WRITTEN BY: WENDAL GRANT
When I first was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, I quickly found out how much cannabis could help me and I had to let everyone know. The best way to deal with this was to get involved in medicinal marijuana activism. I figured I’d attend some rallies, some parades, maybe do some letter writing to some newspapers, but I didn’t figure that someday I would address a mass audience.
During 2008, that all changed in a big way. Early on in the year I was asked to address a large crowd at the Niagara Falls ON 420 Rally, but I never thought I’d be able to talk to tens of thousands of people at once. During 2008, that all changed in a big way. Early on in the year I was asked to address a large crowd at the Niagara Falls ON 420 Rally, but I never thought I’d be able to talk to tens of thousands of people at once. Writing for Treating Yourself magazine allows me to write out my thoughts, ideas and the happenings of our group Medicinal (marijuana) Awareness, MA. The group’s writing help to let others within the movement, plus the newbies to it, know what others like us are doing. Our hope is that others will see and read what we are doing and it encourages them to do likewise. These activities, the rallies, the writing, the speaking and the home show experiences, can make one grow in this movement and I can tell you they have all helped me achieve something I never expected.
During the year 2007 a local radio station changed their format. Out went the light and easy music and in came some classic rock. The station hired a young man by the name of Diesel Phillips to do the weekend show. Diesel as you can see in the enclosed photo, taken by his photographer friend Rosanna Mestre, shows him dressed in his radio headgear while he works the airwaves. He has lots of knowledge on the classic rock tunes he plays and it shows, or, should I say, you hear it.
Diesel grew up on the east coast of Canada, in Nova Scotia. He loves classic rock music (he told me he has quite the collection); other than that, he seems to love wrestling, hockey and a toke from time to time. Diesel, whom you can listen to on the web at www.rock107.ca, may now have his own version of the Flower Hour. This still-unnamed hour happens every Saturday from 4 till 5 p.m. EST and features not one but two marijuana segments. Starting at 4:20 p.m. is
the “Afternoon Blaze with Jay” segment where you can hear Diesel talk to his east coast buddy, Jay Blaze.
Like Diesel, Jay likes to have the occasional toke as evident in the
shot taken by Rosanna Mestre. During this time, the two talk about what’s new with Jay and the happenings around him. They’ll touch on the latest marijuana movies to the local happenings along the east coast. Jay always
has something interesting to say whether he’s laying down the weed-facts, just giving his opinion or even telling a story about life. During the second half of the hour is when the Reefer Reporter airs his news. The Reefer Reporter segment is my newest adventure into educating the people. The three-minute show starts off with some classic reefer tunes from the ’30s
and ’40s. As it fades to some quiet background music, Diesel and I start into our weekly cannabis news segment. The segment is done live so if there is a blooper, you’re going to hear it. I’m really surprised that this is happening as I’m the kid, who while in public school, had to spend 4 years in speech therapy to learn how to speak clearly and was too shy to do his mandatory class speeches. Talk about facing your worst fears! The one thing I remember from those days was to look above the crowd if you are nervous. It worked in Niagara; so, with no one around me, the nerves are pretty good while I do the radio show.
The segment comes on the air
about twenty minutes after Jay
Blaze finishes up at 4:25 p.m., which puts me on at approximately 4:45 p.m. eastern time. When I started my activism I had no idea that I would address thousands of people in a live conversation but it has now become a reality. It is a way of educating the grassroots, the people who don’t buy or can’t afford to buy magazines, people who can’t afford a computer (never mind having access to the net) or those who refuse to get into the cyber world. I even reach out to the ones that only listen to the message given to them by those that say the opposite. The debut show of the Reefer Reporter allowed us to talk about everyone’s favourite magazine, Treating Yourself.
The magazine received lots of mention as we talked about medicinal marijuana and where you can find medicinal marijuana information.
Besides letting everyone know about the TY website, I made sure everyone
knew that they could pick up their own physical copy at their closest Chapters-Indigo bookstore, as well as the many small variety stores
Since that first show I have been able to educate people about the oldest marijuana discovery by Professor Ethan Russo and his colleagues, and I’ve been updating people on some legal cases in Canada. These legal cases are ones that could lead to the legalization of marijuana. We’ve also had along conversation about cannabinoids and how they work medically within the body and how we have receptors to receive these cannabinoids within us. The news also goes international as well. We have touched on the legal status of growing plants in the Netherlands when their courts ruled that their citizens could grow up to 5 personal plants each. I’ve even filled everyone in on how the new President of the United States feels about medicinal marijuana and how he has stated that the government shouldn’t be raiding the compassion centers in California. I also had to tell everyone how marijuana legalization was the top question at the website Change.org, which asked people what they wanted then-President-Elect Barack Obama to change the most when he came to the White House.
In less than 5 weeks of doing the show, it has gathered response from both coasts of Canada and all the places in between. We’ve even gotten comments from as far away as the southern USA. With actual information being used, many have written to say that the show is very valuable to our movement. Frank wrote to me and said “Getting the truth about cannabis to the mainstream is so important. Your initiative deserves praise and support,” while Alison Myrden wrote “Thank you SOOOOO much for what you are doing! We are so pleased for you and that this station has given you this time! You should be SOOO proud!” Keith Fagin from Calgary wrote to me and said “I can’t thank you enough for such strong support for our cannabis community here in Calgary” when I told him I was planning on talking about his new business, something that I hope catches on.
When the opportunity to talk on the radio about cannabis came, I
quickly set a plan into motion. I wanted to start out with an education that would establish marijuana as something that is a life plant. By life I mean what many activists say; it’s the plant of life. This plant can save us and the planet from destruction. I use to scoff at that, but I no longer do. I also wanted to establish that marijuana is a medicine and has been for many centuries. I brought proof to the listeners by talking about Professor Russo’s discovery of the 2,700 years old (27 centuries) cannabis found in the Gobi Desert tombs and then with my discussion on the cannabinoid system. In further shows, I plan on pointing out questions and other medical information that will make people think and maybe lead them to discover the truth themselves. From there I talked about some of the environmental benefits and how marijuana can be used for everything that oil can be used for. It was mentioned that cannabis can be made into 25,000 different items that would help in saving our world, and then I named off things like biofuel, housing material, clothing and a few other things. As time goes on I’ll be bringing other items forward that show how cannabis can improve our environment and our economic situation. Next up was letting everyone know that our Senate has done a report on marijuana. The 2002 report states marijuana prohibition, as we now know it, should end. As well, I made sure I mentioned the other countries that also did reports on our medication. Come this spring we plan on taking the show on the road. I’ll be attending rallies and events in the Toronto area and I will be commenting live on the air with what’s going on at them.
This whole thing came about by sheer luck and I’m very fortunate to have this opportunity. We didn’t know each other before this so I would say it took several months of slowly building a friendship through emails. These emails included some big marijuana news that he had never seen, read or heard from anywhere else. We did finally meet in person while he was a judge in a local music contest. It also helped that he already had the 420 Stoner Salute going so the radio station and his listeners were aware of his marijuana discussions. I can’t thank Diesel and the radio station enough for allowing me to do this. It’s such a great opportunity that I would never do anything to abuse or jeopardize it. Thank You.
Now that the show is up and running, I’ll have some new, as well as some old stuff that I want to bring to the people. Stuff like actual facts out of medical studies that you can only read if you knew where to look. Perhaps Treating Yourself Magazine giveaways where the listeners have to locate medicinal information or some kind of factual research that will get them started reading and seeing the actual truth for themselves. Once people do this, maybe their research would balloon and become more in-depth. These will be things that I believe are important for the listeners to know about as well as being very educational for in general.