by Al Graham
We’ve all heard the saying “my time flies when you’re having fun” while being sick isn’t part of the fun, the educating part sure has been.
As I sit in front of my computer about to write another article about P.A.C.E. it dawned on me that People Advocating Cannabis Education is now officially a year old.
Throughout this year we have educated an uncountable number of people. This has been done through the shows we attend to with TY, through our educational movie series, our socials and through the distribution of our therapeutic cannabis links brochure.
Our website went up shortly after we got started which has helped immensely with getting the information out to people. While the site is quite simple looking it’s full of knowledge that people seek so they to can become educated about cannabis.
It’s hard to believe that just over a year ago P.A.C.E. did- n’t exist and since then it’s grown constantly. We have created a mailing list, our Facebook group has many members and people are following us on Tweeter. Over this time P.A.C.E. has also become vocal in our local newspapers as the LTE sections have become populated with letters about the new cannabis mandatory mini- mum laws, its medicinal value as well as informative his- toric information. At no time in the past can I recall seeing so many letters about cannabis in the local papers and it’s something that we feel that is an important part to help educate people.
“If you want to legalize cannabis we have to speak up and out to be heard. This is what the gay community did and we must do the same”
Writing to the press is one way to get the information and education out to the public. I’d like to encourage more of you to follow suit because as P.A.C.E. partici- pant Gary says… “If you want to legalize cannabis we have to speak up and out to be heard. This is what the gay community did and we must do the same”. I’d like to encourage more P.A.C.E. participants and you to join us in the letter writing as this will help in two ways, it will help get the truth out and you will do as Gary has asked, for you to speak out. Could you imagine if the 6 million Canadians who consume cannabis spoke out, what would happen?
While we celebrate the one year anniversary of P.A.C.E., next month will be our one year anniversary of showing our Cannabis Educational Series. While this will be the end of this year’s schedule, it’s not the end of the movies as P.A.C.E. has just purchased another set that will be added to our collection. These movies will then be mixed in with some of the other popular ones we showed in 2011 to make the schedule up for the coming year.
The upcoming year will feature movies such as How Weed Won the West, Hemp Revolution and High: The True Tale of Marijuana to name a few. We will also be adding some of the lecturers that appeared at the 2010 Treating Yourself Expo such as Dr. Courtney, Dr. Malamede and Mary Lynn Mathre.
When we started
our Cannabis Educational Series last
year we surprised many people in our
area but there were some that were very happy to see what we
were doing. This year we are adding
something new again. In October we started to
bring live interviews with activists from around the world to our
shows. We plan on doing
this via Skype and then projecting the person’s video
onto our big screen. If things go as planned we hope to have a speaker for
each of the themes that our educational series touches on. It would be great to interview someone from LEAP or an activist lawyer during a prohibition themed movie or a medical researcher of cannabis while we show a sci- ence based movie. The testing has been done now it’s time to put it to work.
While the majority of our educational stuff is done in a serious atmosphere we also do it in a more relaxed atmosphere when we hold our quarterly P.A.C.E. Socials. Our last social was held back at Hippi Chicks place because of a last minute problem at the scheduled loca- tion. We’d like thank Hippi Chick for filling in and allowing our gathering to still happen.
The invites went out to over fifty local people and with- in no time we had filled the available seats. Everyone who attends has a great time as the Grow op board game helps to bring other activists together under one roof to talk openly and freely with like minded people. It allows for an exchange of ideas and to keep others informed as to what is happening in the movement.
When we hold these board game tournaments we give our host some options as to what they can do. This includes which day of the weekend, what time they want to start and if they prefer a pot luck lunch or dinner. We even let them have the option of playing one large game or two shorter ones but when it comes to our entry dona- tion and our pot luck menu this we retain.
Hippi Chick’s place isn’t very large but we were able to fit everyone into the open concept living and dining rooms. The new rules that we added to the game which included allowing people to barter or auction off certain squares and locations on the game board has helped the players to accumulate much needed funds to keep them playing longer. It’s also made the game more challenging as another avenue of income has been added as well peo- ple are now competing verbally to purchase items.
The day’s events were set up as the same as it has been in the past.
We got started well before
noon and then at around one
o’clock everyone stops long enough
to grab a bite
to eat from the pot luck buffet. With it being super hot outside our
host asked that everyone
bring a cold item for the meal contribution and it seems everyone got the message. There was no baked
lasagne or anything else that had to go into the oven.
Instead we had a wide arrange of sandwich meats and a freshly cooked deboned chicken to build a super
sandwich with. Also available were
several cold salads
and other healthy food treats. Then
of course there were the snack
food part with a healthy touch as we were able to dunk the fruit and
veg- etables into some special delicious tasting canna infused dips.
After lunch things get started again. Throughout the afternoon you could hear cheering noises coming from the different tables but you also get to hear about the anguish of someone losing their garden.
Not only did we make a few rule changes but we also added a new feature to the game. In the board game monopoly a person pays rent based on the location and if the player has hotels on their property. Since this game is similar to monopoly we added a rent to properties which is another way for a person to get some income. Also with this new rule if a person lands on a property that is set up with a crop that is waiting to be sold to the organization, the person landing on the square will now have to pay a rental fee or share some karma with them. While this new rule had some bumps along the way we’re sure that we’ll get them fixed up before the next social.
When the game came to an end at four o’clock everyone added up their money as well as their property invest- ments to come up with what their estate was worth. While this is being done some last minute raffle tickets were sold and then at four twenty we announce the win- ners of the tournament.
The person who finishes last doesn’t go home empty handed though as they are awarded the Black Thumb Award. For this they receive a pre-selected small item from our gift table while the overall winner gets to choose which item they want. The overall winner also goes home as the Salad Bowl winner until the next tournament when the championship bowl will be passed onto the next winner.
This time around the P.A.C.E. Social winner was P.A.C.E. participate Dan. Dan is not only our winner but he is also a winner in the eyes of his new child because his partner Justine gave birth to a bouncing baby boy just days before the Social. Not far from him were a very competitive Geoff and Adam. All three of them are former winners of the tournament but for someone like Hippi Chick and myself, who have been playing this game since it hit the market, a win is still a universe away.
P.A.C.E. would like to thank the
businesses that support us and our Social. This includes the Intergalactic
Trading Company, BMA Hydroponics, The Studio, Grindhouse Cafe, Peterborough
Hydroponic Center, Treating Yourself Magazine, Spirit Quest Seeds, Canada’s
Number 1 Seedbank and Green Tree Eco Hydroponics. A thank you also goes out to
our friend Casper who puts the work into making the great mari- juana themed
music podcasts that we play during our
socials. You can also download them at his website Time4hemp.com.
Over the next few months we’ll have more movies, another Social and we’ll become very involved once again with TY in the GTA area where we’ll help out at The National Woman’s Show and the 10 day long National Home Show. We’ll also be attending the Grand Opening of the new TY store. This store will be located in west end of Toronto near Islington along Lakeshore road and contain two businesses in one. It’ll feature a ground level vapour lounge called Vape on the Lake with some consumer products being available while the basement will house One of a Kind a high end glass shop. Marco has also talked to me briefly about bringing the P.A.C.E. educational series to Toronto and the new store.
P.A.C.E. is also working on two other events in our area. Both events would take place in our local theatre which would help bring even more respect to what P.A.C.E. is achieving. To get the support of our local theatre co-op will only help expand on what P.A.C.E. is doing. One of the events could turn into an all day long show that could include not only some of the movies we collected but also local musicians and possibly health care profes- sionals speaking about the benefits of cannabis. The second event that we have started is a night with NORML Canada. Boris and Kelly of NORML will be in the area this fall promoting the Resolving Marijuana Prohibition Tour. This will be the third time that I have worked with them and afterwards I’m sure I’ll be look forward to the next time.