Ted Smith is a big Boy Scout. He is constantly helping others in need, and Ted has successfully advocated human rights for decades. Ted is the Founder of the the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club, Canada's oldest compassion club, which opened in 1996. He has played a large role in the battle to legalize cannabis in Canada for the past three decades and continues his advocacy work today .
Since moving to Victoria in 1995 to start the International Hempology 101 Society, Ted has been at the forefront of cannabis activism. He is the author of Hempology 101: The History and Uses of Cannabis Sativa, published in 2012, a history of cannabis text book full of rich references to our historic use of this important plant medicine. He was the publisher of the Cannabis Digest newspaper, Canada’s largest publication on the subject for almost 10 years. Ted was even featured in a cameo as himself in the movie Kid Cannabis. Ted has organized cannabis conventions across the country, coordinating or participating in approximately 4,000 rallies, meetings, press conferences and other events.
Ted founded the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club in January of 1996 making it the oldest medical cannabis dispensary in Canada, now with over 8,500 members. After his employee Owen Smith was arrested baking cookies in 2009, he helped manage the case all the way to a unanimous 7-0 victory at the Supreme Court of Canada in 2015. The R. v. Smith case made cannabis edibles and concentrates legal for patients to consume, whereas before only smoked herb was considered legal medicine. Over the years, the VCBC and its facilities have been raided 8 times but have beaten every criminal charge in court using constitutional arguments.
He took a few years away from the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club to care for his life time partner Gayle Quin, who was also a patient and a passionate cannabis activist. After she died of cancer in 2016, Ted created a tea company in her honour named Gayle’s Tea, which is only available for sale at the VCBC.
Currently Ted is focused on getting the VCBC a temporary exemption from the Cannabis Act to provide high-dosage edibles to patients, medicines the club has provided long before legalization. After two raids by the Community Safety Unit, he and the club have been fined
Thank you to Jeremy Benning, our co-producer and sound editor.
And thank you to Albert Wong, who created and performed our beautiful music.
For more insightful conversations related to cannabis law, listen to our other episodes at https://podcast.cannabislawonearth.com/
If you're looking for a good text book on Canada's federal cannabis law and regulations with helpful related case law, read Canada's Cannabis Act.
And if you need a cannabis lawyer, ask Russell for more information at https://cannabislaw.ca