Yet the same City of Vancouver supports and licenses a lounge for individuals who buy unknown drugs and inject them or snort them into their lungs only blocks away, Insite. This is a facility for injecting very dangerous drugs under supervision.
The City of Vancouver licenses thousands of facilities to serve alcohol, and every day someone dies from alcohol, and the lives of all of us are at some point seriously disrupted by the behaviour of those emerging from those places inebriated on alcohol. The City of Vancouver licenses hundreds of pharmaceutical drug dispensaries, though prescription drugs and on-street opioids are killing thousands of Canadians each year.
No one ever died from cannabis. Our Cannabis Culture lounge, operating for 10 years now and having hosted more than one million individuals to our facility, has never had to call emergency or police services for any kind of health or public-safety situation. Note that once again: we have never, in 10 years and one million people in our pot-friendly lounge, ever had a fight or conflict or overdose or…anything…that ever required police or medics.
That’s quite incredible.
Because cannabis is like that. Its safe for all concerned.
On Thursday, May 26, the Toronto Police Service staged its largest targeted mass-arrest since Operation Soap against gay men’s bath houses way back in February 1981. Ninety-five-plus arrests, 43 dispensaries raided, $5 million in food products, oils, buds, and extracts seized. Landlords threatened, battering rams used.
Jodie hammered this point to the world at the subsequent press conference held by Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders. Jodie confronted the whole ideology inherent in the severe crackdown by Toronto police on Thursday, May 26.
Jodie had entered the chief of police press conference at Toronto police headquarters. The chief was there to explain the rationale behind this enormous use of armed and armoured police power, which included several hundred police, battering rams, stampeding cop herds, trashed offices and stores, arrest and search warrants, Kevlar vests, assault rifles, and narcs dressed as construction workers screaming for handcuffs and terrifying citizens.
But the chief never made any coherent sense. Essentially, he ordered the largest targeted raid and use of police resources in modern police history because he was unsure of the effect of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in edible foods. Finally Jodie and Jeremiah Vandermeer from POT.TV/Cannabis Culture had had enough.
“Where is the harm from these products? Who was harmed? Where are the victims? Show us the victims?!” they demanded, and the chief fell to pieces from there.
The chief responded: “I don’t have any data on that.”
No data? You mean after years of dispensaries and compassion clubs selling hundreds of thousands of cookies, cakes, gummy bears, edibles, oils, and caps that the Toronto chief of police has no knowledge or data about any single person who may have been harmed by the activity he has amassed an armada to combat! No data?! None. And none was produced after the news conference.
This is the crux of the whole deal, citizens. If the chief of police of the fourth largest city in North America can’t show ANY demonstrable harm of any kind going on over months and years of these dispensaries existence selling edible THC foods…. how can a violent mass police action like Black Thursday, May 26, happen in a western liberal democracy?
This is the paradox of Prohibition.
I was out front leading a protest in front of Toronto police headquarters when Jodie’s persistent “Where is the harm to justify this police action?” drove the chief out of his own press conference. Jodie then gave her classic speech to the assembled media, which over one million people have since viewed online, best captured on Global News.
Listening to Jodie at the press conference and in her speech, there was an “Emperor Has No Clothes” moment to it.
Just simple questions from a few free-thinking individuals: ‘Why is THC a big concern all of a sudden? Where’s the harm? Who are the victims?”
There are one or two more I would like to ask the chief, who repeated the stock Health Canada line: “Only licensed producers are allowed to provide medical marijuana, which is safe and regulated.”
Here’s my question to the chief, since he has appointed himself interpreter of the health and safety of Toronto citizens’ access to cannabis: “What are the 99 percent unknown ingredients in Monsanto Actinovate SP fungicide that is approved by Health Canada for use on the government-regulated licensed-producer weed that you say is safe and healthy ?”
When Chief Saunders heard the “Where is the harm? Who are the victims?” he had no answer. With cameras from every major media carrying the presser live, the look on Chief Saunder’s face was incomprehension. A knockout moment because no one had ever asked that question directly to a Prohibitionist live with cameras rolling.
The chief kept referring to Health Canada talking points, which are the licensed producer talking points. He had no way to prove these edibles were safe! But of course whatever the government’s regulated labs were selling us was somehow safe. Saunders himself is inconsequential in this context. His job is to robotically spout standard Prohibition propaganda.