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COMMENTARY · 8th November 2013
Merv Ritchie
I have been deeply and intrinsically involved in the campaign to decriminalize pot. I am the Cannabus driver. I became involved after Bob Erb invited me to attend a conference in Terrace, BC, where he had invited and paid for a dozen and more professionals from across Canada to participate. At that conference I met Dana Larson and learned about the Referendum Initiative to instruct the Police Forces of BC to stop harassing citizens for possession of cannabis for personal use.

I own a converted Greyhound Bus and convinced Larson to hire it for the Campaign. He agreed and I suddenly became intimately involved with the Sensible BC Referendum Initiative to Change the Policing Act in BC.

I do not smoke pot. I do not consume it in any fashion. I had as a teenager and into my twenties but I soon stopped smoking it altogether. The last time I used Cannabis on any regular basis was during my general contracting days. I would get the poor quality “shake” growers were throwing away and roll tiny “joints” have a small puff and then put it out. I enjoyed it with a few good beers like Sleemans or Okanagan Springs and with a small puff I would stay up late designing buildings and develop the next day’s purchases and plans for my crews. That was over 15 years ago. Today unless I get really drunk, I never puff on a joint. Like Toronto Mayor Rob Ford revealed, alcohol is the gateway drug, it allowed his judgement to fail and he smoked crack. Many others fool around on their spouses when drunk. Such is the crime of alcohol.

But this writing is about how the Drug Dealers are conspiring with the Police Forces, the BC Government and criminal drug gangs to ensure the Sensible BC referendum doesn’t succeed.

Police and officers of all stripes interfere with the effort of canvassers to collect signatures, even ticketing wildly when possible. In Abbotsford one officer delivered the Cannabus three tickets at once, even calling a tow truck in an attempt to force his will, or that of the business community, on the effort. In Victoria bylaw officers became so outrageously acrimonious they announced they were calling in “reinforcements”, which had the registered canvassers walk away in fear of further hostilities or repercussions. When the Police arrived I announced and advised the bylaw officer had just contravened the elections act and was liable for a $10,000 fine and or up to 2 years in Jail. I refused to take down the Canvassers table and he also issued a ticket.

On the sidewalk out front of the PNE grounds officers and security personnel threatened to arrest the canvassers and at the Oakridge Skytrain Station officers stationed themselves in front of the canvassers in a manner threatening and intimidating to both canvassers and those wishing to sign. Even when they were advised of their criminal breech of the Initiative act and the potential fines and jail terms they refused to leave the area when asked. Watch a video of that exchange by clicking here.

Even today, Friday November 8, 2013, an employee at the McDonalds at the corner of 41st and East Boulevard in Vancouver pulled out a gas powered leaf blower and used it around our campaign bus while we were attempting to gather signatures and then called the Vancouver Police attempting to claim we were aggressively collecting signatures. Nothing could be further from the truth. I was personally alone most of the time and sitting inside the bus watching for people who walked up to the bus looking curious. The only thing aggressive was the employee of McDonalds who used this 2 cycle noise maker when there were no leaves to blow. Even the officers couldn't hear us or themselves talk while she roared this machine around the area.

Watch for video of scene soon to be uploaded.
And see comment below, after pictures, regarding Intimidation Offences and Fines related to the Recall and Initiative Act.

The Value of the Industry to the Criminals and the Government

The very low ball estimate of the illegal Marijuana industry is valued at $6 billion worth to the BC economy. The high ball is almost $30 Billion. Is has been acknowledge as being at least the second most important economic driver in BC. If the criminal element was removed, if the illegal growers were suddenly no longer illegal and everyone could grow the product without repercussions such as a criminal record or simply harassment by the police forces of the province, the economic engine of most of the remote interior regions of BC and the economic engine behind the criminal drug gangs would be gone.

A short history lesson is in order. The BC Rail scandal that saw the RCMP raid the BC Legislature was initiated by the RCMP after they had been monitoring communications between BC Government backroom boys and those exporting Marijuana, BC Bud.

RCMP Sgt. John Ward stated in part regarding the Legislature raids " ... in general, the spread of organized crime just in the past two years [since 2001] has been like a cancer on the social and economic wellbeing of all British Columbians. Today the value of the illegal marijuana trade alone is estimated to be worth in excess of $6 Billion. We are seeing major increases in organized crime related murders, beatings, extortion, money laundering, and other activity which touches many innocent lives."

Rich Coleman, BC’s Solicitor General of the day, told the Vancouver Board of Trade that weapons being used by insurgents in Afghanistan were smuggled through Canadian ports and financed by the B.C. drug trade.

But this was all being orchestrated by those who work within the BC Government. The entire BC Rail affair was exposed, as those who the RCMP were investigating for drug trafficking were part and parcel of the backroom operatives of the BC Government. And this does not mean the BC Liberals, the BC Conservatives or the BC NDP it means any and everyone working behind the sense in BC Politics is susceptible to being intimately involved in the prosperity of maintaining the illegality, therefore the profitability, of the Cannabis industry.

Today the effort to get publicity is stymied at every turn. The RCMP, Transit Police, Government and the media all conspire to ensure the effort is a complete failure. The success would cripple BC and everyone on the inside of the BC political scene knows it.

So Here is the Call Out to Every Citizen of BC.

If you want to end the criminal gangs, those who run your government and those who poison your children, if you want a real change, a real sensible change, get involved and get involved now. There is huge money involved and the drug dealers, Police and the BC Government want to keep the huge money. They do this by keeping the criminals in business while creating criminals out of the common person.

Everywhere we have travelled with the Cannabus I have heard heartfelt passionate stories from every demographic of BC society. Mr and Mrs Brooks, an elderly couple I estimate to be in their late 80’s or early 90’s, walked up to the Cannabus at the Sea Bus station at the Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver. Mr. Brooks initially acted as if he was opposed to the entire effort stating with a slight scowl, “I bet you don’t expect us to sign your petition?” And then he smiled and turned to the table telling stories about how ridiculous prohibition and the criminality was, while both he and his wife set down their canes and leaned on the table to sign. Men with back problems who tried everything and then finally cannabis which not only relieved the pain but solved other issues were followed by many others who described the inability of the Pharmaceuticals’ to address their medical issues where Cannabis had performed a virtual miracle. A woman at Ambleside in West Vancouver who used in for Glaucoma and another elderly gentleman at the same location who stated, “I don’t use it, never have and never will, but making people criminals for using it is just plain wrong.”

Visiting the various dispensaries across the lower mainland I have had my eyes opened. When I grew up smoking pot it was simply to get high. Today I have discovered the Cannabis community has spent a considerable amount of time, money and effort identifying the varieties of strains and the subtle effects of each individual plant. As Dana Larson describes it it is similar to the wine industry where the many varieties of grapes and the manner in which they are grown, harvested and processed produce completely different products with preferences of consumers being just as varied.

I saw a complete chart of the range of varieties and the hybrids between the Indicas and the Sativas each having different effects. Some are very low in the “high” producing substance, THC, while others were low in THC and high in CBA’s the identified medicinal component. Walls of different strains were displayed along with coolers and cabinets of edible cannabis products.

And this reminds me of one of my favourite encounters on the journey driving the Cannabus.

At the Farmers Market on Saltspring Island Canada’s most senior and knowledgeable drug researcher walked up to our bus holding a book the Queen of England had specially bound and printed just for him. Dr. Ralph Miller was the head researcher for the worlds single largest investigation into the effects of drugs on society. It was Canada’s most extensive Royal Commission ever undertaken and none yet has exceeded this one. It was the Le Dain Commission set up by former Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau. Gerald Le Dain, a Dean of the Osgoode Hall Law School and a Supreme Court Justice, lead the inquiry and he selected Millar to be the head researcher.

The Toronto Star wrote about the Commission this way, It has been described as one of the most comprehensive royal commissions ever conducted. The inquiry lasted almost four years. Nearly 30 public hearings took place across the country. Miller’s group oversaw 120 projects examining the physiological, psychological and behavioural effects of marijuana and other illegal drugs. They looked at extent and patterns of use, the social context of these drugs, how they played in mass media, legal and illegal sources of distribution, their role in law enforcement and the correctional system, among other things.

Miller was clear on one issue I had previously not been aware of. Smoking cannabis was never a part of its use until the introduction of tobacco. The plant was used to make ointments and tinctures. The seeds and other parts of the plant were used for various health and medical purposes, but always ingested, never smoked. In summary the conclusion of the report in 1973, now 40 years ago, was the only harm Cannabis caused to individuals or society was from the prohibition of it.

Further, and of greater interest is how the Royal Commission identified Tobacco and Alcohol as the two substances that caused the most harm, bar none. Every overdose of any drug, including heroin, was associated with the use of alcohol. There was not a single instance of anyone becoming psychotic from using pot and certainly no harm to society.

The Real Crime

Today men and women from all walks of life are denied access, forced to deal with criminals, are made to feel like criminals or in fact are made criminals simply because they wish to use a product for their own personal benefit, for health or recreation.

The Drug Gangs, in concert with the BC Government, the Inside political operatives and the media are all complicit in ensuring the Sensible BC Campaign fails. Forty years ago the Canadian population spend millions of dollars and over three years to determine the truth. The criminals ran the show then and the still run the backrooms of BC.

This campaign will only be successful when the individuals stand up for themselves.

For the police, the BC Government and the criminals, including the political operatives, the message was driven home forcefully this year.

After Washington State decriminalized Marajuana and began to sell and distribute it the price of BC pot fell dramatically. A pound of BC Bud ranged, depending on the strain and quality, from between $2000 and $3000. The price has now fallen from between $600 and $1000 per pound meaning the profits the criminals are attaining has dropped a full third. They are frightened to be sure.

And this is why when an organizer, someone wanting to collect signatures, or someone attempting to get more media coverage, more signage on the streets, anything to make this campaign successful is met by silence or obstacles at every turn. The effort will fail not because of the lack of volunteers or the lack of will; it will fail because the criminals who run the Province of BC are pulling every string possible to ensure it fails.

How Intimately is the BC Government Involved?

When the BC Legislature was raided on December 28, 2003 many people became exposed and were implicated in various criminal activities including Christy Clarks brother and her Husband, Mark Morrison. The list of those intimately involved in the entire Scandal is very long. The entire affair was covered up with a speedy end to the trial and the BC Government and Clark herself has never allowed for any of the details to be exposed. In 1998 a gentleman named George Peden wrote an extensive 17 page letter to former Socred Cabinet Minister, Grace McCarthy. In it he detailed how the Mob/criminals had infiltrated the BC government. In June 1991, after the letter was finally exposed by the Executive Assistant to the Attorney General, and covered by the local media, Bob Walsh was quickly fired. When the opposition attempted to expose this, the Government of Gordon Campbell, through then Attorney General Russ Fraser, broke the rules of the legislature and the entire affair and discussion of the infiltration of the BC Government was quickly shut down. Read about this affair directly from the Hansard of BC, the transcripts of the conversations of the BC Legislature Here

I met George Peden in 1989 and he told me the same story. I wrote about it years later here.

Today nothing has changed and it was witnessed again when Lawyers attempted to introduce evidence of the Drug gangs involvement in the Missing Women’s Inquiry, the former BC Attorney General Wally Oppal refused to allow the evidence into the public record. The underworld of BC is being protected by the highest levels of our criminal justice system, and that may be just what it is, criminal.

I Will Not Give Up and Nor Should You!

I will continue to drive the bus and I will continue to do everything I can but I do not trust anyone anymore. If you who have read this wish to get involved, go to and find your local organizer. Help him or her get more signatures or sign up to be a canvasser yourself. The BC Government is making this effort as difficult as possible. I personally believe they are afraid the economy will suffer such a blow all their weaknesses will be exposed.

Let’s all gather together and waste no time, spare no effort, and use every last one of the few remaining days to kick this into overdrive. I find it offensive in the extreme to consider someone wishing to use a cannabis product for their personal health, a criminal. Watch a series of videos detailing successful cancer and other treatments using Cannabis by clicking here.

This has been one heck of an experience. Everywhere the bus travels we are inundated with support. Driving down the street or along a highway reams of cars and pedestrians scream out, honk and wave with thumbs up and peace signs. Easily 99 percent of the people we encounter support this effort. The most difficult issue is the social stigma. Many don’t want to be seen associated with the word Marijuana and this likely comes from the effort of the media, which began almost 80 years ago, to demonize hemp so rich people like Hurst and DuPont could maintain their hold on their profits. It is the medicinal properties of Cannabis which are being sidelined. Those who feel they don’t want to be associated with the sideshow antics of the 420 Rallies and the “Stoner” image should simply consider the medicinal aspects of the product. Similar to how many homosexual people wouldn’t be caught dead at a ‘Gay Pride’ Parade due to the ridiculous antics displayed there, nor would many want to be associated with the 420 Rallies. Don’t let the antics of crazy people, rich manipulators and criminals, along with stoners and freaks, influence you against what is right and Just.

My Final Plea

The last point I wish to inform those reading this of is the effort by the Government of Canada to cancel the licences of all those presently growing medical Cannabis. It is clear to me the insiders once again, the political operatives, wish to take over the control and distribution of such a desired and medically necessary product so they can maintain their own financial rewards. To discover more on the effort to stop this ridiculous imposition against those who have spent years perfecting their product go to

Dr. Ralph Miller with a canvasser on Saltspring Island holding the Hard Cover Le Dain Commission Report the Queen had printed specifically for him
Dr. Ralph Miller with a canvasser on Saltspring Island holding the Hard Cover Le Dain Commission Report the Queen had printed specifically for him
tax payer on hook?
Comment by kwilhye on 12th November 2013
If this does pass the government of BC MUST make amendment(s) to the BC Health and other appropriate office(s) indicating that in the future e.g. 10, 20, 30 .... years there is a present day supporter or someone not born yet, that there is NO taxpayer moneys for this self imposed condition!
Recall and Initiative Act Intimidation Offences & Penalties
Comment by Merv Ritchie on 9th November 2013
Intimidation offences
157 (1) An individual or organization must not intimidate an individual for any of the following purposes:

(a) to persuade or compel an individual to sign a petition or refrain from signing a petition;

(b) to punish an individual for having signed a petition or having refrained from signing a petition;

(c) to persuade or compel an individual to vote or refrain from voting in an initiative vote;

(d) to persuade or compel an individual to vote or refrain from voting for or against an initiative;

(e) to punish an individual for having voted or having refrained from voting as described in paragraph (c) or (d).

(2) An individual or organization must not, by abduction, duress or fraudulent means, do any of the following:

(a) impede, prevent or otherwise interfere with an individual's right to sign a petition;

(b) compel, persuade or otherwise cause an individual to sign a petition or refrain from signing a petition;

(c) impede, prevent or otherwise interfere with an individual's right to vote in an initiative vote;

(d) compel, persuade or otherwise cause an individual to vote or refrain from voting in an initiative vote;

(e) compel, persuade or otherwise cause an individual to vote or refrain from voting for or against an initiative.

(3) An individual or organization prohibited from doing something by this section must not do the prohibited act directly, indirectly or by another individual or organization on behalf of the individual or organization who is subject to the prohibition.

(4) An individual or organization who contravenes this section commits an offence and is liable to one or more of the penalties referred to in section 156 (6).

156 (6) An individual or organization who contravenes this section commits an offence and is liable to a fine of not more than $10 000 or imprisonment for a term not longer than 2 years, or both.
And yet more details on the "Commonwealth" Drug Trade
Comment by Merv Ritchie on 8th November 2013
An extract from this article for those interested.


And as for the Opium wars? We have one happening right now. It is called Afghanistan. The best military forces in the world are there purportedly to be looking for one guy while watching every movement of every camel and donkey, yet the export of this wonderfully profitable product is up 100%. It is being flown out on planes and driven out by the truck loads. No, it isn’t just smoked and snorted, it is the key component to most of the Pharmaceuticals most of us purchase every day; morphine, codeine, thebaine, hydromorphone, hydrocodone, oxycodone, oxymorphone, desomorphine, diacetylmorphine (heroin), nicomorphine, dipropanoylmorphine, benzylmorphine, ethylmorphine and buprenorphine. These are just the pure names. Most ingest huge quantities of variants of these every day. Most have no idea. I wonder where the Companies get the raw material from. There are legitimate growers certainly. Australia is one certified supplier. But for feeding the masses, welcome to Afghanistan.

And a further note not included in the above article
The 747 - 400 Cargo Plane Crash at Kandahar, Bagram Airfield in May 2013

was said to be carrying vehicles. Well that reveals the lie. What was it carrying?

This link shows the cargo loading capabilities and their is no ramp to drive a vehicle onto it.

Chances are the 747 was fully loaded with Opium.
The British Empire - The "Common Wealth" was all drug money
Comment by Merv Ritchie on 8th November 2013
Just Google the Opium Wars - Here is the Wikipedia Link -

The entire foundation of the British Navy, the wealth to fund it, was from drug money.

Now consider Afghanistan. In 2001, just before NATO invaded the Taliban had almost completely eradicated the poppy fields at the request of the International community. They were told if they did that they would be assisted financially to introduce different crops.

Suddenly they were invaded and Opium production went through the roof, under the watchful eye of NATO, the most advanced military force in the world.

The drug world is an intricate part of our government, always has been.