What a delight and relief to see someone show up with a few baby cannabis seedlings to give away at the Killaloe Library Plant and Book sale on May 25. This will be the first Spring that “common” “ordinary” Canadians will be able to plant and grow cannabis seeds without government license since 1937.
Before 1938 in Canada, anyone and everyone could legally grow cannabis (hemp) as much as they liked. And it was grown for food & feed, for medicine, for textiles, clothing, rope, oil, fuel, paper, and so much more. Then corporate interests got together and lobbied government to ban the plant, ban planting the seeds. As if a plant that had been grown by the first settlers of Canada and up until that time had suddenly become dangerous. Government was telling farmers they could not grow a plant their ancestors had grown for thousands of years. Humans were being told what they could grow on their own private property, land for which they were paying taxes.
Previous to the 1930s, natural and plant medicines were the conventional medicines, and pharmaceutical companies were the “alternative” and were looking to get a toehold on the market and in the public mind. Media, like newspapers, radio, and movies were used to put out propaganda that cannabis was very dangerous.
When the US Congress was holding hearings about banning cannabis in 1937, one of the main supporters of keeping it legal was the American Medical Association. They said: “Cannabis is a very useful medicine for people and we know how to use it.” The pharmaceutical industry said: “We can replace it.” and they did, though they did not mention all the dangerous side affects or costs of their “replacements”.
Sadly, medical research on the possibilities of healing with Cannabis got stopped 80 years ago … and only really got going again 20 years ago. Thankfully, “The Sacred Plant” docuseries (www.thesacredplant.com) has interviewed doctors, researchers, experts and survivors to reveal what has been learned in the recent past years about the proper use of Cannabis for preventing, treating and even beating 32-plus chronic diseases. (their videos are also up on YouTube.com) The key is knowing which strains of Cannabis is appropriate for one’s condition, and this information is now getting out to the public.
The research is also showing that hemp strains of Cannabis have high CBD, and minuscule THC, to help with so many human ailments, and absolutely don’t intoxicate or cause dependence. Can you imagine chronic pain relief without opiates or opioids? Can you imagine a plant that anyone can grow (ok, not everyone has a green thumb) that can release people from addictions to opioids? Did the pharmaceutical companies know in the 1930s that Cannabis could help arthritis, ease pain, and even cure cancer? Likely so, in my opinion.
Locally we are blessed with Cannabis dispensaries at Pikwàkanagàn that sell products with clearly stated and tested quantities of CBD and THC.
I note that Ontario’s Cannabis store online is only selling seeds for two THC strains of cannabis, 4 seeds for $60. Imagine what it would cost to plant a farmer’s field at that rate. There’s nothing like prohibition to charge prices like that.
Thankfully, unsprouted Cannabis seeds are not illegal by themselves and can be located online and elsewhere. For people wanting high CBD and low THC, Ontario is not ready to help you. You’ll have to help yourself.
This summer Canadians can plant and harvest soil grown, organic Cannabis, and thus begin to loosen their dependence on the pharmaceutical industry and government monopolies.