Vancouver Vacation Jan. 14 – 25

Ganja Greetings,

It’s official, I’m returning to Vancouver, BC for a vacation Saturday Jan. 14 until Wednesday Jan 25. The city rioted within hours of my arrival last time. Hopefully people can contain their excitement of the cannabis champion of the world visiting. Unlike my many Vancouver visits that are often a weekend long – this one has no schedule of places I have to be at. There is a small work component to my trip. The collecting, photographing and writing of 50 – 60 marijuana strains for my guide – which will be released worldwide in the fall of 2012 by Green Candy Press. Best, this gives my book some great balance between weed toked in the east and west.

Cannabis Champion of the World

It’s a lofty goal to photograph 60 cannabis strains, but I’ve brought in strain hunting heavyweight Mark Kush from iMedikate dispensary. Their medical marijuana menu will probably get me halfway to my goal. He’ll be picking me up at the airport on Saturday night. With plenty of time in the night remaining we can hit the town toking. I’m really excited to chill with Mark because he knows how to travel!
My friend Sita at GreenHarvest is also a seasoned traveler, toker and dare I say it, troublemaker.  We’re planning a Hot Yoga session (a hobby I’m taking up this year), Dine Out Vancouver, a walk-about, and probably a spa day because I need a hair cut. Who knows what kind of traveler trouble-making we will get into.
No Vancouver trip is complete without spending time with onetime Hamilton Hash Mob member Adam. He’s done very well for himself in Vancouver. We always have a great visit. Seeing sites, talking, and toking. We saw the place where Hendrix lived when he stayed in Vancouver to play in Tommy Chong’s band.
That’s the spine of my visit. With many more people to add and places and things to do to be added in the coming days.There are times when I’m scheduled to be at the Cannabis Culture Headquarters. This is a great opportunity for people to come out and chill. I’ll have my photography equipment with me to shoot your strains.
Mik Mann has asked me to appear on his Livestream show Monday, Jan. 16. Then I’m going to do The Mernahuana Show from CCHQ on Tuesday, Jan. 17 at 1:00 pm Vancouver time, airing it at Vapor Central for 4pm. Kind of like how Letterman would go on the road. I’m back Friday to smoke out Cannabis Culture News host Jeremiah Vandermeer. To ensure victory I’m bringing my own strains! I will admit last time I did require the wall to hold me up. However I did continue to inhale and grind up weed and was still suffering from jet lag. I’ll have a week to adjust and train with Sita and Mark.
It’s going to be a great vacation. I’m excited to get some more mental rest before taking on The Man, March 5 & 6 in Ontario Court of Appeal. When I get back I’ll be putting the pedal to metal finishing up my strain guide (March deadline) and working with lawyer Paul Lewin on the government’s appeal. With 4/20/12 quickly thereafter and May a complete month dedicated to marijuana plus a positive ruling by June – this is by far the best time for me to take a vacation.

Memo From The Grow Room A Pothead In Ford Nation


“I just picture Rob Ford sitting behind his desk with a crown on his head, a giant turkey leg in his right hand, barking, ‘NEXT!’” Room mate Dave’s Not Here laid a serious head trip on me when I spoke about my intention to attend Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Levee at City Hall. The annual day when Toronto city hall opens its doors to residents is News Year Day – for a mayoral meet and greet. Except his worship changed the traditional date – going back to 1968 – with one of his own choosing, January 2.

Ford can blame Toronto alt-weekly NOW for tipping the people off to the day change. Friendly folks – after all most in line are happy to be here because it’s like meeting Santa or Mick Foley or Justin Bieber – said they showed up News Year Day. Ford the record, Toronto city hall website does list the day as Jan. 2. Beside true Ford Nation fans know Sunday is football. With games heavy with playoff berth action it was bound to be extra exciting for Ford Sunday Football. A haven known to Toronto Police Service for its drunken good times and 911 calls.
I know all this because I have a twisted fascination with Conservatives. My fandom goes so far I’m willing to line up for 40 minutes (told it was 20) to shake hands, pose for a photo and exchange pleasantries. Today is not the day to roast Rob Ford. We have all year for that.
In Toronto mayor Ford gets more ink than Prime Minister Harper. His celebrity is so over alt-weekly NOW has used his naked likeness twice on their cover in one year. The Naked Ambition cover became a piece of political art – Woody Harelson got in on the act for his NOW cover photo shoot weeks later it stirred such a fuss. An exceptionally rare feat is happening here. Something Mayor David Miller never accomplished during his eight year reign. Miller never inspired me to lineup on a cold winter day.  Nor did he have NOW editors call Mayor Miller’s people to ask if he would pose naked with just his prop political broom. Are Toronto taste makers trying to say we love it better when it’s served to us overcooked, ugly and sour?
Ford sells as a heel and baby face. It’s his extravagant microphone skills. He works a mic like a pro…wrestler. Whipping up both boos and cheers. He puts civic butts in seats. Mayor Miller could never sell seats, papers and airtime like Ford does. The intensity is so hot in Mayor Rob Ford Media Room his press adviser quit because she couldn’t handle his heat.
He claims his mayor celebrity draws cranks – like the one Shania Twain had. When CBC comedy show This Hour Has 22 Minutes tried to include him in a gag he became fearful and fled into his home to dial 911. On Christmas cops returned to confront a drunken Ford, who was threatening to take his children to Florida. I’m making bets Ford will be arrested before his term is out. Back at the levee it was an activist in handcuffs. Forcefully removed by security. Ford hung on to finish the meet and greet, but was clearly visibly shaken when I came up for my opportunity.
Did he smell the leftist in me or the weed? If it was the weed, he should have asked, I’d hook him up. Despite legal implications no one would argue a stoned Ford is better than a drunk Ford. I was all over getting a great photo with the mayor I didn’t want to spook him. I did my classic fan boy smile for him. “This is for my FaceBook profile, Mr. Mayor!” I gleefully encouraged him. Unfortunately I couldn’t get him to break into a Chris Farley pose. Maybe next year.
Afterwards, I could have bitched about something like the Comprehensive Review of Vapor Lounges or that stupid marijuana grow room prohibition bylaw he passed when he was sitting on Licensing and Standards Committee or the nightmare that is 29 Dufferin bus, instead I wished him good fortune and he enthusiastically did the same.
Our city and mayor need some luck because according to NOW and Toronto Star we’re fucked. Toronto, apparently, will only be saved by the kind of luck that disables a mayor with a lightening bolt. I’d write heart attack, but I’m also taking bets Toronto mayor has heart attack before his term is out.
I was anticipating meeting my city councilor. The seconder to the terrible lounge review and chair of the licensing and standards committee. However, we’ll probably pass each other at DeSotos, where I met my MPP the other night. There was a few councilors on the receiving line, but not nearly enough to hold quorum for a council meeting. Or even a committee meeting for that matter. I did speak with councilor Mike Layton, who’s father was the late MP Jack Layton, regarding the comprehensive vapour lounge review and the grow bylaw. He is aware of these problems. Asking me how lounges remained opened. That was one thing he didn’t understand, why police just couldn’t close them. The charge is too trivial (simple possession) for Toronto Police Service to make time, I explained. He agreed Toronto Police Service would be better suited to more challenging issues.
I’m focused on a positive outcome with the review, like my charter challenge, in 2012. We all need a little good fortune in the months ahead, even our mortal enemy the mayor.

Protesters Disrupt Mayor Levee CTV Toronto Video

Praise And Pans For Rob Ford Globe and Mail

Mernagh Marijuana News Maker of the Year?


Plenty of media outlets have released their news maker of the year. With Time magazine giving The Protester their annual person of the year. The death of Jack Layton and Occupy Movement is making rounds as the top news story. Some outlets have suggested the Conservative majority is news of the year, but those media are hoping to get back into prime minister’s office (PMO) good book. Maybe the recognition will have PMO staffers start returning media calls. Funny how an organization, currently referring to itself as The Harper Government, not Canadian Government, can be awarded news maker of the year, but shut out the press at the same time. Other than Layton’s untimely death, I figured I had a shot at least at honorable mention with R v. Mernagh.

I didn’t even make the NORML year in review. However, I feel much about better declaring myself marijuana news maker of the year after NORML decided their recently filed lawsuit was worthy of the number one ranking. They haven’t even won. We knocked down the marijuana laws. Number two on their list is the first marijuana legalization legislation has been introduced in US Congress. I’d say that is rather important.

Here’s my argument on why I should be thought of news maker of the year.

1) My name was a Google News Trend. Appearing on the CBC national news program The National was considered top of the pots for the prince of pot, Marc Emery. The Google news trend is the new weed high water mark.

2) Front page exposure on Digg, Reddit and Stumble Upon. The sudden thrust of excitement that the marijuana laws had been struck down in Canada created a huge reader jolt on not just my site, but WhyProhibition and Cannabis Culture. My email and site would go down for weeks from the flood of inquiries. Just keeping above the fray proved challenging.

3) International News – I found news of our win in far flung places like New Zealand. Possibly the only Canadian news the paper ran all year. They don’t know what a Harper is, but they know what a Mernagh is. We provided pot hope in other countries. Canada is leading the way to legalization.

4) The coverage continues. A few weeks ago I got a call from the Ottawa Citizen. They had acquired a large database of medical marijuana information and wanted to pick my brain. The Citizen nailed Health Canada to the wall in the same manner we did in court. Simply put when it comes to these stats, that were not accepted in the R v. Mernagh ruling, you’re slightly fucked in some places, your mostly fucked in most places, and your outright fucked everywhere else. I was really happy with the incredible national coverage and mini site. Plus having my photo on the front page of a bunch of newspapers across Canada that was taken in your grow room is awesome.

5) “The government of Canada is disturbed by this ruling.” Minister of Justice MP Rob Nicholson quote in the Niagara Falls Review. Possibly one of the proudest moments of the year is this comment from MP Nicholson on our win.

6) Public Prosecutions Canada issues a press release regarding their R v. Mernagh appeal.

7) The other news maker of the year would be the passage of mandatory marijuana minimum sentencing in Canada for growers. That news just bums me out!

The Mernahuana Show Ontario Election Special


The last election special I’ll be hosting for sometime is taking place today (Thursday, Oct. 6) at Vapor Central. The Mernahuana Show is doing a Thursday night crossover with regularly scheduled Third Klass Comedy. It’s going to be interesting because comedians will add the necessary vibe that is actually found inside Queens Park. They’ll provide antics. I’ll provide the politics.
The CBC‘s big woe is to show a Toronto Maple Leafs home opener or not. Against Montreal Canadians no less! Until a Toronto Maple Leaf home opener is declared an Ontario holiday this problem won’t be solved. Who’s going to promise that Freedom Party’s Matthew Oliver?
Outside of Ontario few people actually care about our provincial election. A Bob Rae play is not known in other provinces. Outside of their own province people just don’t know who provincial political players are. I could name a British Columbia premier, such as Glenn Campbell, but who’s their new person. (I could google the answer, but like I said, we don’t really care what happens in other provinces.) It’s not even an Ontario thing. Quebec has Jean Charest, but he has been premier forever. Two days ago Manitoba won a fourth NDP majority. But that was national news.
Apparently some farmers somewhere love socialism. Not Ontario farmers! Where it’s the opposite. Cities vote for the orange and rural vote for the blue. Except northern ontario where ondp has a manitoba like love affair with the party. Creating a rural vs. urban divide in the caucus. Ontario NDP could make some gains in Ontario as the province heads to minority government possibilities. The polls are showing a deadheat! With premier Dalton McGuinty pulling ahead of Conservative Tim Hudak in the last legs…we think.andrea horwath Hudak is sucking wind coming down the homestretch despite being propped up by the Toronto Sun. Who are also predicting the Leaf’s make the playoffs! People didn’t really know this young MPP who has been around since the province was ruined by premier Mike Harris. Then they discovered they didn’t much care for him either.

Voters want all three parties to work out well thought out solutions. Politicians and pundits complain minorities don’t work. Unfortunately, media (both traditional and social) short term memory (and they complain about potheads) has everyone unaware that Ontario had a minority government during the economic crisis of the ‘70s. The NDP under the leadership of Stephen Lewis and Progressive Conservative Bill Davis stewarded Ontario beautifully.

Here in his own words Premier Davis explains how it worked, “I actually respected the opposition and their leaders. Sure, we had our public moments in the house, but we had pretty good relationships. That’s the secret of minority management.” (Toronto Star Sept. 10/2010) We need two leaders to step up for the sake of province to demonstrate leadership. Though Davis hasn’t been welcome in the party in decades he is thought of positively in the province on all sides of the political spectrum. His progressive stance on community colleges, social programs and health care can no longer be found in Tim Hudak’s Conservatives. Which are based on Mike Harris political bully principals. Hudak’s wife Deb Hutton was Harris chief of staff and got those “fucking Indians” out of Ipperwash. By having the OPP shoot Dudley George. Then forgot about it completely…And you thought Premier Bob Rae was bad.

Hudak won’t play well with others. In fact he’ll go the route of Prime Minister Harper and do anything, but work well. A summer BBQ video showing Harper encouraging Toronto supporters to pull off a political hatrick has been pulled by YouTube numerous times after complaints from the Prime Ministers Office or Hudak’s campaign team. Weirdly it’s not that bad of video, but I guess they don’t want the association with Mayor Rob Ford who hosted the BBQ and PM Harper.
Depending on how bad Premier McGuinty falls into minority status he may step down. It’d be great if their interim leader was their most seasoned politician MPP Jim Bradely. Who handed me my grade eight diploma! A leaderless Libs would pave the way for a better Lib-NDP partnership. New Democrats haven’t ruled out working with either. Much like Stephen Lewis it’d be on a bill-by-bill basis…but it won’t be Hudak.

dalton mcguinty
In fact leader Andrea Horwath basic speech for the past two years to New Demorats has been about how Queens Park has become nothing more than a grade school playground and she’s the mom to keep the boys under control. You’d think she was predicting a minority… I most recently saw her give this style speech at Vancouver federal NDP convention, but haven’t seen it on the campaign trail.
Vapor Central staff will be keeping track of Freedom Party votes as they come in on some kind of big board. With a friendly competition among cannabis enthusiasts to see who will garner the most votes. Tune in tonight to The Mernahuana Show at 8 p.m. for alternative coverage of Ontario election. Yah I know people outside of Ontario are not interested whatsoever in provincial politics, but the comedy will be awesome and my election special outfit is more than worth toking and tuning into.
Tim Hudak