Festive Winter Greetings fellow Cannabians!

NORML Canada would like to wish every member of Canada’s diverse cannabis community a happy and prosperous December! What you celebrate is up to you, we’re glad that you chose to celebrate it in part with us. May the last month of 2011 treat you all gently and with grace.

November was a busy month for us at NORML Canada. With the help of many volunteers from across the country, we have managed to get several copies of the Norml Canada Crash the Omnibus petition circulated, certified, and presented in the
House of Commons
on Tuesday November 29, 2011.

We want to thank everyone for participating in the Crash the Omnibus campaign, and helping us move one step closer to stopping Bill C-10 in its tracks, especially Members of Parliament Ted Hsu (LIB), Elizabeth May (GRN) and Mathew Kellway (NDP) for their assistance in certifying and presenting our petition.

In other political developments, the Liberal Party of Canada is considering a resolution to regulate and legalize cannabis.

NORML Canada is very excited about this potentially powerful proposal. We will be watching developments, and reporting through our membership what comes of this
initiative. Marc-Boris St-Maurice will be attending the Liberal convention in January to drum up support for this timely and important step in the right direction. If this proposal is accepted by the Liberal party we can expect:

“A new Liberal government will legalize marijuana and ensure the regulation and taxation of its production, distribution, and use, while enacting strict penalties for illegal trafficking, illegal importation and exportation, and impaired driving;

A new Liberal government will invest significant resources in prevention and education programs designed to promote awareness of the health risks and consequences of marijuana use and dependency, especially amongst youth;

A new Liberal government
will extend amnesty to all Canadians previously convicted of simple and minimal marijuana possession, and ensure the elimination of all criminal records related thereto;

A new Liberal government will work with the provinces and local governments of Canada on a coordinated regulatory approach to marijuana which maintains significant federal responsibility for marijuana control while respecting provincial health jurisdiction and particular regional concerns and practices.”

This is one of the most exciting cannabis related developments in Canadian politics that we’ve seen in recent years!

In Memoriam

It is with great sadness that we note the passing of Istvan (Steve) Marton. Mr. Marton died of a heart attack on Nov. 20. The 69-year-old was on a hunger strike, appealing to the Canadian government to legalize marijuana. In January 2010, RCMP found 2.2 kilograms of marijuana in his home. He was charged and convicted possession of a controlled substance and breaching a conditional sentence from a previous conviction for the same offence.

“I am going to die,” he told the Victoria Times Colonist for a story published Sunday. “Even if the charges are dropped, I won’t stop the hunger strike until they put back all my marijuana exactly where it was and give me back my $3,000 and change the law.”

NORML Canada would like to offer our deepest condolences to Mr. Marton’s family for their loss, and thank Istvan (Steve) for making the ultimate sacrifice for our cause.

Resolving Prohibition event visits Carleton University

Marc-Boris St-Maurice was joined by Kelly Coulter for a spirited and well attended Resolving Prohibition tour stop at Carleton University. Special thanks to Kyle Walton of Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy for taking the lead on this event. You and your dedicated teammates did a spectacular job! It was nice to be able to reach so many interested students and discuss how to be a better marijuana policy advocate. Judging by the size of the large crowd, it would seem this is a burning issue for the youth of our nation. If you are a student and would like to host an event, please feel free to get in touch with us.

Crash the Omnibus Petition

We are extremely happy to report that with the hard work and dedication of many people across the country, our Certified Petition was presented in the House of Commons [watch video]. This campaign has proven that people from across this country can get together on a project and really make it happen. We are proud of everyone that helped gather signatures and spread the word, and send our heart felt thanks for your assistance. A special note of thanks goes out to Jeremiah Vandemeer and Jodie Emery for getting Cannabis Culture on board, as well as Jason Wilcox for his great video promotion. Abi Roach (Hotbox Cafe), Tamara Cartwright, Erin Maloughney, and all the ladies at the NORML Women’s Alliance.

Bill C-10 Senate amendments campaign

Bill C-10 will now be heading to the senate for the next phase of debate and discussion. Norml Canada will be working closely with several Senators and their assistants to help educate our sober house of second thought into realizing that a tough on cannabis approach has always and will always fail.We will be launching our next campaign in December that will be targeting senators in the hopes of opposing the bill, and sending the bill back to the house of commons for more amendments. We will most certainly need your help once again to get the message out. Check out www.norml.ca for updates.

2011 has been an exciting and challenging year. The Harper majority win in May certainly set our movement back. However oppressed people get active and motivated when a real threat is presented to them. Bill C-10 compounds the threat against us, and should serve to further motivate our community.Norml Canada experienced significant growth in 2011, we engaged our community in many ways from coast to coast and look forward to 2012. We encourage you to seek out your brothers and sisters and bring them with you to Norml Canada. Together we have strength the government could not envision.

There are so many valid and viable plans that can be accomplished in the next year, but we need your help. We need your name combined with all our other members, we need your volunteer efforts to help move our plans forward, we need your donations to fund our critical work, in short we need you to be a part of our ever growing organization. Thank you for being a part of our plans for today, and tomorrow.