So on Oct. 15, 2011, I was quoted in this Ottawa Citizen article, which got me this email:
classy comments in the citizen… are you a social activist or a whiner seeking status? Stop projecting your limp-wristed fantasies on others… join the protest or not, the people that are there for change will do your job for you. maybe no one contacted you for your help because it isn’t needed. This is not a pot party for individual attention-seekers..
A real social activist.
I replied with this:
Just calling it like I see it, kiddo.
I want to preface this by saying I am far more “behind” this movement than you can possibly understand. I want this to succeed even more than most people, because I am disabled and a medical marijuana user. So the 1% hurt me more than most people. Sure, I have it better than many, but still… So don’t think I am dissing “the movement”. I am not. I was asked my opinions about the Ottawa event, and was honest.
How nice of you to point out, by the way, that it is not a pot party. If any of you would take a minute to start reading up on marijuana prohibition, you would see that YOU have all just jumped onto a bandwagon that is already many decades old. All this “taking the fight to the man” stuff… google Fill The Hill. MY people have been protesting since 99. I have been in it since 2002.
There is NO better example of “corporations and governments working together to oppress the 99%” than marijuana prohibition. Look it up. But you guys saw this groovy protest on TV and wanted to join in. I mean, you can’t even agree on what it is really about, except that “corporations suck”. This makes the families and the rest of the 99% just roll their eyes.
I have had hundreds of letters published (possibly THE most published letter writer in Canadian History, definitely the most-published anti-prohibition letter-writer in Canada and fourth in the world), many articles in magazines, and have appeared on local and national and internet, TV, video and audio and print countless times. I am, and have been a thorn in the side of local, provincial, and federal government for many years, costing them all untold thousands in legal problems. People stop me on the street. Reporters call ME up to ask what I think about stuff without me calling them first.
I LIVE my activism every single day, because, if you haven’t noticed, pot people – even medical ones – are still being shunned and arrested. More every year than the year before if the stats are right. Even by the people who claim to be fighting for social justice, we get shoved off to the side. Just leaving my home to get groceries or get some exercise is risking my freedom. You? You are camping out in a park in the rain, while the 1% are in Rockcliffe sipping brandy in front of a TV the size of a dining room table. The Canadian 1% are yet to be even 1% frightened. And the cops could care less.
When I joined in on Wednesday on facebook, all I wanted was to see if you guys got your shit in a pile, to see if I wanted to come down or not. By the time the reporter called me on Friday morning, it didn’t look to ANYONE – not me, not the public, not the media – like you did.
Not MY fault. If the reporter had said to me “No, no…. we have been talking to them. It is all a go. It is organized.” I would have said “Well, good! Let’s hope the weather holds out!”
Since then, I see all the emails and stuff, legal and medical, and it looks like you DID get a lot of it together after all……. you just kept it all to yourselves till the last second. This is what made the media wonder wtf, and give you bad press.
No MY fault.
I got shouted down on the facebook thread for lack of faith. Someone even PM’d to ask if I was a cop!
Look, Ray: I got my ass out of a wheelchair in 2007 – much to the surprise of my doctors – and returned to the comedy stage. In 2001, I brought the person who is now my wife back from the dead with my approximation of CPR. I co-authored and co-illustrated the world’s first childrens’ book about medical marijuana. I gave the first marijuana cooking demo this town has ever seen. I helped another guy escape the jaws of death by helping him get a doctor, permit, and grower. So I don’t have to prove anything to anyone, certainly not you. My record speaks for itself. If ONE of you had googled my name you would have seen that I am not just some yahoo from the woods, I am, as you would say, a “real” social activist.
I had neither the desire nor wherewithal to “hijack” this event into a pot rally. I would not want it to become a pot event, because as I pointed out, prohibition is only PART of the big problems. But simply MENTIONING it to you guys got you all in a tizzy. I never claimed to be any BIG name or expert, just a guy with nine years experience and an ongoing rapport with the local media that I could have used to HELP you guys get good ink and video. Instead you blew me off, I told the media my opinion when asked, and you got bad ink.
Not MY fault.
If the “organizers” had been more forthcoming with details – to the press and public – the Citizen reporter (who was entirely sympathetic, by the way), would have given you great ink. I had to call the media and police to find out what was going on because the facebook page was not very detailed and no one would even ADMIT to being an organizer. You guys deliberately shrouded yourselves in a cloak of coyness (why, I have no idea), shunned the press, shunned activists who offered to help, and then wondered why you got a bad article and low turnout. The reporters read the thread on facebook, you know. YOUR side’s words and mine all spoke for themselves.
Luckily, you now have ME to blame for the low turnout…. and not… you know…. your own lack of forethought. Glad I could be of service.
For more details on me and my ongoing daily fights with the city, province, school boards, and feds, see:
And, sincerely, I commend you on your dedication and hard work, and wish you success. How could I not? My life depends on it!