This post is regarding the recent raids, closures, and arrests against pot-providers in Toronto. Just when you think you’re starting to see some progress, the whole thing gets swept up and burned to the ground. For what? For WHO? Who is this benefiting? One quote that always pops into my head is from the lovely Ms. #jodie Jodie Emery. She said it best when she proclaimed: “How can you have a VICTIM-LESS crime!?” These raids – how is this making anything better??? Who the hek is arranging all of these raids?? Is there a concerned parents who’s child walks by one of these pot centres? Is there a baby boomer disgusted by the constant, lingering smell of sweet grass? Is it….TRUDEAU??? I’m quite confused.
I have been federally licensed for over 15 years, and have experienced many flaws with the Licensed Providers’ (LP’s) product, service, and distribution methods. The cannabis was often very dry, and the product wasn’t as good as they were claiming. I was with over 15 LP’s, before doing something my dr. (through Canadian Cannabis Clinics on Danforth) urged me NOT to do: Go to a recreational pot shop. When I asked questions about these other places selling cannabis, he told me to stay away from them or my license could be suspended indefinitely. Yikes! Nonetheless, I had no choice! I get headaches daily, and have had three brain surgeries ‘cuz of this damn blockage (LONG story!). I felt a bit guilty going against my doctors orders, and entering the #CannabisCulture location on church street. My first time there was last November.
I have had such pleasant experiences while there. I have read some forums where people bash the staff and service, which I think is BOLOGNA! Although it gets busy in there at times, everyone (staff, customers, even SECURITY!) is as cool as shit!! Very polite, laid-back, respectful, and knowledgeable, the staff makes you feel like your needs (and everyone’s NEEDS for weed vary!) are important. I only saw Mr. Emery in there once, and I regret not going and shaking the hand of this great Canadian icon (he was really busy at the time!). I remember seeing him there my first time, talking to customers in the huge, yet calm line up near the counter. Some chicky was like, “Excuse me, are you in line!?” I just shook my head. I guess I was just surprised at how any true pothead would not recognize Marc Emery! It’s like going to church and being like, “Who’s that man up there on that cross!?” How do you NOT know who Marc Emery is?? Originally from London, Ontario, I have known about Marc for many years and grew my first green babies with his help. Still, how can you not recognize him?? For many, I think they just want their pot. They don’t care how they get it, what strain it is, where is originates, or WHO’s making the sacrifices in keeping those candy-type jars stocked full. Just gimme’ my weed and lemme’ go do my thing (and there’s nothing wrong with that!). They just don’t seem to honour the efforts of these people – Marc, Jodie, Chris, Erin (to name a few!) – but instead, just wanna’ get their sh’moke on (definitely nothin’ wrong with THAT!). I really doubt this bothers these managers, as they’re all potheads too, and can surely relate. I just think you have to appreciate all that these people are doing. Personally, I can’t imagine being ARRESTED for helping others. Sure, some may say, “Well it’s a BUSINESS – they’re just in it for the money.” I truly believe it’s not a matter of capital with Mr. Emery and his team, but an important, fundamental principle.
Unlike my doctors office, I do not need to fill out any forms, or go over side effects at Church Street, and I don’t feel pressured to take anyone’s recommendations but my own. At the Danforth clinic, I had been through three different doctors (not sure why the high turnover rate). One female doctor even suggested trying BOTOX for my pain, and putting blobs of CBD oils under my tongue, morning, noon, and before bed. I just want to keep doing what I’VE been doing all of these years, as it’s been very effective. After years of being treated like a lab rat, I wish not to ever go on medications (pills!) again. I know my body better than anyone, and I don’t wanna’ simply change my entire routine because of a doctors whim. I like having the freedom to go to Cannabis Culture and see the varieties, and to talk to staff and clients about products. At my doctors, they always request a URINE sample, and will adjust your prescription according to the results. One time my prescription was reduced from 3g./day to 1g., because they found “Opiates” in my piss. I told them I occasionally take Acetaminophen with Codeine for pain (over-the-counter!). But without consulting me at all, they cut me down big time. I just felt degraded and kinda’ sketchy, like I’d done something wrong.
So I am now a regular customer at Church St. in Toronto. Correction: I WAS a customer until this past week. These dispensaries generate so much revenue for the city, and give people a safe outlet to purchase a safe product. Like THOUSANDS of Torontonians, I now have to figure out another way to get my medicine. My doctor won’t return my calls (I think they’re clued in to why I no longer get my medicine from LP’s!) and I really don’t wanna’ go lookin’ for a street dealer. I have been robbed before, and have had physical alterations from deals-gone-bad. I know there are many in this predicament now, too, as there’s nowhere (safe) to get your weed from! Theoretically, crime, depression, PAIN, discomfort, suicide and just plain boredom will be on the rise this weekend thanks to these raids. Hooray!!! Cannabis Culture is doing nobody any harm, and is doing much good for this vast city! From going to the Church Street location, my own eyes have been opened to the great diversity of people that use this truly magical herb. I’ve seen old people in there; young; white to black (and everything in between!); tradesman on their lunch breaks, and even a paramedic! I’ve seen people drop money, and complete strangers inform them of this! Everyone there is so kind, and it’s just a great place to be…it WAS a great place to be.
I’m not sure what tomorrow will bring, but I have faith that something good will come from all of this. As much as I love the police, I have to say shame on them. I know orders are orders, but still. I could never become a cop because I couldn’t bind people up by their hands, stripping them of their freedoms, LOCKING them up in a giant doggy-type cage…because of friggin’ plant matter. “Oh well the Law is pretty clear on…” Bullshit! You’re job is to Serve & Protect, and you’re wasting tax dollars on arresting non-criminals?? I just don’t get it! Smokin’ weed used to be such a taboo (thankfully, more are admitting to having used it). It’s what I’ve personally called my “dirty little secret,” and it shouldn’t be seen as such. Why do I have to HIDE my responsible choices? Even THIS blog that you’re reading RIGHT NOW – I can’t use my ‘real’ name (which you’d never guess in a MILLION years!) for fear of it affecting access to my kids (my ex hates weed!).
While I’ve never really understood the politics behind all of this, I do know in my heart that it just feels very wrong. My intuition tells me that this has little to do with Cannabis itself, as many doctors now are accepting its benefits as truth (even though it’s been known for THOUSANDS of years!).
My thoughts are prayers go out to the C.C. staff that have been affected by these raids, or arrested. One day I will be out of this “closet”, and hope to be even half as brave an activist as Marc, Jody, Chris, Erin and the entire C.C. gang. Keep up the good fight, my friends!