Northern Ontario Kim
Where It All Began
I began consuming cannabis at a pretty young age; I was turning
14 soon and in Junior High.
Of course, I started recreationally, it was 1977 and there wasn’t any information on medical cannabis anywhere. Back then in Toronto, I was considered a wild teen that came from a rocky family background. I was bounced around in the Children’s Aid Society for years and that instability left me rebellious during my youth. With little to no guidance and no permanent living situation, Yonge Street was my playground much of the time. I grew up fast, mostly because I had too.
I developed a seizure condition when I was about 12 years old. Doctors diagnosed me as having Epilepsy after recurring episodes of grand-mal seizures became more frequent over the course of a year. To control it I was placed on some very heavy pharmaceuticals, Dilantin, and Phenobarbital. The pills left me listless most times. I was always tired. They got stuck in my throat and I just hated taking the pills!
I was on the heavy meds for just over a year when I started
experimenting with cannabis. Usual teenage stuff, with friends from school. (It
was the 70’s!)
Around the same time, I started rebelling against my guardians about taking the pills.
Meeting friends for a toke became a daily event, when I consumed, I just felt better. I mean ya, I “got high” but after I came down, I always just “felt better.” Back then, this feeling was attributed to addiction.
My consumption became more and more frequent. I “got caught”
several times in the early days! Guardians, school personnel, social workers, I
didn’t care. I owned up to it every time.
In early 1978 I went to a
neurology appointment at Toronto Western Hospital. I was one of the first 100
people to get a CT scan in the city from the new tech advancing into the
hospital. They looked at my brain for the cause of the seizures. A small tumour
was found, just a spec, but enough to cause my issues they said.
During that appointment, my guardian at that time (I refer to her as “Mom” from here on out) jumped on the opportunity to literally tell on me to the Doctor!
“Well she stopped taking her pills & she’s smoking that pot!” she said. lmfao.
I looked at the Doc and said, “Yup that’s right, and I haven’t had a seizure for a month, so I don’t need the pills anymore”
To my surprise, the doc sat up and said “Well, there are studies that say marijuana can have an effect on seizure activity….”
Well I almost fell over; my mom’s eyeballs were poppin’ and I burst into laughter out of sheer joy while the social worker looked dumbfounded!
After a few minutes for us all to digest (and for me embrace) what the Doc had just said, he went on to tell us about studies in the 1940’s and the use of cannabis pre-prohibition.
Did I get lucky or what?! I got the Bohemian Doc from Switzerland telling my mom & social workers to let me smoke pot! Lol
Now don’t get me wrong,
back then I don’t even know if I actually believed it myself. I mean to me, a
rebellious teen, it was a great excuse to smoke pot!
My mom never hassled me about it again and I could smoke pot in the house. Mom even defended me to friends and family always saying, “The Doctor Said It Was Okay”!
I never took another pill for seizures again. Even though I didn’t make the connection at the time, the episodes of seizure activity became less and less frequent as my consumption went up. I have been seizure free now since 1995.
After that appointment with the neurologist, being the rebel
that I was, I dove head-first into finding out what I could about cannabis, the
medical connections and prohibition.
Now this was in the days before we had any computers, cell phones, or any tech! We had newspapers, magazines, books, microfiche, and the telephone.
I found an organisation called NORML, got an address and signed up, by mail!
NORML is the National Organisation to Reform Marijuana Laws and they are based in the USA. They sent me a large envelope with a petition & pages for people to sign. The petition was to show support to bring NORML to Canada.
So there I was, with my newfound freedom and drive, standing on Yonge Street in Toronto asking people walking by to sign my petition and telling them my story with the Dr.. I filled all 10 pages that they sent me. I sent them right back with a sense of pride for the first time in my life.
Ahh the 70’s! Where it all began
To Be Continued…
Next up it’s Disco, Big Hair and a Baby
Gotta Be The 80’s!
Disco, Big Hair and a Baby
80’s arrived, so did NORML Canada. I remember feeling a sense of accomplishment
when I heard we got enough signatures and they had launched in Canada.
also brought more insights for me about who I was and where I came from. I was
able to meet my birth father, Lyle, for the first time. I was 18 and moved to
West Virginia in 1981.
By then I
was consuming cannabis daily, all day long. I was a bong girl, never really
cared too much for joints, they always made me cough. Still very rebellious and
struggling with issues of abandonment, I never gave much thought from one
moment to the next about what I was doing or if it was safe. I was partying,
carefree as far as the world knew, not so much on the inside.
Now I was headed to the States, thinking it would be the same as Toronto! I mean, isn’t everywhere? I mean, that’s where NORML is based, so it can’t be that different right?
Virginia. Where the gas station is the post office and the corner store that
has a pinball machine in it kinda town! Lol
father is native Indian, married and has two young kids. He owns a few racehorses
and has stables at the Charles Town racetrack. He also has a stud horse on a
farm in the area. Ya, he’s a track guy.
arrived at his home, I met my 2 sisters and his wife, and I looked around at
what would be my new digs. My now trained eye goes straight to the kitchen
table. I spot a pile of ground pot in the center of the table and 2 corn cob
pipes beside a couple of coffee cups! I immediately smiled. Well Then! Maybe
it’s in the gene’s I thought!
The next day I was taken out back to the garden. Lyle showed me where his Six-foot-tall plants were in the far corner of the lot among some trees. They fit right in, in height and stature. By then Lyle had explained to me that no, it was not like Toronto there. Cannabis was strictly forbidden. You could not even buy rolling papers in the State and those plants could get him a 10-year sentence!
Yes West Virginia was vastly different. Did I mention they also had segregation as well?
time I was there Lyle taught me about growing cannabis and I learned a lot
about the plant from him. It seemed to be the one thing we could connect on,
without feeling awkward. He also taught me to make my own corn cob pipe and
decorate it with some shells we picked up at the beach. With no rolling papers
or headshops in that state, you made your own pipes! When they clogged, you
tossed it and made another.
I stayed in
WVa for about a year before I had to make a quick exit back to Canada and home
to Toronto. And oh, what a year that
was! In the end things did not work out so well getting to know Lyle, but that’s
a story for another blog…
When I got
back home to Toronto one of the first things I did was head up to College
Street to the used books stores. I found a book on growing, called The
Marijuana Grower’s Handbook, written by Ed Rosenthal. The book was well used
both prior to my purchase as well as after!
I got my start growing with what I learned from Lyle, and Ed guided me after that for over 2 decades. I have had plants ever since.
In 1985 I
was 22 and pregnant with my first child. Still consuming daily when I got
pregnant, of course I started to think about my consumption and the effects on
the baby I was carrying. I did not believe that cannabis was harmful, I never
have, but as with all soon to be moms I wanted to do the right thing for my
unborn child. I decided to stop. Within 1 week of quitting I started feeling
nauseous to the point it was hard to eat anything. Then I had a mild seizure
about 10 days into my abstinence. It was not a grand mal seizure, I remained
conscious for this one. Another first.
history, I decided to go back to smoking cannabis to stop the seizures from
returning during the pregnancy. I smoked a few bongs daily, some in the morning
then again at night throughout my pregnancy. I never experienced any further
issues, until her birth.
I went into labor on December 4th, 1985, 3 weeks past my due date! We went to the hospital only to have a nurse examine me and tell me I was not ready yet. “Not yet, go home” they said. 6 hours later I returned, the same nurse examined me, and I was told nope not yet, once again. “You are contracting, but the baby does not want to drop…” she said.
This was repeated 2 more times and I finally lost it! I was faint from lack of food and pregnant for 10 months already, I wanted to be done. They admitted me and put me on an IV.
4 days passed since the start of labor, on December 8th the doctor arrived, I was finally ready, and I was having a baby.
Things progressed normally after that, but I was exhausted from the 4-day ordeal. I was in the delivery room when just after the baby’s head was delivered my Doctor looked at me to tell me to push one more time. I remember our eyes locking as his voice seemed to be slipping away. He knew right away; I was about to have a seizure.
With the baby halfway out, she would be strangled in that position with me having a seizure. He pushed down on my stomach and pulled her out. That is the last thing I remember about the birth of my first child. As I suspected, I had a grand mal seizure and wound up in critical care for 24 hours, most of that I was sedated. It had been 5 days since I consumed any cannabis.
The baby was born happy and healthy thanx to the attention my doctor was paying while I was in labor and delivery. She is now in her mid 30’s and working as a registered nurse in Toronto.
The remainder of the 80’s was uneventful as far as cannabis milestones or epiphanies.
I was raising my daughter and still being my bold outspoken self when it came to cannabis, however, it was more selective in certain circles now I was a mom.
I was still growing my plants and learning what I could, but the drive I had to engage with NORML had now shifted to raising a family.
The 80’s, Disco
& Big Hair Era is over
To Be Continued…
Next up it’s
the Dot Com Era, Gen X and more Babies
Going into the 90’s!
Dot Com, Gen X and More Babies
The 90’s are here, and the Dot Com era arrived. Gen X becomes a thing, and I was ready for more babies. It was a relatively quiet year as far as cannabis goes, with a few exceptions.
knew I wanted lots of kids. 5 was a good number I thought!
It was 1990 and I was pregnant with my second child.
My life was taking another twist, that started at the end of the 80’s, a custody battle was brewing over my daughter. Of course, my cannabis consumption was wielded against me once again. I would spend the next 5 years in court. More on that a bit later.
During my second pregnancy I made the decision to not stop consuming this time. I had learned a lot in the last decade about cannabis and the medicinal values. Active participation in the movement was put on the backburner to concentrate on family, but I was still learning what I could, when I could. I knew from the last pregnancy; abstinence was not an option.
My second daughter was born happy and healthy in January of 1991. Another late delivery, I carried again for an extra 2 weeks! She finally arrived and was delivered without incident. Another healthy and happy girl.
By 1993 I was carrying my 3rd, and what would be my final child.
During the early winter of 1993 we were raided. It was the first time I had ever had the experience. I had 4 plants growing in a secret wall closet in the basement of our townhouse. They were the unfinished plants remaining from the full crop of 30 plants we had just harvested a few weeks earlier!
The Police entered, they went straight to the basement closet, knowing exactly where it was. When they opened it, they looked surprised! They asked a lot of questions about the plants, and how long I was growing them. When I answered, it seemed to just be a confirmation of info they already knew, except when it came to how many their were. They searched the house, but not the yard or garden shed, which is where the harvest was hanging to dry!
I was charged with possession and cultivation of a controlled substance, from 4 unfinished plants. When we received the disclosure, that is when I knew the raid was a result of someone involved in the custody dispute of my first born. The charges were eventually dropped. I still have no criminal record for cannabis or any drugs.
In March 1994 I was ready to deliver my third child, this one would be a boy. Another late baby that didn’t want to leave the nest! Once again, I carried an extra 2 weeks. Once again there were no issues once he decided he was ready. I had 3 children, all happy and healthy and I never stopped my consumption while carrying any of them. Today all 3 have post secondary education, all 3 are living productive lives.
During the Summer of 1996, the newspapers were focused on a case before the courts. Terry Parker Jr had some plants seized and was arrested during a raid. He said the plants were his medicine and he had a right to have them. This changed everything for me once again, bringing activism back into my life.
I did not know Terry then, but the news that someone else was using cannabis to control seizures, and was in court for it, lit another fire under my ass given what I had gone through just a few years prior, with the raid we experienced.
communicating again with NORML, only it was NORML Canada now!
I was back at it, where it all began, this time getting people to sign up for the monthly newsletter.
case was heard in court in December 1997. “Judge Patrick Sheppard ruled that certain sections of the Controlled
Drug and Substances Act are unconstitutional in cases where marijuana is used
for medically-approved purposes.”
Terry Won! This solidified my determination even further. I had to get back into advocating for the plant.
I followed along with the news reports as the case was appealed by the crown, eventually Terry prevailed in all appeals. This is the case that lead to the change in Canada’s cannabis laws. It was the birth of the Canadian Medical Cannabis Program, later named the MMAR.
In 1999 I attended my first cannabis rally. The GMM, or Million Man March. It was held the first weekend in May in Toronto and cities across the globe. My oldest daughter marched with me for support. It was the first time I had a sense of belonging, I felt I was a part of something right. I was realizing the movement was much larger than I knew in Canada and we met a lot of people there.
The GMM became an annual event for me, until the Toronto event stopped for a few years in the new millennia. I’m glad it came back, and I still attend every year unless I am hosting one in the north.
computers were now a thing and the information highway was open.
The coming years would fast-track my cannabis education, activism, and solidify my life focus yet again.
The 90’s Dot Com Entry, Gen X and my baby making days are coming to an end
To be continued…
Next up it’s the new Millenia- Y2K, Reality TV & Harry Potter
2000’s are here!
2000's The New Millenia
Y2k, Potter-Mania, and Reality TV
It was 2000, the new millennia. 1999 eclipsed into the history books as easily as every other year and Y2K panic subsided around the globe.
At the end of the 90’s we left the
city and moved to a rural farm community just outside Barrie Ontario. Clearview
was nestled between Wasaga Beach & Angus.
I was driving a transit bus in Newmarket and did the 1-hour commute daily from the farm, while hubby worked at the Honda plant in Aliston. Two good jobs, both with good income.
We were growing our cannabis along a creek than ran through the back of the farm. Being in a rural area gave us the opportunity to increase the amount we grew. I was attending the GMM as well as the 420 Toronto rally’s annually.
In 2000 we started planning for our future even further. We purchased some farmland in Northern Ontario to retire on, 150 acres in Englehart Ontario. We were doing great; life was coming together nicely. Until it wasn’t.
In 2001, my hubby was injured on the job, he damaged his shoulder working the line. A misdiagnosis of the injury caused further damage and now he needed surgery. He would never be able to return to working the line again. In his mid 40’s he returned to school to train for a new career in purchasing and would spend the next three years in college.
In early 2002 my Doctor found a small lump during a breast exam. After doing some testing, the Doctor recommended removal because of my strong family history with Cancer. A small lump was removed, along with a section of my breast. At my post surgery appointment, they called it a “Pre-cancerous tumour” and told me I should not have any further issues.
By the Summer of 2002 we were
fairly accomplished outdoor growers and had a great stable strain of cannabis
that everyone loved. So, we ramped up, just a bit.
It was end of season; plants were about ready for harvest when we noticed a helicopter started spending what seemed like extended periods of time over the farm. We were close to Base Borden, so choppers were a common site, but this one seemed to be hanging around. We knew, they spotted the plants. We waited in the house for it to leave the area and as soon as it was gone we darted outside to the creek behind the house. Hatchets in hand, we started chopping! We got the entire crop of 50 plants pulled down in under an hour & stashed in the woods.
A few hours had passed since the chopper was there the first time, when it returned. This time, we sat out back in lawn chairs and watched it with binoculars, while the kids played in the field. The chopper hoovered overhead; in the vicinity it was when they spotted the plants. It hoovered there for an extended time, then began moving over from one side to the next, back, and forth. You could almost see them scratching their heads saying, “Well where did it go?” “I know it was right here, wasn’t it?!”
They floated around up there for about 40 mins, looking for the plants they had spotted when flying by earlier. We laughed while puffing a joint in the yard, mimicking what we pictured them doing, scratching their heads looking bewildered. This time we avoided the raid!
Then, in late October 2002 I had a major motor vehicle accident just outside Barrie, Ontario on the way home from work. The injuries I sustained that night, both physical as well as mentally would be devastating for me, and our family. Back, shoulder and arm damage would cause reoccurring pain for the foreseeable future, and of course, I could no longer work, especially driving a bus.
There we were, facing financial ruin less than 2 years from being on top of the world. Now with 2 mortgages, three kids, and no jobs, something had to give.
A few months later, we made the
decision to keep the property that had the lowest payments. That was the
It’s 2003 and we were moving to Northern Ontario sooner rather than later, 20 years earlier than planned.
The Doctors put me on one narcotic after another to control the pain in my back and legs. Dozens of antidepressants were prescribed over that time to combat the depression I had fallen into from the narcotics and constant pain I was experiencing. I was diagnosed as having PTSD, Depression, and Chronic Pain. Within 2 years of that accident I was eating 16 pills a day and wearing a narcotic patch. My life was now a blur, my children's mother was gone, my husband became my caregiver & held the family together.
I only have vague memories of Birthdays, Christmases, and Anniversaries from those years today. I was going through the motions of life, almost on autopilot, without any real sense of time or presence. I participated in my kids lives only when I could muster the energy to get up off the couch, which wasn’t often anymore. I was becoming more and more irritable and lost my patients regularly. I became cynical, adversarial, and confrontational to almost everyone. I had become a functional addict with a sanctioned prescription from my Doctor for PTSD, Depression and Chronic Pain, so that made it Okay somehow, to everyone.
My life went downhill fast during that 7 years, until I woke up to my new reality that was then surrounding me. I had a moment of clarity one day that I believe saved my life. I literally just looked around, at my Livingroom for about 5 mins, wondering WTF was going on. I started to cry and just broke down when it hit me like a ton of bricks, 7 years had passed. My hubby rushed over too me, thinking I was in pain or having a bad PTSD episode. I just looked at him, and then I asked, "How did I get here?"
The Millenia emerged with a bang and I missed most of it, Y2K never materialized, reality TV is now a thing, and we made it through the Potter craze
To be continued…
Next up it’s 2010 with Awakenings, Social Media, and Back to Life
Awakenings, Social Media, and Back to Life
The end of 2009 I started caring about my life, and what was happening to me. I became present once again. I started engaging with my children, though I was struggling to maintain focus and I had ballooned out to about 160lbs, which was also eating up my energy and slowing me down. The lack of focus as well as the weight gain was all due to the 16 pills per day I was eating, and the heavy dose of Fentanyl I was on. I was still smoking cannabis, but not nearly as much as I used too. I knew I had to regain control over my life and started planning to wean myself off all the prescription drugs.
My kids were on the internet, on a relatively new platform that launched some years prior for college students. Only 2 of my kids were still at home, both were teenagers. They were on a new website called Facebook. I didn’t explore it at all, not really, it seemed it was just a place for kids to gather and talk. I opened an account, only to keep track of what my kids were doing and who they were talking too. I had no idea how large of an impact this platform would have on me in the future.
After doing months of research on what I was prescribed, I was horrified. How could I have allowed this to happen? Armed with the information I had on all of the drugs I was on, I headed to the Doctor in Spring 2010, to inform him I wanted off the pills. He disagreed, of course! I did it anyway, without his help, but I did it very slowly. The research I had done told me to go slow and drop down in small increments, one pill at a time. My fear of life without them, after being on them for so long, pushed that agenda even further back. It would take me over 3 years to free myself from the pills alone, then I began weaning myself off the Fentanyl.
My cannabis consumption increased as the pharma decreased, I was slowly coming back to life. I was spending more time in the garden with my medicine. I was paying attention to what was going on in my children’s lives, and I was back to being a wife to my husband. It was a time of awakening for me.
By 2011 I was back to attending the cannabis rally’s being held in Toronto. At the 420 that year, I learned about an expo that was held at the Conference center called “The Treating Yourself Cup” in May and I knew I had to attend.
When I returned from the 420 event that year, excited about pursuing activism once again, my older children introduced me to groups on Facebook. “There are cannabis groups on here ya know mom.” Well! “Why didn’t someone show me this sooner!” I said. The kids then instructed me on how to use the platform. I quickly found out I was not tracking them at all on this platform all this time, they were in groups where conversations were “Private”, and I had no clue! By this point, all but one was moved out, so they figured it was safe to tell me.
Once again, I found myself in a whole new world of like-minded people. That is also when I first learned about Owen smith, and the challenge for patients to extract their medicine.
The TY Expo was the first cannabis conference I attended, and it was great! I spoke to Irving Rosenfeld about his federally authorized use of cannabis in the USA and met a ton of people, just like me. I learned there was so much more to cannabis as a medicine than I ever imagined. I learned about extracts, edibles, and how much it helped with other conditions I was also suffering from. That event put me on a track that would spawn my dedication to education and activism for the plant. I had missed so much in the last 8 years.
I attended the event every year, to soak in the information and sense of community that was provided from the grassroots movement in the city, until its final year in 2013.
It was late 2011 when another lump was discovered in my breast. My birth mother had died from breast cancer at the age of 50, and this was the second one found for me, so I was scared. My mother had several surgeries, did chemotherapy as well as radiation. At the end, she was unrecognizable as the person she once was. I knew I was not doing that, no matter what. My second breast surgery was being planned and more of my breast would be removed.
When I had surgery to remove the lump, they said they “got good margins”. Armed with what I had learned about extracted oil and cancer, I went on the “Rick Simpson Protocol” when I was released from hospital and recovered. I have been eating my oil ever since. No cancer or lumps have returned.
In early 2014, I found out about a new expo being hosted, on the same weekend as the TY expo was held, at the same location. This one was being hosted by CHAMP’s/NORML. I reached out once again to NORML Canada to volunteer. That was the year I met Jack Lloyd, a Law student, and my contact person at NORML Canada. Jack is a great guy that helped guide me back into activism. He is now a lawyer in the cannabis community, giving patients as well as others knowledgeable representation in court.
After exchanging some emails and talking on the phone, we met at Queens Park on the day of the GMM. I spent the day helping out where needed at the NORML booth, selling T-shirts as well as wondering through the crowds gathering signatures and emails for the newsletter. Jack looked shocked when I returned after a short time with all the pages he had given me already full. At the end of the day I was invited to work the booth at the upcoming Conference at the convention center.
The CHAMPs/NORML conference was enlightening, working behind the scenes for the first time. I met activists, patients, entrepreneurs, and execs that weekend, all in cannabis! I made connections, friends, and expanded my knowledge base about cannabis as a medicine. It was also where I met John Vergados of Skunk Magazine, as well as Sam Mellace for the first time. Both would become big influences in my life going forward.
It was a very fulfilling weekend for me, and I wanted more! I was energized and ready to go full steam ahead. I was eventually invited to attend board meetings and was now a part of the planning team for NORML in Canada. They assigned me first to be the national volunteer coordinator, then regional representative after that.
I would find out in the coming months, NORML Canada was no longer a good fit for me, and I chose to leave the org.
In January 2015, I left NORML Canada and I launched NOCERorg, Northern Ontario Cannabis Education and Resources.
Awakenings, Social Media and Back to Life was another turning point
To Be Continued…
Next up, it’s 2015 with NOCER and PACE Radio
NOCER and PACE Radio
Hosting events in the north and entering radio broadcasting
The start of 2015 my energy and drive are in fifth gear. I had launched my organisation for northern Ontario, and I was ready to get to work.
Soon after I launched NOCER, I was contacted by a gentleman in Kirkland Lake. He told me the local headshop was raided by police a few weeks earlier and asked if I could help. Darren Delaney owned The Tripping Daisy which was raided by the OPP under section 462.2 of the criminal code. An outdated obscure law prohibiting cannabis paraphernalia including pipes, bongs, and magazines from being sold. Now this was something I could sink my teeth into, and it was regional! I had met Dana Larsen, a prominent Canadian activist in BC, a few months earlier and he became my guide to hands on activism and protesting, so I gave him a call.
After getting some guidance, I embarked on an advertising campaign to get support for the shop and northern Ontario from the cannabis community down in southern Ontario. I contacted grassroots media including Matt Mernagh in Toronto from POT TV and a few others to get Darren a spot to tell his story. We went on tour one weekend to appear on a few shows to drum up support and raise awareness about the obscure law still being used in rural Ontario.
NOCER hosted our first protest rally in Kirkland Lake Ontario on March 3, 2015 with national activists Dana Larsen as well as Lisa Campbell joining us. We marched onto OPP Headquarters from the shop’s location through the snow in -12c temps with a group of about 30 people, most local. We were carrying signs and chanting all the way, and even got some mainstream media coverage. The event was a success.
Riding on the energy from organising the protest march, I decided to see if I could get support to hold the regions first 420 event that year. I did some advertising to float the idea on social media and picked up some volunteers. Then a few people from second city in the region contacted me and wanted to participate as well. NOCER would be organising and hosting the first 420 events ever held in Northern Ontario, one in Temiskaming Shores, the other in North Bay. Since then we have hosted 420 events in five cities, including Smooth Rock Falls, Timmins, and Val Gagne. Several others have now started independently as well.
I had been following the case on extracts involving Owen Smith, and Ted Smith of the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club, and after several years in lower courts it was headed to the Supreme Court of Canada with lawyer Kirk Tousaw leading the legal team. I was extracting my oil from my plants, so this was an important case to me as well. I had to be a part of this history making case, somehow! I contacted a friend who lived in the Ottawa Valley, Patricia Peters, and we planned to attend the hearing together. I found some space we could share in a suite near the courthouse with 4 other female patients and 1 man, Garry Pallister. Gary shared one of the rooms with me and Pat and gave us our first dabs.
We attended a pre-trial bash hosted by activists who rented the local legion and we smoked it out! The day of the case the courthouse was packed with cannabis patients’ activists and entrepreneurs. The court officer had to set up an overflow room for the spectators. I used my NOCER platform to relay the information as it happened on social media, taking pictures, and speaking to many in attendance. I was participating in making history! Of course, Kirk Tousaw won the case for Owen and The VCBC, and extracts are legal in Canada today because of it.
I was off all the pills, but still on Fentanyl and I was working to cut my doses down. I was ramping up my consumption with edibles and extracts, to get the levels I needed, and experimenting with new strains to find the one that would work. Meeting the patients during the trial in Ottawa and seeing so many getting relief for pain with cannabis gave me hope it would work for me too. But I was nervous, still. It would take me an additional 4 years to completely rid myself of them.
A short time after the trial, I was contacted by a fellow by the name of Al Graham. He offered me a spot as a “Joint Host” on a radio program called The PACE Radio Show. PACE stood for “People Advocating Cannabis Education”. I was shocked, and hesitant at first, I had never done anything like that before! After some discussion with my hubby, and with Al, I accepted a position on The PACE Radio Show, and this would set me on a path into cannabis media. After accepting the position, I found out another joint host on the show was Debbie Stultz-Giffen, one of the women from the room in Ottawa.
In July 2015, I did an interview with Debbie and Al on PACE, they welcomed me to the show, and we discussed a bit of my background. The shows were aired on the “Time for Hemp” Network with producer Casper Leitch back then, they were pre-recorded, and the producer chose the air date.
In February 2016, the show found a new home at a new station. We signed up with Lifestyle Radio and were moving into LIVE broadcasts for the first time. We remained at Lifestyle for just over three years, until the content we were contributing to the station warranted our own platform. We parted ways with the station in April 2019 and planned our launch of the PACE Radio Network.
PACE Radio network was launched in May 2019, with 3 weekly shows as well as “On The Road” coverage of events, and the planning began to expand our content. We have worked vigorously since our launch to add new shows, more joint hosts, and engaging content focussed on cannabis to expand our platform and spread the education. Al Graham & I were now a solid team, and we worked well together. I learned how to operate the tech, with Al’s patient guidance, and I advanced into the producer’s chair for a few shows. Our collaboration, now into our sixth year, has been one of the most engaging and exciting things I have ever been a part of, and there is no end in sight. The station now has multiple shows with many joint hosts covering cannabis content including news shows, interviews, events, music and more, and we are still growing. I will always be grateful to Al for reaching out all those years ago, I have learned so much and come so far, Thanx to Al.
Today I am Pharmaceutical free. I was able to replace every prescribed medication I was on with cannabis, in one form or another. I live a natural life and utilize cannabis in all its forms for all my conditions. I suffer from major gut health issues now from all the pills I took for so many years prescribed by the Doctor. I continue the work I do to spread the education in hopes that it could help someone else out there, going through a similar situation.
I have a lifetime of stories, information, and education that I would like to share, and I could go on and on. So, I will keep going with a new format from here. Future entries will focus on specific events, milestones, and situations, with a deeper look at some of the things I have experienced in the last five decades during “My Journey Through Life With Cannabis”. Stay Tuned For more.
Many Thanx to Al Graham and Kim Saltarski who helped me with editing and formatting this series.
I would like to dedicate this blog to my husband Steve. Without your love, patience, strength, support, and encouragement, I would not be the person I am today.