COPS ARREST WEED NOT HARD-DRUG PUSHERS
"Interesting that a business owner was charged with drug traffiking
for doling out cannabis edibles to drug addicted individuals
to mitigate their hard drug use.
Whereas a city councillor, an elected public figure,
was openly distributing meth, heroin and cocaine
with police present and never charged.
***** SOMEBODY FIREBOMBED THE CANNABIS SUBSTITUTION PROGRAM VAN *****
watch The THC Show with Neil Magnuson -- Episode 164
Pot TV, Tuesday, November 15, 2022
"We've had a horrible event happen. We no longer have the THC RV... We obviously ruffled the feathers of some competition... We've been under attack over the past few weeks... On Friday morning, Remembrance Day, the side window of the RV was smashed... That night, ten minutes after we locked up the RV, somebody pried open the back door again, threw in a Molotov cocktail and set the RV on fire... We didn't know about it, we were inside the shop, until we heard the sirens... Twenty minutes later, after closing the shop, we went to investigate the sirens only to find firetrucks surrounding the RV and trying to put out what was a major blaze... Right now we're operating under a tent like we did before when the police seized our RV... We can't stay under the tent for very long... It's not sustainable in the winter time...
watch The THC Show with Neil Magnuson Episode 163 listen
Pot TV, Tuesday, November 8, 2022
Cannabis advocacy veteran Neil Magnuson greets people by name as they walk into the Vancouver Downtown Eastside's newest weed store. The small storefront is inviting, with free helpings of CBD orange chicken kept hot by a slow cooker in the corner. Staff roll and spark joints as they list off the product catalogue to customers. The store's prices are also staggering when compared to other cannabis retailers in the city. Joints sell for $1, pungent buds heaped in clear jars go for anywhere between $2.50 - $6 per gram. Caps with 50 milligrams of CBD sell for $2.50 each. But the prices are still too high, says Magnuson with a shake of his head. They need to be even lower to entice people to buy weed instead of meth, which sells for similar prices on the street just outside the shop...
For the past two years non-profit cannabis operation, The Healing Wave, has assisted the Serious Hope Society in a Cannabis Substitution Program serving DTES residents [downtown eastside] out of its 157 Cordova Street shop. Program lead, Neil Magnuson -- who first began the program out of the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU) years ago -- is helping more than 253 people get below-the-market prices on cannabis, as an alternative to opioid use. Earlier this month, Magnuson was asked by his landlord to leave the retail space -- considering the shop was unlicensed to sell cannabis. "Cannabis needs to be easily accessible to people suffering from addictions. Cannabis high-dose edibles help people go through opiate withdrawal, or else they're trapped. At the prices the government is charging, most of them cannot afford the cost", he added. "If we turn our backs on them, many of them will go back to the streets and die. They're good people just stuck in a bad situation". Magnuson and The Healing Wave volunteers plan to set up an RV and continue to provide cannabis to DTES residents...
THC = Truth, Hope & Change
Cannabis Substitution Project assumes 'Doobie Van' operations
(Founder Neil Magnuson says his harm-reduction society won't give up
-- even after being raided and evicted from its storefront)
Mugglehead, November 21, 2020
The "Doobie Van" is the new headquarters of the The Serious Hope Society, Healing Wave and Cannabis Substitution Project after the initiative was evicted from its storefront at the end of October. "We would like to have the city work with us, we would like to have governments work with us. We'd like to have the city find us a storefront", Magnuson says. The problem is that the society works with unregulated cannabis. This allows them to offer product at a fraction of the cost of regulated weed, but is also illegal under the Cannabis Act. And that has made for stormy seas. On November 10 the Vancouver Police Department raided the RV and seized around 5,700 grams of cannabis and weed products, according to police spokesperson Constable Tania Visintin. "Just give us the damn licence", Magnuson says. "If that's what it takes -- a piece of paper with a signature -- then god dammit, some public servant sign a piece of paper for us. Whatever it takes. They should be bending over backwards and jumping through hoops as quick as they can to help us"...
watch On The Coast with Gloria Macarenko listen
(The Cannabis Substitution Project is embroiled in a legal fight:
its founder was charged with trafficking cannabis without a license)
CBC, August 29, 2022
A Vancouver city councillor is in the spotlight after handing out drugs during a safe supply protest in downtown Vancouver. On Wednesday, the Drug User Liberation Front (DULF) and the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU) hosted a block party in protest against the city's model to decriminalize the simple possession of illicit drugs. The demonstration took place in front of the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) station at Main Street and Cordova. During the event, the organizations handed out clean heroin, meth, and cocaine. Among the participants was city councillor Jean Swanson, who shared photos online of her participation in the parade, as well as distributing a package that reportedly contained heroin. "We need government action now so everyone can get safe drugs and no one dies". In another tweet, she stressed that six deaths per day from toxic drugs are "way too many". The move drew criticism from a wide number of people, however, including fellow city councillor Melissa De Genova who suggested that Swanson's actions were akin to drug trafficking.
Earlier this year, the BC Coroners Service reported that 2020 was British Columbia's worst year yet in terms of lives lost to toxic illicit drugs... There were 1,716 deaths due to illicit drugs in 2020 in the province, representing a 74% increase over the number of deaths recorded in 2019 (984). The number of illicit drug toxicity deaths in 2020 equates to about 4.7 deaths per day, which is two deaths per day higher than in 2019 (2.7). Put another way, the province said the toxic illicit drug supply in British Columbia has claimed more lives than motor-vehicle crashes, homicides, suicides, and prescription-drug-related deaths combined.
In the coastal cold of a Vancouver morning, nine people crowded at the door of the Insite safe injection center, itching for it to open so they could shoot heroin and fentanyl inside. Around their huddle on this two-block stretch of East Hastings Street, hundreds of people, the majority habitual drug users, were crushed together in tents and chairs, on discarded rugs and under wet tarps. Some were sprawled on the sidewalk, motionless and unconscious. One man repeatedly hurled a hatchet at the pavement... In every direction, there were needles in arms and butane lighters melting chunks of fentanyl, heroin and meth -- the stench of burning chemicals was unavoidable. For many residents and business owners in Vancouver's historic Chinatown, only a block away, East Hastings means theft, garbage, graffiti and a near-constant blare of sirens...
Free high dose THC edibles for hard-drug users at centre of BC court case
Vancouver Sun, September 3, 2022
The owner of an unlicensed dispensary working to provide Downtown Eastside drug users with low-cost cannabis to replace their opioid use is scheduled to appear in provincial court next Wednesday [September 7th] on drug-trafficking charges. Neil Magnuson, who heads the Cannabis Substitution Project through the Healing Wave dispensary, maintains his innocence. He says that the high-dose edibles he has given out for the past five years are part of an effort to divert residents from contaminated illicit opioids. Magnuson wants to be able to offer the drug [THC] legally by obtaining a federal exemption from Canadian drug laws. He submitted an application to Health Canada two years ago. The application requested the dispensary be allowed to legally possess and sell cannabis and for the 268 members of its Substitution Project, a program offered through the non-profit Serious Hope Society, to be permitted to carry up to 30 grams of the drug on their persons...
The potency of the program's edibles is a concern for Health Canada. M-J Milloy, a PhD and research scientist at the BC Centre on Substance Use, says the safety of high-dose edibles has long been an exploration in his studies of cannabis use in the DTES. "High-dose THC edibles are not as dangerous for people who use opioids every day. It's the lesser of two evils really, with cannabis likely not being an evil at all". More than two dozen studies conducted by the Centre on Substance Use indicated that more than 75 per cent of a few thousand hard-drug users surveyed in the community report using cannabis for medical reasons. "People living with chronic pain in the DTES who used cannabis every day were far less likely to report using fentanyl or other opioids", Milloy said. "Another study, which relied solely on urine drug screening data conducted on DTES participants every six months, found that people with THC in their system were far less likely to have fentanyl in their urine". While cannabis doesn't work for everyone, Milloy said research indicates that "a substantial proportion of people in the DTES using cannabis have been able to take a step back from the contaminated drug supply", the driving force behind BC's overdose crisis. Milloy has also found that those who use cannabis as a form of harm-reduction are more likely to stay in medical treatment for opioid use disorder. "We expect that a lot of folks in the DTES are going to be coming to rely on those high-dose edibles in the next few years".
Tour of Vancouver's depressing, horrifying Downtown Eastside
by Sue-Ann Levy, True North, November 8, 2022
...Imagine drug addicts clustered together on the sidewalk under make-shift lean-tos of tarps and rope surrounded by filth, empty food containers, clothes, shoes, garbage bags and bottles. Cast your mind's eye to rail-thin emaciated female drug addicts shuffling along with nowhere really to go, an elderly Asian man dumpster diving and dozens of drugged out people sitting on the sidewalk or cartons staring into space... This is proof of the harm of safe injection sites, a permissive out-of-control drug culture, politicians who have let the problem escalate and social justice do-gooders who are doing more harm than good. The few Vancouverites who dared to speak up were loudly attacked by the harm reduction activists. Go to HARD-DRUG HARM-SITES DANTE INFERNO
Police explain why they didn't arrest city councillor
for handing out heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine to drug users
Vancouver, July 2022
The explanation is contained in a report that went before the Vancouver Police Board Thursday that was in response to a complaint from a citizen -- whose name wasn't disclosed -- about the city councillor's actions on July 14 in the Downtown Eastside. "While the VPD does not condone drug trafficking and, in fact, does arrest for drug trafficking, it is recognized that the actions of the other protesters were not motivated by profit and were not the actions of organized crime groups, but rather, were grounded in harm reduction and raising awareness to the need for urgent action to the overdose crisis", the report said. "Although we, the police, did not take any additional enforcement actions in relation to this particular protest, such as making any arrests, that does not preclude any future police actions from being taken in future similar incidents. Given the totality of the circumstances as they relate to this event, including the need to maintain public peace during the protest, officers used their discretion and chose not to take enforcement action". The report doesn't name the city councillor but she confirmed to Glacier Media this week that she was the subject of the complaint. The [police] board agreed Thursday with the police's recommendation to conclude its review of the complaint... Vancouver and the rest of the province remain entrenched in an overdose crisis that saw 1,734 people die last year, with 413 of those deaths recorded in the city...
'We don't understand it'
Advocates slam Vancouver police raid of low-barrier cannabis program
Global News, May 18, 2022
Magnuson's arrest is hypocritical, to say the least. It is cheaper to buy meth than legal cannabis in Downtown Eastside Vancouver. Even the City of Vancouver acknowledged that prioritizing "low barrier access" to cannabis as a harm reduction tool is beneficial. And the science supports Magnuson. A study from the BC Centre on Substance Use and the University of British Columbia indicated that 24 percent of hard-drug addicts cease using when given access to cannabis. The study's co-author, MJ Milloy, said: "Cannabis can help us save lives, particularly among the people shouldering the burden of the overdose crisis". Another study suggests cannabis is beneficial for young people living on the street and dealing with mental health issues and trauma...
According to the Cannabis Act, THC oil cannot exceed 30-mg per millilitre, and capsules cannot exceed 10-mg. That is far too low of a dose for an addict trying to stay off harder drugs. As well, the cost is prohibitive. With legal edibles, the ratio is roughly $1 for 1-mg. So if you bought 20 cans of a THC beverage with the hopes of staying off crack or meth, it'd cost you $200. And that's just one day. Considering most of Magnuson's patrons were poor, living on disability, or even on the street -- there is nothing reasonable about the Cannabis Act. Battling in court with the government is never easy. The government has an endless barrel of cash (courtesy of the taxpayer) to pay for such cases. Meanwhile, the plaintiffs are limited by what they can raise from individuals voluntarily. That said, there is a solid case that The Cannabis Substitution Project is providing reasonable access to the most vulnerable people in our society. And that the Cannabis Act, lumping in medical and recreational users under one regulatory umbrella, is unconstitutional...
HARD-DRUG HARM-SITES DANTE INFERNO
(social justice do-gooders doin more harm than good)
True North, November 8, 2022
My tour of Vancouver's depressing, horrifying Downtown Eastside, True North, Nov 8, 2022
Vancouver Cannabis Substitution Projects, Mugglehead
'We don't understand it': Advocates slam Vancouver police raid of low-barrier cannabis program, Global News, May 18, 2022
Vancouver safe drug sites wrenching to see, Los Angeles Times, May 18, 2022
Police explain why they didn't arrest city councillor for handing out heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine to drug users as part of a protest to push governments to increase "safe supply" of illegal hard-drugs, Vancouver Is Awesome, October 21, 2021
Vancouver city councillor hands out heroin during safe supply protest, Daily Hive, July 15, 2021
Vancouver Cannabis Substitution Project assumes 'Doobie Van' operations (Founder Neil Magnuson says his harm-reduction society won't give up -- even after being raided and evicted from its storefront), Mugglehead, November 21, 2020
Vancouver Projects Give Weed to Curb Overdoses. Police Just Raided One, The Tyee, November 17, 2020
Non profit evicted for providing DTES residents cannabis as harm reduction means, Vancouver Is Awesome, October 28, 2020
Vancouver cannabis harm reduction project finds a home, Mugglehead, July 28, 2020
IN AFGHAN FIELDS
ORWELLIAN WAR BY DRUGS
35.Big Brother's Brotherhood (...Members of the Brotherhood are prepared to: give one's life; commit murder; commit acts of sabotage; betray one's country to foreign powers; cheat, forge, and blackmail; corrupt the minds of children; distribute habit-forming drugs; encourage prostitution; disseminate venereal diseases; do anything which is likely to cause demoralization of society...)
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~