Opening Statement



Thursday, 27 October 2016

Project Claudia: Toronto City Hall!

Article: "Toronto Defers Dispensaries Again": Includes a link to my video interview on how Project Claudia is hurting our city's medical Cannabis patients. Also a video of the absurd October 25th Licensing and Standards Committee "meeting" @ Dopechef


October 25th, 2016

It's 9 o'clock Tuesday morning. I'm outside Toronto City Hall. Ready with my little home made reversible sign. Eager to protest. 

The Municipal Licensing Standards Committee has changed the agenda again. I should be here making my deposition on Project Claudia. On medical access. On Mayor John Tory's ill advised cannabis dispensary raids. But it's been cancelled without notice.

To say that there was a good turn out for the protest would be an exaggeration. But sometimes, from small beginnings can come greater things. In time. With steps. We'll see!

I arrived a bit early. Made my way upstairs to the mayor's office. Introduced myself and exchanged pleasantries with his receptionist. Said I was a Toronto citizen. Needed to talk to him for a minute.

Ha ha! Fat chance eh? One never knows unless we try. 

Mayor John Tory is an early riser. The place was dead. She looked in his office. Checked his agenda. Informed me he was out for the day.

Undaunted, I proceeded down the hall to Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti's office. He hadn't arrived yet. His aid took my name and advised me that I might be able to see him after the committee meeting.



I head back outside the front doors to greet the morning rush. Stand about 12 feet from the entrance. Hold up my sign. Smile. Say good morning to everyone.

A security guard approaches, asks me to move on. I am pleasant. Point out that I am a citizen. Ask him how far back from the doors I am allowed to stand. 

Unable to contact his supervisor on the walkie-talkie, he leaves to check. I quickly text Lee Hathaway. 

Lee recommends that I ask for the answer in writing. That takes care of that. The security guard continues to lurk around but doesn't bother me again.

As the morning rush finishes, I hook up with Daniel from Dopechef for an interview. Head upstairs to the committee room. Only the social media are covering the protest and meeting today. I appreciate the excellent company. Some good discussion. We share a few laughs.



An abbreviated licensing session ensues. On service animals like "ferrets" and "snakes". Parking and towing. Concluding with a totally brainless discussion about conflict resolution. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Quite the jaw dropper. For sure!

I corner Councillor Mammoliti before he leaves. Introduce myself as a citizen from his ward. Exchange a little local talk. Emphasize that I need to make an important deposition to the Municipal Licensing and Standards Committee about Project Claudia. Hadn't been officially notified that my item was removed from the agenda. 

Councillor Mammoliti  pleads ignorance. Claims he can't even recall seeing it there. 

He refers me to the committee secretariat. She hasn't any record of it ever being there either. 

Kapoof! The politics of denial. It was never there! [1]

Another security guard approaches. Politely instructs me that I am supposed to stay in the visitors gallery. Not approach the table.

I look about the gaggle of useless two bit politicos and bureaucrats still standing around. Alas. Any act of civil disobedience, however small, is totally wasted here. 



I do an interview with Daniel. Write my blog. Decide what to do next because:

The Project Claudia dispensary raids are creating much grief for citizens simply needing to fill legal medical prescriptions. 

Licensed government producers like Tweed are not able to deliver the goods. 

Project Claudia is eliminating our only other safe and reliable medical cannabis supply.

Compassion is in especially short supply. Nobody wants to hear about our problems! Tweed are not stepping up to help their medical customers. Nor the City of Toronto! 

Welcome to the real wild west "Reefer Madness" world of medical cannabis in Toronto, Ontario, Canada! 



FOOTNOTE

[1] = Though there is this article @ Lift

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