This issue sees the Cannabis Culture team going through some very interesting times. We are experiencing great success in terms of sales, distribution and publicity, and we are getting our message out to more people than ever before. Yet we are also facing some of our greatest challenges in terms of our ultimate survival as a magazine.
CC publisher and seedmeister Marc Emery was featured in the March 13 issue of Time magazine, which distributes over 10 million copies worldwide. The article covered the legendary potency of "BC Bud" and the ease with which it is smuggled into the US. The article described Emery as "a libertarian activist who underwrites marijuana-legalization campaigns around the world."
Getting this kind of high-profile coverage draws its own subsequent media attention. So Marc's spoken with Associated Press, the UK's Mail on Sunday (circulation 3 million), a major Colombian radio station, and given countless other interviews over the past few weeks. In all these forums he has articulated the benefits of cannabis and the harm caused by pot-prohibition.
We haven't seen this level of publicity since the heady days of Hemp BC, when stories in the Wall Street Journal and CNN were always followed by a raid one month later. Things are different now, we hope, as we have no more storefront laden with merchandise for the cops to seize.
We are also seeing our circulation and sales steadily rise, and we are working to get CC into New Zealand and Australia, as well as increasing our exposure and access to Europe's tokers. Pot censorship laws make this tricky, but we are finding ways to slip our magazines past the censors whenever possible.
Our Pot-TV InterNetwork has begun broadcasting, and presents an exciting expansion for us. Our range and expertise in this new medium will only increase, and already we're presenting live daily audio news and entertainment at www.pot-tv.net. Video streams, grow-cams and other fun stuff will coming soon!
Our long-awaited Pot Puzzle Fun Book will be released by Quick Trading in early May. It'll be our first published book which is also exciting for us.
And yet with all this success comes danger, for the attention which we receive draws the ire of our enemies. The highest echelons of the US and UN governments have been speaking out against our pro-pot stance, and stepping up their drug war efforts.
US Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey singled out our website in a speech before Congress last year, and now the US government is targeting Cannabis Culture and other vocal anti-prohibitionists with a drug info-ban ? the impending Methamphetamine Anti-proliferation Act.
The UN has also spoken out against Canada's seed-selling websites. A February International Narcotics Control Board report states: "Canadian sites on the Internet are the world leaders in selling very potent varieties of cannabis. Canada's cannabis seed industry appears to be even more robust than that of the Netherlands."
This could be seen as a compliment, but the report calls for Canada to get cracking and stamp out these merchants of happiness.
Meanwhile, in our home-town of Vancouver during February and March, police launched a major offensive against pot-growers, raiding dozens of homes and seizing over 40 children from their pot-growing parents.
Almost all the children are Vietnamese, and were described by child-protection agents as "well-fed and well-dressed." Yet because they lived in homes with pot plants they were taken from their parents and into the custody of the government.
Taking children from their loving parents is a terrifying practice.
I believe that the closer we get to victory, the more desperate and extreme the prohibitionists will become. As they struggle to stop a movement which has grown beyond their control, they will lash out with their only tools: censorship and violence.
The prohibitionists have all the guns and military might, but we have momentum and enlightened public opinion on our side. Ours must be a victory of conscience, and we will see our plant and our people freed from prison if we keep up the pressure and do not falter.
Cannabis Culture will continue to spread seeds of hope and knowledge throughout the world, until our sacred herb grows freely everywhere her roots can find soil.
Editor, Cannabis Culture