Legal Note: You must be of legal age, or have a medical dispensation to use cannabis in your area. The information here is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional and is only intended for educational purposes from one patient to others.
End of Disclaimer
So, today on a rare day of “I actually want to focus on the cannabis industry,” I stopped by The Growth Op, provided by Post Media, and I have to tell you this, they are doing a really good job. They are sharing really good stories, and the authors are working really hard to educate the wider communities around them about cannabis.
When you know something to be true, and you hold it in, deliberately waiting for others to come to the same or similar conclusions, it can be a bit of a letdown, when they finally do. Not because they’ve done anything wrong, or because they aren’t concluding that you’re right. It’s because YOU knew you were right all along, and it can be a bit frustrating to fight so hard to prove it to the same people who are telling you that it’s wrong.
Federal Governments around the world have been telling people for decades that cannabis is a harmful drug that leads to a road filled with trauma, deeper addictions to drugs, poverty, and homelessness. But see, the thing is that I worked with a lot of amazing humans who didn’t have a house to live in, and I learned that it wasn’t always drugs, that led them to be houseless.
I heard stories of divorces gone wrong, and returns from war zones filled with trauma, and abuse, I knew a young woman who was houseless, and by day would study at Tim Horton’s, before returning to the shelter at night. She became a nurse. Studying full time, while houseless – this isn’t to speak to her truth, it’s to say that her story did not include the use of drugs as far as I was aware. In fact, her story had nothing to do with her being addicted to drugs.
I knew another who was a beautiful trans man, and his trans girlfriend, who were both kicked out of their homes for being in the LGBTQ2S+ community. This led to both having severe drug addiction issues, and although I’m fairly certain they are sober today, I don’t know for sure because we lost contact. I will say that I haven’t forgotten them. Except for their names.
Billions of Dollars are Spent on The WAR on Drugs, Meanwhile, People with Mental Health Issues That Have NOTHING to do With Drugs, Go ignored, disenfranchised, LEFT OUT, and ABUSED Because No One Sees You If You Aren’t HIGH!
Some of the best times I’ve ever had with people, were moments when I wasn’t sober or high, but somewhere in the between. Some days I swear that I can see 2Pac walking around my house rolling his eyes, other days I’m pretty sure Randy Orton is sitting on the corner of my bed saying “she just wants to have an affair.”
Lots of people will tell me that I’m crazy, but when it happens to them they suddenly open their eyes and scream “HOLY SHIT,” that every window in God’s kingdom shatters, suddenly, without warning, and without explanation
Meanwhile, I’m sitting here using my toes to say the words “I told you so,” until I pass out from exhaustion.
That’s the cannabis industry. That’s the entire fucking cannabis industry, that’s every single person who has ever smoked a joint, and then on the other side of an invisible line, is everyone who hasn’t smoked a joint, finally crossing the invisible barrier, only to realize, that they’ve been fucking idiots all along.
It’s so damned tiring. And the worst part is that while you’re standing there saying “come here and you will understand,” there are 420 million people who will deliberately gaslight you into believing that you’re crazy until it happens to them too.
And when it does and you pass out and say “Good, glad you know, see you later,” they wonder why after all their abuse, and all their toxicity you no longer want to be a part of that industry. It’s a bit like telling an old friend that “although you appreciate their support, you’re no longer interested in what they have to say, because they understand why you did what you did, they just don’t like it.”
*Stares At The Camera in Jessica Beil” OH REALLY? IS CANNABIS AWESOME? WHO FUCKING TOLD YOU THAT? – My former upstairs neighbour who still manages to never shut the fuck up.
That’s how I feel about the Federal Government.
I am tired of politicians and I am tired of judges, lawyers, and doctors, constantly trying to make people like me prove that we deserve to exist, only to have the SAME people telling us that we DON’T have the right to exist, turn around and decide to be allies when THEY need our support.
JLo recently came out with a really cool program designed to help Latino and Latinx people start new businesses, but I can’t tell you much about it because I only caught half the story on the news, and when I try to search for the program, the internet is oNLY talking about the new doc on her half-time show.
I don’t want to see a doc on her halftime show. I don’t care, I saw the show it was beautiful, it was brilliant, and it was JLo, what I WANT to see is the work she is doing to help her community come forward as far as she has. Because “I” know that she’s doing the work, and I want to see the rest of the world celebrate the fact that instead of JUST being famous, she’s using her power to help others.
But instead, I’m just getting reminders that I was right all along, and in the process of me being right, while being told I was wrong while being gaslit into believing that I’m crazy, I was ALSO being abused and traumatized, and my needs were being destroyed by sexual violence, and no one gave a fuck.
They care now. Because others came forward, but where were you then? That’s my question. The fact that the Federal Government has FINALLY caught up to what our ancestors have been saying since the beginning of time, doesn’t change the fact that while we were waiting for that to happen:
- Hundreds of thousands of bodies of dead Indigenous children previously lost to time are just being discovered.
- Millions of dollars have been spent incarcerating mostly Black and Indigenous folk for cannabis crimes
- BILLIONS of dollars have been spent on “The War on Drugs,” which includes advertising, in film AND popular television telling us about the “evils” of the cannabis industry – Breaking Bad is the worst show for this – because instead of showing the POSITIVES all it does is show the negatives of drug use, sale, and addiction.
- Meanwhile, I’m over here saying “hey see all this work you think is so well done? I did that shit high.”
All of Snoop Dog’s shows, films, and experiences up until recently have been done while stoned, and he is ACTIVELY celebrated as the coolest stoner on the planet.
Meanwhile, my neighbour gets arrested for 10 grams of weed, goes to prison, and has their life ruined? Over ten grams of weed? Do you know much that is? Not much, it’s not even enough to get Snoop Dog up in the morning.
We DESERVE Better, For No OTHER Reason Than We Are Here. You Do NOT Get To Police Our Rights While Killing Our Children With YOUR War!
I grew up with a man who smoked weed, and he sold it. He also smoked crack, I tell you that the cannabis lifestyle in the 90s didn’t contribute to this once really great man turning into an abusive sociopath, but I can certainly promise you that it was the crack.
I’m glad the industry is booming, and I’m thrilled that people are starting to recognize the benefits of Cannabis, I just wish they would acknowledge the experiences of all the people who died in the process of getting this particular plant legalized.
It wasn’t because he smoked and sold cannabis, it was because he smoked crack. The crack broke his brain because it wasn’t regulated. There are people out there who can use this drug and function, maybe not to the level WE expect out of them, but they can function enough to survive in the way that suits their sometimes validly chosen lifestyle. I’ve seen it.
I’ve also seen the harm that the War on Drugs has caused to so many lives, because chasing people who use drugs is far more entertaining to the powers that be, than actually helping people find ways to use drugs safely.
Vancouver British Columbia was home to the very first Safe Injection Site. It was the 1 place in the city – in the province – where people could go to get their drugs tested before they used, it was the one place people didn’t have to use alone. It created a community of support for people who used drugs and gave them a place where they didn’t have to pay attention to the stigma and hatred for those who used drugs.
That site was shut down because the Federal Government, the Provincial and Local governments decided it wasn’t up to their standards – that’s the only reason.
More and more millions of dollars are being spent in Vancouver by people who don’t actually live here, but they don’t want to see the users of drugs.
I remember when I was working at SUMS, in the first building we had they were building a brand new building, and the neighbours were concerned that the church and the community there would bring down property values…in a community that WE lived in before they came here with their foreign dollars.
That same Christmas we were standing outside – and by we – I mean the men and the women and humans who were either working, volunteering, or staying at the Extreme Weather Shelter, one of the men remarked the building looked like an upside-down heroin needle.
We also happened to see dozens of cop cars out front, we later found out one of the Chinese based owners was renting to someone who was renting one of the many apartments, he/she/they/them were running a brothel and what we’d seen was a raid by the Surrey RCMP.
Meanwhile, the people who’d been a part of the church, for decades, were told they weren’t welcome in the same community that was BUILT because they existed through that church community.
Make it make sense.
Every day people who use drugs are stigmatized, ignored, isolated, violated, abused, traumatized, and our pain goes unnoticed, while the Cannabis Industry as a whole is thriving, because men in suits who have never sat down, sat on a beach with a group of friends, and smoked a joint while the hippy among them is inspiring all of them to become singers, teachers, philosophers, healers, and educators of life.
Each of us who has sat with someone and heard their story while high has a very different perspective than hearing someone’s story when you’re sober. You can’t understand how I can smoke weed every day and build this website?
You can’t understand why I’m so calm when so many people are coming forward, SIX YEARS after I started building Loud Mouth Brown Girl, to smoke a joint. Smoke a lot of joints smoke different strains, some different brands, and smoke from different markets. Find yourself in the cloud of smoke, in the haze of all the bullshit you’ve been through, and rebuild yourself a new one. Then you’ll understand.
I can’t understand how you’d rather arrest someone for being high, than the men and women who abused them by tying them to a wall for three days and beating the crap out of them and their two brothers.
I don’t understand how you can look at a man who’s homeless and not see his pain, until AFTER you find out that his mother’s dead body was found in the house he was raised by an abusive sociopath for a father.
OUR PAIN DOESN’T NEED TO MAKE SENSE TO YOU, for you to acknowledge that our pain exists, I’m tired of our pain ONLY existing when OUR pain can make you money.
One day someone is going to make a movie about The Vancouver BC Drug War, and it’s going to be based on The Bacon Brothers – I hope I’m the one to write it, because, after everything I’ve been through, my family and I deserve to eat.
We also deserve for you to say “yes, your pain is valid, yes, we understand why you did what you did, and we believe, we should have just reached out earlier, we should have knocked on the door and said…”what do you need?” instead of throwing the door shut in our faces and telling us that you’ll only listen when we pay you.
The fact that an industry whose only been truly legal in the last five or six years ALREADY needs an overhaul is fucking disappointing at the very least, and borders on absolutely evil at the most. How are you gonna tell me that you only care when it makes you money? And shame on every fucking one of you who didn’t make hard drugs legal BEFORE you could figure out a way to make money on it.
Listen to drug users. Period.
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall