to be there by 9am!


Stay tuned! My regular blogs will continue. Meantime, he's a few related links for first time readers. A little repetitious for others but please bear with me, lots more to come:

On Cannabis Culture + LGBTQ Inclusivity: The Church Street dispensary honours LGBTQ + Cannabis activism in the heart of downtown Toronto @ Here! 

On Cannabis Culture and Toronto's Wild West: The Toronto Police "raid" at  Marc Emery's first Church Street location is @ Here!
 
On Marc Emery and Ontario's Dispensary Raids: The Peterborough Cannabis Culture bust. Covers a speech by Marc outlining his views and philosophy on legalization and the police dispensary raids @ Here!
 
Oh Cannabis Winter News y Views: More recent Marc Emery links. Also a lot of other stoner news links from Toronto, Ontario, Canada and the US is @ Here!
 
Oh Cannabis December News y Views: More news links. Includes exclusive audio video clips about the Montreal Cannabis Culture dispensary raids. A lot of other cool weed news stories too @ There!
 
My Statement on Medical Cannabis is @ Youtube!
 
Project Claudia: Toronto City Hall: A backgrounder @ There!

COMMENTS

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Oh Cannabis Culture: On LGBTQ + Inclusivity!



It’s high noon! I’m at Marc Emery’s Cannabis Culture 461 Church St. dispensary and lounge in Toronto Canada’s historical “gay village”.

Not even the nitty, gritty bluster of a cold, wet, miserable Toronto winter day can keep us away! Hardly! Come lunch hour? The crowds are already eagerly lining up seeking a high time respite from it's cruel ravages.
It’s a decidedly downtown crowd. It's a mad, happy mix of Ryerson university students, construction workers, tired shoppers and the office crowd from surrounding downtown Skyscraper National Park. Everyone gladly rubbing shoulders with Cannabis Culture’s LGBTQ Church Street regulars.

We're here for some good vibes, great times and a lot of potent, mind expanding and most excellent weed. Cannabis Culture’s latest offerings, for all tastes and budgets, greet us from the large sign posted overhead on the shop wall:
 
 
Since last fall, Canada’s High Prince o’ Pot and Cannabis activist Marc Emery has been busy breaking new ground here in Canada's largest city. He'd proudly opened Cannabis Culture’s first Church Street digs in October. I reported it here on my blog. So did a lot of other more mainstream Canadian media sources. [See "Links" below]

In the finest spirit of political activism and "in your face" civil disobedience, Marc has since succeeded in creating a very successful and vibrant LGBTQ user friendly dispensary and safe Cannabis lounge and dispensary. It's smack dab downtown, a short hop from the Eaton Centre and Dundas Square, a ground zero of downtown Toronto life!
Toronto’s Cannabis movement knows the wrath of  City Mayor and "Reefer Madman"John Tory. We've suffered a Toronto Wild West of his creation, while we await a federal legalization bill promised by Ottawa this spring. The Toronto Police “Project Claudia” dispensary raids continue unabated.


In the news and in the courts, Marc is continuing the good fight with his goal of opening 200 Cannabis Culture dispensaries across Canada in 2017. At Cannabis Culture Church Street, he's created a lively and gay downtown weed shopping and party hot spot landmark. It's a bright light on Toronto's progressive landscape, deserving our political and business support!

Mark the Doorman [with a “k”] directs traffic and provides security at the front door. He’s also quick to supply friendly cannabis culture etiquette tips. Which line up? How to take pictures? Or wiggle in to talk with Marc? Cannabis Culture is most decidedly a LGBTQ2 positive, safe and 4/20 friendly space! One with a very mixed but comfortable crowd, in a relaxed downtown Toronto setting.


As one makes our way through the dispensary, our eyes are diverted to the collage of news photos and articles lining the walls. They provide a fascinating insight into the history of Toronto’s gay community; a story of police harassment, bathhouse raids, and decisive protests that created change.

Others highlight the good fight to legalize cannabis. There's “gay” protest soldier in arm's Allan Ginsberg [“Pot is Fun!”], and the Le Dain report. An iconic image of a handcuffed but undaunted Cannabiz Culture Battle Grrrrrl Erin Goodwin. In the finest of protest style, she's being lead away undaunted by Toronto Police, during Mayor John Tory's current, ongoing “Project Claudia” dispensary raids.

 
Further along the walls towards the back lounge, are many more posters, highlighting the entertainment night schedules. There's live music on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month. Comedy nights. Also the monthly, free “Ganga Queen’s” drag show. A bright, colourful, new poster informs us that the next one's March 10th, from 9-11pm.
The lounge is very kool and laid back. As a “straight” toker, I never feel uncomfortable. I like the lively chatter which is friendly, inclusive, and progressively orientated. Much moreso than what we often find in other more seemingly “respectable” downtown clubs, bars and hangouts in the dark, mean streets of any big city, downtown Toronto included!

Truly, Cannabis Culture, Church Street lives up to the one and only “warning sign”  on it’s walls. This is, “No place for homophobia, transphobia, sexism, racism or hate. We have zero tolerance for intolerance.”


Marc also re-directs receipts from the shop's growing sales to various LGBTQ and two spirited charities and groups. Further donations are also being used to help with Syrian refugee relief, and the worldwide human right efforts of Amnesty International. It's a profit driven but politically progressive and viable business model that vibrantly reflects Toronto's sense of inclusivity and tolerance with our LGBTQ community. It provides a fitting gathering place our cities progressives can heartily embrace!

 
LINKS:
 
On Cannabis Culture and Toronto's Wild West: My blog on the Toronto Police "raid" at  Marc Emery's first Church Street location is @ Here!
 
On Marc Emery and Ontario's Dispensary Raids: The Peterborough Cannabis Culture bust. Covers a speech by Marc outlining his views and philosophy on legalization and the police dispensary raids @ Here!
 
Oh Cannabis Winter News y Views: More recent Marc Emery links. Also a lot of other stoner news links from Toronto, Ontario, Canada and the US is @ Here!
 
Oh Cannabis December News y Views: More news links. Includes exclusive audio video clips about the Montreal Cannabis Culture dispensary raids. A lot of other cool weed news stories too @ There!
 
My Statement on Medical Cannabis is @ Youtube!
 
Project Claudia: Toronto City Hall: A backgrounder @ There!
 
Note: "Oh Cannabis" is glad to highlight progressive Cannabiz initiatives. However, a "blogger" walking into your locale to take pictures and ask questions, rarely goes over well. So kindly forward me an invite, and let's see what we can do!
 
 
Next Show: March 10th, same time, place ....
 
COMMENTS

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