What Cannabis Legalization In Canada Has Always Meant to Me

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*The views in this blog are solely mine, and mine alone.

~Jade Ridge

When I first met Mr. Trudeau back in 2013, I was lobbying with The NORML Women’s Alliance of Canada to help legalize Cannabis in Canada. He had been campaigning across Canada for a pre-election promotion and landed in Brandon Manitoba on two occasions, just months apart.

My first impression of this would be Prime Minister was the same as everyone else’s; “What a cool guy! Finally someone who’s on our side!” Well, so we thought. Upon my first encounter, Justin stated that he was all for legalizing Cannabis to make our streets “safer” and to take the weed out of the hands of our children. When I had an opportunity to speak with him directly one on one, I asked him what platform of legalization he was looking to develop and he had little to contribute other than we need to eradicate gangs by legalizing weed…yadda, yadda, yadda. When I asked if legalization would affect medical MMAR patients, he initially said no. However, upon the second meeting, something changed. My suspicion was the several news articles on the resurrection of TW**D and their political associates. So, I revisited my questions I had no fulfilment in previously and when I cornered him a second time. He opted out to say that he was in favor of letting LP’s grow Cannabis for patients and to allow the patients focus on their health and healing. This statement was also published in The Ottawa Hill Times shortly thereafter. This comment immediately changed my heart from being any type of Liberal supporter. FTR, I ended up voting NDP even though I knew they’d lose.

IMG_6292It wouldn’t be too soon after that J.T. became PM and would start dismantling the stability and wellness of sick Canadians by implementing corporate take over. His “friends” in high places have attributed to what we are seeing in Canada happen today. The new Cannabis “laws”, the radical raids, the bullying of closing local dispensaries and lounges that have served adult Canadians and sick folk alike are being stripped away from our bare hands. So now what?

While we incredulously wrap our heads around the idea of being thrown under the bus by these non-democratic policies and laws, we can easily recognize that they are implemented in a manner that will set us up to ultimately fail as citizens and as patients. Legalizing Cannabis in Canada under these guides are a mockery of our Charter and a death sentence to patients wellbeing. As a Canadian and an mmj patient, I have exercised my Rights and Freedoms with grace while advocating Cannabis for myself and patients and will continue to do so. It is important to me as a Canadian to educate other Canadians the foundation of what those rights and freedoms are, especially moving into this framework because it all will be required when the arrests begin to snowball.

In a perfect Canadian world, Cannabis would grow abundant, and we would be using hemp for fuel and sustainability rather than drilling pipelines and pissing off Mother Nature. If a plant like hemp could create energy fuel, then why aren’t we looking into this moving forward? In a rational Canadian world, Cannabis would be abundant in hybrid regulated storefronts as well as commercial operations.

Corporate Cannabis is a tyrant because the stock market requires it to be. Greed has created need. Whereas Cannabis advocates are our real pioneers, our voices and are also the ones you see at rallies handing out joints and hugs. WE are Canadian Cannabis because WE get IT.  A new black market will rise and Canadian families will fall apart. People will lose their jobs, their wellbeing, their transportation, and what’s left of their dignity. We are the freedom fighters, and we are the voices to be heard moving forward. There is a better way. This is NOT it. Legalizing Cannabis in Canada means allowing everyone to be a part of the change and the transition and ridding laws that are unlawful. This is what legalization of Cannabis has always meant to me.

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How Growing Cannabis Has Helped Me Grow Too

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Gardener’s delight.

Planting A Seed Has Helped Me In Deed

When I first decided to grow my own cannabis medicine under the laws of the Canadian Federal Government’s regulations for medicinal marijuana use, I had no idea of the benefits of growing cannabis actually had. I was under the notion that growing cannabis was the right thing to do for one’s self, which I feel it still is, but I didn’t expect to fall in love with the process of growing this beautiful plant. In my experiences in growing anything, I was rarely successful at fruitful results in those attempts. Mind you, I was growing domestic and tropical plants, some ornamental types, probably too advanced for my botany hobbying. However, with the right mentors and by educating myself with books such as Jorges Cervantes and Ed Rosenthal literature, I learned the do’s and don’ts as a cannabis gardener, while practicing “hands-on” in other friend’s gardens.

In the summer of 2011, I had a good friend who mentored me in his greenhouse so that I could learn standard greenhouse methods as well as learn his greenhouse light manipulation techniques by using sensors and motorized blinds. It was quite cool as I recall. He taught me to prune, supercrop and taught me about organic applications. In addition to this time, a different friend was mentoring me in his indoor garden using organic soil blends and some nutrients. He also experimented with hydroponics, which taught me how to root clones easier. It was my year for learning everything and anything to do with growing cannabis. I learned a lot and advanced myself quickly as a grower. I am grateful for having those experiences, and I continue to learn from some of the best growers around today.

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Remo (Master Grower) at the 1st Annual Bio Cup/Legends Valley Music Festival (photo taken by Jade Ridge)

 

In early 2012, I received my “pinks” in the mail from Health Canada saying I am allowed to grow my daily prescription of 30 grams a day. I suffer from severe arthritis so my prescription allows me to use as much as I need to daily. Under the  Health Canada Medical Marijuana regulations, my prescription allows me to produce 146 cannabis plants at any given time in a designated space.

Starting from scratch is as easy as knowing someone who is already established as a cannabis gardener and learning to clone, and I do and did. I managed to root clones from cuttings gifted to me. Other times I had been gifted seeds. When I deal with cannabis seeds, two things I consider to be important are; do I have the room to “sex” the seedlings and do I want to risk pollination on my existing female plants? The answer for me to this question has always been yes. Well, for myself to at least try once (or twice) as a cannabis grower. I’ve learned a lot by “trial and error” of cracking seeds, and the price of experimenting with seeds didn’t come cheap. I did lose a small crop and I did make other mistakes. However, had I not made those choices to try, I would never had learned how to solve those problems, nor would I have learned to sex properly. It taught me patience, understanding and love for the creation of new genetics. It also taught me to cross breed my existing genetics. In fact, I did create a strain that is on the market today and I am very proud of it. It even has a great review!

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Emma a.k.a. Snow Queen Goddess 12% THC 4% CBD

From Seed to Medicating

 

The “Give a man a fish, he will eat for a day, teach a man to fish, he will eat for life” theory applies with cannabis growing too, especially for patients. Often times, accessing cannabis is difficult, as laws prevent reasonable access for patients. I have found that with the ability to legally grow my own buds, I have had little problem accessing it and know for sure that I am using good medicine with zero pesticides. I am confident in what I am using as medicine is good because I am the one that is growing it. This makes my life that much less stressful, and wait, there’s more…

The most rewarding part about growing your own buds comes from the heart. The time, love and effort that it takes to grow your own medicine is the creme a la creme of living the cannabis lifestyle. From seedling to medication, it is the cycle of love that keeps on giving. Knowing that there is a special reciprocation between myself and a plant has made me realize that I was my path is with it. That my love for cannabis exceeds the ability to just smoke it. That I have a gift that exceeds the love for it. I hope you grow your own medicine, because it’s the right thing to do!

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The Spindle (Super Silver Haze X Tahoe OG)

 

Responsible Recreational Cannabis Adventuring

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Responsibility Is Your Mindset

 

In Canada, cannabis is legal from a medical standpoint, and is promised to be one day recreationally legalized under the new Liberal Government of Justin Trudeau. Also, throughout 23 states, cannabis is legal for either recreational and/or medical, and is ever growing. But let’s be honest here,  having a valid medical marijuana “prescription” doesn’t mean much anymore these days. People will always have a desire to be free, and they will always throw caution to the wind when it comes to law, personal freedoms, and liberty. This especially is true when it comes to the use of cannabis and the laws that encompass it globally. This brings us to the underground use of recreational weed, and all it’s taboo. Who ever thought that in America that recreational weed would be legal (not federally, only per state)? I certainly didn’t. But I suppose my guess was as good as anyone else’s. Whether it’s legal or not, medical or not, people consume it. If you have pondered exploring recreational marijuana and are needing some guidance, then you are at the right blog. Staying safe, mindful and AWARE of your environment and experience is important.  Therefore, getting high “recreationally” means preparing ahead of time.

Prepare Ahead of Time

Planning ahead will get you prepared better for those OOPS I FORGOT moments, and for those HOW DO I GET HOME moments, because we are responsible for our own safety and wellbeing. If you are planning some good old fashioned adventuring, try setting up a carpool of friends with one designated driver. If you don’t have a ride and don’t mind transit, plan your route and destinations ahead of time and make sure to put the correct information on your smartphone. Remember that if you aren’t a chronic toker, not to drive while high. New laws are forming in North America, and have huge repercussions if are caught. It just isn’t worth it.

 

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Arrange a ride for your peace of mind.

Never rely on others to have bongs and papers for you, honestly, it’s lame and you should always bring your own gear even if you only adventure casually. And hey ladies, PLEASE invest in a Hurley backpack or a Pelican for your gear because it just works better on many levels. And these work great for glass and dab gear on the go, and it fits personal things like a wallet, keys and lip balm. Another tip for you beautiful sisters out there is not to wear heels when adventuring on cannabis because you will soon realize how uncomfortable you feel. Dress comfortable head to toe and always pack a hoodie just in case. When it comes to packing devices like torches, make sure you pack a full can of butane for easy refills as your day turns to night. You’ll be the one who remembered to bring the tane 😉

When you are out adventuring, you can bring your wallet, but always also bring a realistic budget. Cannabis is expensive unless you know people, in which case, good for you! Leave your credit card at home if you can help it. One tends to blow more money when they are high and besides, you don’t want to be kicking yourself in the ass the next day over a THC hangover. Recreational cannabis, means sticking to your budget. And don’t forget that weed makes you hungry, so bring enough cash for munchies and food fan fare.

Socializing & Cannabis Etiquette

Germs aren’t cool, but we can’t always escape them. When you do share, try the cupping technique where lips only touch your hand. Mindful toking like rolling and smoking your own without sharing, is becoming more popular with illnesses and seasonal virus’. What has become more popular recently is known as bud swapping. Trading a friend a nug for a nug is a socially acceptable fair trade deal that creates dialogue among its admirers and fans. Trading buds also means you don’t have to share it right away, but roll it for when you want it, or pop it in your bong and pass it around!

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A toke is taken without directly placing mouth on the joint by doing a hand cupping technique. This is popular for hygiene and for stopping the spread of germs.

When it comes to sharing glass, and tools, it’s best to keep alcohol wipes and a lighter handy to sterilize your mouthpiece after you’ve opted to share it. If you don’t want to share your stuff, do not expect others to share, but if they do, maybe learn to share too. Besides, we often learn by setting better examples for each other. This doesn’t mean you have to give your shatter or weed all away, but be positive and offer out if others offer you the same. Reciprocation means a happy experience and establishing good relationships within your community.

When you get home safe, remember to check in with your friends if you used transit, and text them to let them know you made it home safely. If you drop someone off, text them when you get home. Being mindful enough to let someone know you made it home safe will end the night with everyone at ease. Remember tokers, you can get high, but can be responsible doing it. Happy responsible recreational cannabis adventuring everyone!