It’s been a while since I expressed my views regarding Canada’s cannabis laws, and the medical marijuana program. Having recently moved to Toronto, and meeting a lot of new people, I didn’t want to stir the pot too much. After all, first impressions can’t be re-made; and, when meeting new people I will invariably be seen as a reflection of my friends, and the PEI MMAR community. I’ve been consciously careful to watch what I say, and try to take in as much as possible – assess the community, and evaluate the people, establishments, and systems.
It’s a massive change, in every aspect of life, from what I’m used to. There are people everywhere, at all hours of the day – ride the TTC for 20 minutes in the middle of the day, and you’ll see more faces than there are in the entire PEI population. There are vapour lounges, medicinal dispensaries, and seed banks – completely laughable concepts on the Island. There is a massive cannabis community built on a joint interest shared by medicinal users, cannabis crusaders, and the casually chronic which I’ve only previously imagined of. The numbers of people, and amount of infrastructure is almost mind-blowingly impressive; but at the same time, the more I am exposed to greater Canadian canna-family, the greater the amount of fragmentation and in-fighting over personal interests that exists becomes apparent, frustrating, and depressing.
In PEI it’s hard to get people to express their opinions regarding Canada’s marijuana laws, and knowledge of the medical access regulations is minimal. Ignorance breeds contempt, and the remainder are apathetic. Outside of PEI there are a good number of those who express public opinions and/or invest time/money, but in a good number of cases it seems that people are more focussed on their own goals and personal interests than in forwarding overall education, and contributing towards common goals. Whatever the motivation, it results in fighting for protection of self rather than fostering the co-operation that’s needed to help those who are actually in need. Those with the most genuine of intentions either become caught up in the internal controversy which surrounds them, become jaded and silent, or simply lost in the shuffle.
I’m not about to sit here and point fingers at anyone, establishment, or group because to do so would do nothing more than contribute towards that which frustrates me. Plus, I’m fully aware that I’m just a n00b (look at me dropping terms!) in the vocal canna-community, and I have a lot of respect for most everyone – even if I’m completely opposed to their view, opinion, or actions. I don’t want to fight with anyone – I hate it. I’m disgusted with myself when I become involved, and discouraged when I witness it. But I’m especially frustrated when I see it in so many levels and sub-sets of the canna-community, and I want to see it stop.
What we need is co-operation towards a common goal – in my humble opinion, the greatest fear of the opposition is that Canada’s truest cannabis activists will properly organize and promote education towards the realities associated with cannabis. Detractors rely on the very laws we seek to change helping to foster in-fighting in the community, and resorting to extremist messages to attract media attention such that the uneducated are often alienated, the apathetic remain so, and arguments of opposition become strengthened.
We have our Prince, our Champion, support groups, and writers, but the Canadian canna-community still needs leadership, focus, and organization. There are many crusaders, activists and supporters, but without real co-operation and an authentic investment by the entire community at large, nothing will ever be advanced. No more apathy, and no more arguing – issues that are this simple shouldn’t be so complex to resolve.
If we could only have one elected Federal representative express a commitment to change that appeared at all viable, supportive to those in need, and was actually accessible, ….. well, a guy can dream can’t he?