Open Letter to Gibsons Council
Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.
― Dalai Lama
Good day Gibsons Mayor and Council Members. I am writing you at this time to appeal to your compassionate concern for the well-being of hundreds of Gibsons citizens (mostly over 50) who may be severely impacted by your decisions tonight with regards to cannabis dispensary licensing and any other bylaws or enforcement decisions. In anticipation of tonight’s council meeting, I would like to share with you the results of a local survey. This survey was conducted in order to collect information around those in our community who depend on edible cannabis and their fears around losing access to the trusted sources and healing edibles which have been their only source of relief for pain, cancer, opioid addiction, alcoholism, anxiety, COPD and other ailments.
“Cannabis is a daily medicine for me. Not a party drug. I don’t want to go on multiple pharmaceuticals that have adverse side effects when I can utilize one flower that addresses a multitude of ailments.” (Aged 40)
This online survey was assembled quickly using Google Forms and shared through social-media. Since I had limited time, I could not carry out any validation of penetration or representation. And although online polls are often non-representative of the entire population, I have confidence that the survey still represents a reasonable sample of Gibson’s edible/medical cannabis users and the number of residents over 50 who may be severely impacted by any legislation, bylaws or enforcement initiatives which may impact access to existing dispensaries and professionally produced edibles. Based on the number of survey respondents (80 and growing) and extrapolating to the larger population based on Stats Canada demographics (around 1500 residents over 50) and typical margins/reach of an online social-media promoted poll, I would estimate that somewhere between 100 and 500 Gibsons residents (mostly over 50) could be adversely affected by the decisions you make tonight. If those numbers are at the higher end – and I believe they are – your decisions tonight could adversely affect the physical, psychological and emotional health and well-being of 1/3 of our over 50 population!
“Taking cannabis has helped me stop taking opioids for pain . My body feels so much better not taking opioids . I sleep so much better with cannabis gummies it relaxes my muscles I have no high affect and no side effects unlike opioids that have many uncomfortable side effects .” (Aged 53)
This is not an issue about some sort of dangerous drug, this is an issue about COMPASSION for the (likely) hundred of residents in our small community who fear losing access to the knowledgeable resources and professionally prepared cannabis edibles/medicine used to treat a wide range of ailments. It is simply not realistic to expect these residents to buy recreational cannabis in leaf form and learn how to cook and prepare their own edibles. I plead with all of you to please consider the health and well-being of what may very well be 1/3 of our over 50 population should local dispensaries be shut down or deprived of their ability to produce and sell cannabis edibles. I realize this is a very controversial issue for some, and it could have political and possibly even legal ramifications depending on what you decide today. I am certainly no expert on the finer details of our cannabis laws or how much local influence we have, you have, as our municipal representatives. My ONLY concern is for the well-being of (likely) hundreds of our residents and the suffering they may be forced to endure should they lose access to their medicine and trusted sources.

“Because of my COPD the oncologist could not offer me any treatment for my cancer, no surgery, no chemo & no radiation and sent me home, I cried for a day started digesting oil in capsual form the next day and within in 8 months 2 out of 3 tumors were gone and the 3rd one had shrunk, within the next 4 months the last one was in remission. I continue to take the oil and edibles to keep the cancer away. It also helps with other medical issues I have.” (Aged 63)

Tonight, I hope you will look within your hearts and consider the (likely) hundreds of residents, friends and possibly even your own family members who rely on edible cannabis products produced by local dispensaries for relief from pain and suffering. Please keep these Gibsons souls, their well-being, in your thoughts and in your hearts, when you make your decisions tonight.
 

Thank you kindly for your consideration and compassion.

Johnny Stork


MEDICAL/EDIBLE CANNABIS SURVEY

If you use cannabis in any form for treating a medical, physical, psychological or emotional need,
please consider filling out the MEDICAL/EDIBLE CANNABIS SURVEY.


SUMMARY OF EDIBLE/MEDICAL CANNABIS SURVEY:

The results CLEARLY INDICATE that a large number of Gibsons residents over 50 (who responded to the survey) rely on edible cannabis (63%) for pain relief (71%).Taking into account the limitations of this survey (self-reports, non-representative sample etc), I believe there could be nearly 500+ (over 50) residents potentially impacted by a loss of access to medical/health cannabis edibles after October 17th!

Demographics:

  • 80 Responses (4 from Vancouver)
  • 68% of Respondents are 50 or older
  • Median age = 58
  • Mode (most) = 60
  • 65% Female/35% Male

Top Three Medical Cannabis Forms (three choices)

1: Edibles (51/63%)
2: Topical (40/51%)
3: Smoking/Dabbing (37/45%)

Cannabis Type

Top Three Reasons Why You Need Medical Cannabis (three choices)

1: Pain Relief (58/71%)
2: Stress Relief (37/46%)
3: Anxiety Relief (35/45%)

Why You Need Cannabis

 

SAMPLE CONCERNS FROM SURVEY:

“Not being able to get my meds from a person I trust whom who’s products I have used to put my cancer into remmission over the last 3 years. Who’s medicinal edibles & oil are whats killed my cancer and got me thru it and continues to keep it at bay.” (aged 63)

“Losing edible marijuana as a viable medicine for my severe anxiety and coping with alcoholism. I cannot smole marijuana as i am a frequent sufferer of cannabinoid hyperemsis syndrome when smoking. Without access to edibles i would lose all relief to my mental ailments and potentially begin drinking again after a year sobriety….!” (aged 25)

“Cannabis is a daily medicine for me. Not a party drug. I don’t want to go on multiple pharmaceuticals that have adverse side effects when I can utilize one flower that addresses a multitude of ailments.” (aged 40)

“That I will lose the ability and freedom to purchase an alternative medicine, a pain reliever that works much better for me then pharma drugs. I can not take the opiods & other meds that are often prescribed for my conditions.” (aged 61)

“Lack of allowing edibles and oil, which is all im able to use for my cancer and COPD” (aged 63)

“Not being able to access . Taking cannabis has helped me stop taking opioids for pain . My body feels so much better not taking opioids . I sleep so much better with cannabis gummies it relaxes my muscles I have no high affect and no side effects unlike opioids that have many uncomfortable side effects .” (aged 53)

“Not being to get the only medicine I use, because of my COPD the oncologist could not offer me any treatment for my cancer, no surgery, no chemo & no radiation and sent me home, I cried for a day started digesting oil in capsual form the next day and within in 8 months 2 out of 3 tumors were gone and the 3rd one had shrunk, within the next 4 months the last one was in remission. I continue to take the oil and edibles to keep the cancer away. It also helps with other medical issues I have. I do not trust LP weed, where I get my supply, I know from plant to finished product how it was grown & made as clean and organically as possiable. I want to have the right to get my medication from someone I trust and I know where & how it was grown with no use of chemicals being a small grow organically grown by licence holder. Making sick patientssettle for something they cant trust is against our rights to chose our own type of treatment. Our government makes no sense, why would they not look at people who have been doing this for many years who are fighting for patients and learn from them their knowledge is more than anyone they have assigned to investigate this the people making these stupid decissions are not even qualified nir do they understand….ask us! The patients on who & what we need, we are willing to work with you, not against you.” (aged 63)

Just an Old Hippie and Jolly Mystic Dude with a background (or interests) in psychology, consciousness, well-being, spirituality, philosophy, sexuality, contemplative practices and technology. In a few past lives or careers I have been a youth-care worker and program developer; statistician; research analyst; database developer; web developer; WordPress developer; Linux administrator and open-source consultant; network/website security administrator; social-media and marketing analyst; male waiter on Ladies Nights and a pourer of molten steel.

I currently hang out in Gibson’s BC while attending Alef Trust in the UK (Middlesex University) as a Master’s student in Consciousness, Spirituality & Transpersonal Psychology where I am investigating the intersection of technology and well-being. When I am not reading, studying, writing, blogging, listening to music or contemplating my navel, I like to ride my motorcycle, take photos, go hiking, 4x4ing, meditate on the beach, camping, kayaking or anything else outdoors. I also like challenging social, sexual, gender and intellectual stereotypes as well exploring the furthest reaches of human consciousness.

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