Opening Statement



Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Bill 45: Ontario Reefer Madness!




Oh Cannabis! The "True North" strong and free! We stand on guard for thee .... or do we? Maybe the only real stand about to take place in Ontario, Canada is once again for somebody or anybody else?! Just not the average pleb like you and me? Go ask the provincial Wynne Liberal government and it's corporate, neo con, big business masters, if you are at all in doubt!

To Wit: On April 20th, Prime Minster Justin Trudeau preempted "420" protests across Canada. You might imagine our surprise when he suddenly announced out of the blue that marijuana would finally be legalized next year! Undaunted, Toronto Ontario's 420 marchers proceeded down Yonge Street with our victory flags held high. A happy, harmless cloud of pot smoke soon engulfed jam packed Dundas Square. As it spread across the downtown core, Toronto's huge lunchtime office and campus crowds soon emptied out into the all ready crowded streets full of pot smokers to spontaneously join in the festive celebrations. Endless lines of tour buses pulled up adding to the joyful bustle and buzz! 



420 Toronto 2016: Sampling the wares at Yonge + Dundas Square!

It was like nothing I have ever quite seen before in "Toronto the Good"! Finally, there seemed to be light at the end of the long, dark reefer madness tunnel of marijuana bummers, burns, ripoffs and despair. Torontonians of all backgrounds, colour, and age were briefly joined together in one big huge sigh of relief and joy! Perhaps our big payoff after years of suffering under the austerity measures of big business, banks and the Harper Conservative government had finally arrived?

Maybe not! Since Trudeau was elected last year on a platform to "legalize it", grass root Cannabis shops and lounges have been sprouting up and prospering all across our city. Toronto is quickly becoming Canada's Cannabis capital, providing a safe, friendly and very comfortable place to live and visit for medical and recreational marijuana users alike. Despite the worldwide economic turmoil, our great city seemed poised like never before to become Canada's #1 Summer Tourist hot spot. Along with it's many other attractions, Toronto is now also rich with plenty of new, small grass root businesses, cheap, friendly reefer and an 79 cent [US] dollar to boot! 



Justin: Ummm ... OK! OK! Smoke 'em if ya got 'em, eh! Like this ....


Pardon us small, inconsequential Canucks if we hope that the decades long, nasty, prohibition against "weed" might finally be over. So to the past excuses from which it was hatched, based upon class, race and political warfare! Steeped in deep prejudice and steered through parliament and courts by our nation's ruthless, self serving big business interests! Together, they still march in step to the beat of their US corporate counterparts, in the long since failed and discredited, so called "War Against Drugs"! [History Lesson] Forgive us if a proper way to regulate quality, remove the criminal element, and better keep it out of the hands of minors seems at hand! [Trudeau] For a brief moment anyway, as April drew to a close, it seemed our ignoble past had finally gone up in smoke! Had the 21st Century finally arrived?

Not if big business has it's way! Alas! The province's pharmacy and tobacco and other corporate interests have also been watching very carefully too. It should come as no surprise that they aren't impressed at all! Hardly! How else to explain that on April 28th Premier Kathleen Wynne's Liberal government suddenly passed the ill advised and nefarious Bill 45: Smoke Free Ontario and E-Cigarette Act 2016? [Read!] 

No matter that Premier Wynne, with thorough legal briefs from the law firm of Bennet Jones, was ready to throw Ontario's doors open for small business marijuana users and operators at the local level! [Legal Brief] Bill 45, once it takes effect on July 1st,  again threatens to again plunge us small folk back into the deep, dark, bottomless hole of corporate greed and naked self interest!



Wynne: No! No pot 4 you! My corporate pals know wot to do!

In case you are in doubt, let's briefly examine some of Bill 45's little known implications for our province's pot consumers + small business owners alike! Under the Wynne Liberal's Strengthening Ontario's Smoking + Vaping Laws [2016] ammendments to the Smoke Free Ontario and E-Cigarette Act [2015]:

Medical Cannabis is lumped together with recreational pot + E-Cigarettes! Medical marijuana patients will no longer be able to safely and comfortably buy and consume their weed and other paraphernalia in our province's mom and pop small biz dispensaries, shops and vapour lounges. Ditto, casual or quiting smokers who prefer the slow but easier and much more health conscious alternative of buying or using an E-cigarette instead of stopping "Cold Turkey". Or of wrecking their teeth on nicotine gums!Or sending their heart beat racing with a notorious nicotine patch!

No vaping or smoking cannabis will be allowed anywhere that tobacco is publicly banned! Both pot entrepreneurs and medical patients alike, along with the new crowds of recreational marijuana users come 2017, will once again be forced back into hiding! Their combustibles subject to arrest and seizure! How ironic! There isn't any clear medical proof that second hand vapour is dangerous like tobacco! [Medical] [Smoke] But medical users will be forced back into hiding! Vapour lounges and clubs won't any longer be allowed. Nor a medical stroll in the park either! Matter of fact, if you live in Ontario Public Housing, it will even be illegal to toke at home too! Thank you, Kathleen! Must be good news indeed for the criminal elements lurking in the dark forbidden places where they so easily find their prey!



Toronto Indie Pot Biz Threatened!

No Retailing of Vapourizers Allowed! Vaping unlike smoking does not release toxins into ones lungs or the air that others must breathe -but no matter! [Vapour] [Lungs] Medicated edibles? They remain an alternative, but they might very well not be agreeable to many users! Medical patients in particular, will again be forced into seeking unhealthy alternatives for their condition instead of being able to safely vape their weed!

No Retail Display of Other Goods Allowed Either! Merchants won't be able to display, answer questions, nor allow consumers to test the different strains and strengths of weed like they would any other product. Ditto the sampling of edibles, vapourizers or any other paraphernalia. Also included are the horticultural "grow your own" supplies otherwise allowed by law for medical marijuana patients!

No more safe, comfortable Cannabis Lounges Are Allowed! If the new law isn't challenged, big business can move in later to grab the entertainment and retail trade for themselves. Watch for the big tobacco companies to take over the E-Cigarette trade! Watch the LCBO and Shoppers Drug take over marijuana marketing and sales for themselves instead. Let's face it, it's too much of a cash cow! They don't want the very small time entrepreneurs and users who suffered under our oppressive and exploitive marijuana laws to now finally prosper and flourish instead. As for marijuana's naturopathic uses? Without doubt, the huge pharmaceutical companies will want to protect their huge monopoly on profits from that too!



420 Protester expresses her opinion on Bill 45 to Wynne! 

As a medical marijuana patient, I enjoy my weed! It's a safe alternative to Oxycontin and the other horrible chemical prescription drugs that I have been prescribed since my workplace injury teaching Special Ed. [School Daze] I don't drink booze either. Blech! So whatever happens, I will continue in my own merry way to toke at home in Toronto and the countryside with my own tunes, recreational activities, family and friends. 

Let me be frank [or David]; like many old school political activists, my days of going out on the town to party, protest and riot on the spur of the moment are now often infrequent at best. However, by and large, my experience with our local marijuana scene has been that most indie marijuana users and sellers, both medical and recreational, are politically null and void today. Still, it is they who will now need to arise and carry the torch across the finish line with Kathleen Wynne standing in the way!



Tourism Toronto sez: "Do lunch here!"

Fortunately, the CFBA [Cannabis Friendly Business Association] is helping organize the good fight across Ontario to hopefully give it some political direction. They are currently involved in providing PDF info flyer's, cards, letters and petitions explaining all that is at stake in much more detail @ [Here!] [There!] Please help! They've got some good stuff! For example, as their "Petition to Premier of Ontario Kathleen Wynne to have the Ontario Liberals reconsider having medical marijuana in the Smoke-Free Ontario Act" states:
We the undersigned agree that if the Ontario Liberals include medical marijuana in the amendments to the Smoke-Free Ontario Act ... they would be infringing on the basic human rights of the approximately 30,000 medical users ...
Denying the patients the ability to utilize their medication when and where needed purely based on the type of medication is preposterous. One wouldn't question someone taking an asthma inhaler in public, why outlaw another medication by amending the Act?
If this change is allowed to happen a person could be charged for medicating anywhere but in their own home. In addition it would make vapour lounges, businesses that have operated efficiently with little to no community complaint some for over a decade, illegal and would force their owners out of their livelihoods.
These establishments operate in the same respect as bars do, with the major difference being that patrons supply their own marijuana/extracts versus acquiring alcohol at the establishment, where adult patrons enter with knowledge of potential health risks involved with partaking. With scientific evidence proving that both tobacco and alcohol are significantly more harmful than marijuana, we the undersigned wonder what is the basis for this addition to the Act?
Please note that the CFBA are also currently attempting to raise the necessary funds for their lobbying and legal expenses and fees. One of their first tasks is to seek a court injunction for the protection of medical marijuana patients. It's the patients basic constitutional rights that are most immediately and obviously at stake as a result of the Wynne governments ill conceived Neo Lib exercise in Corporate butt kissing! 



As Canuck as ....

CFBA plans also include a municipal campaign for the fair and proper licensing of the provinces cannabis shops and lounges to resist the corporate takeover of our provinces all ready existing small business marijuana community. They also plan to lobby the financial sector to remove the "Anti Cannabis Clause" in their merchant underwriting process.

Enough is enough! My Ontario does not include Bill 45 and the Wynne government's corporate marijuana agenda! Let's share these links and get involved in whatever ways we can! We've come so close! Yet we are still so far away! Let's fight for a truly legal, local grass roots business and consumer weed community all of our own. Stop the BS now, before it's too late!

In solidarity!

David C



Pax + Solidarity with all my good budz!

MORE LINKS

Spliff Magazine: Toronto Pot News y Views @ Online!

Toronto Now Magazine's 420 "Weed Issue" is @ Now

Article on Bill 45 and Your Vaping Rights in Ontario @ IdealVapes

Media Awareness Project: Latest Pot News Links from Across Canada @ Archive

Harper: Canadian Reefer Madness with Lots of Entertaining Links @ Blog!

Bob Marley + The Wailer Reviews! Part 1 @ Here Part 2 Here! Part 3 @ Here! Part 4 There!

Hi! Hi! Hi! My Visit to Bob Marley's Home in Jamaica @ Smile Jamaica!

Stoned: On The Beach in Jamaica @ Special Report!

Reefer Madness [1937]: The Original Movie! @ Youtube

Reefer Madness [2005]: The Showtime Remake @ Youtube

Sweet Marijuana [1934] Excerpt @ Youtube

Cheech y Chong's Dave's Not Here [Animated Short] @ Youtube

COMMENTS:

2 comments:

David Chiarelli said...

My regrets VaporFi, but this isn't an advertizing site, unless a product or business directly relates to developing the theme of my news story. Glad you enjoy your vaporizer tho!

Alfaj Ripon said...

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