Step Out & Step Up

..can’t sleep

Well, hello old friends.  It’s been a while since I’ve logged in and touched base.  I have been working harder than I have in years, hence my absence.  Between the radio show I host with my partner 5 days a week, I have also added a Saturday radio show to the roster that I host alone.  I’m broadcasting 6 days a week.

“C” has begun a new job in another city.  We will be leaving Saint John New Brunswick.  I am currently staying in Halifax, Nova Scotia- where I’m from.  The city has changed a lot in the three years I was gone.  Some areas I barely recognize due to gentrification.  Thanks Hipsters for driving up rental costs in the city.  Much appreciated.  I have some questions though.  How many micro breweries does one city need?  What’s the big deal with craft beer and Hipsters anyway?  Why the man-bun?  I’m just gonna say it… Craft beer= glass of farts.  There I said it.  You’re all thinking it but I said it.  “C” and I are frantically searching for a suitable rental.  I say frantically because ALL the apartments have been taken by students.  Damn university town.  Guess we know who’s really drinking all that extra gassy craft beer.

On another front, I have somewhat kicked up my medical cannabis activism game.  I’m a newbie; no where near as experienced as many of my peers, but I see injustice.  I hate injustice.  I see people suffering with a plethora of illness ranging from chronic to terminal flailing around a medical system hell bent on prescribing this and that only to manage symptoms, never addressing the cause.  Pharmaceutical tyranny I call it.  I see a void in our current system and I feel like I have just as good of a voice as anyone else.  I have partaken in a video that’s going viral, standing with other patients addressing how invaluable dispensaries are to us.  I have also given an interview with a local paper- it just came out today.  Change doesn’t happen without fight; without discord.  I am stepping out of my comfort zone and stepping up.  I think more of us need to do this in our everyday lives.  Step out, step up.  A little tip?  We won’t die nor break as a result of stepping out of our comfort zones.  As a society, we have become complacent much to our detriment.  We allow ourselves to be distracted by things that don’t affect us, don’t matter or don’t serve us, and when it’s suggested we put forth an effort, suddenly, many people simply “don’t have the time”.  It’s true that there are many demanding professions and careers out there, but let’s be honest; you have time, you just couldn’t be bothered and you’re not a cardiovascular surgeon.

“Leave it for someone else”

“So and So will take care of it”

“Surely the government will step in”

No.  These are incorrect statements, and they stink of naivete.

Your government doesn’t care about you.  You know why?  Because democracy is a misconstrued notion.  It’s a dead sentiment.  Countries are run by corporations.  Money and lobby groups dictate policy and laws.  The FDA?  A laughable organization.  It’s about who can contribute how many dollars.  It’s bullshit studies done by the very same drug companies trying to patent their poisons medicines.  “Surely there are drug trials and tests” you might retort.  Yeah there are.  Two.  Two tests.  Often performed by the drug companies’ own teams.  That’s not biased at all.  You know what else happens in government?  Nepotism.  Look at how many Trumps are fucking up running the White House.  Here in  Halifax, Nova Scotia, the city police chief is our Premiere’s brother.  You can’t make this shit up folks.

Two days ago, my best friend’s dispensary was robbed in broad daylight by police raided.  A lot of people are left without medication now and two people who volunteer their time to help other patients, one- a single mother of three- are now facing charges and court appearances.  Is this necessary?  Is this fair?  This friend  has given me medication at no cost many times so that I am not sick, so that I can function at a reasonable level and enjoy a reasonable quality of life.  (It’s not illegal to give or trade cannabis among patients- just an FYI) Do you know how grateful I am?  This friend has given medication and has offered a compassionate ear to virtually anyone truly in need.  There are thousands of patients that rely on Higher Living Wellness Centre.  Thousands of people have been made to feel safe, welcome, listened to, and many have developed life long friendships, and enjoy a peaceful sense of community with other like minded individuals.  We harm no one.  We bother no one.  We have medical prescriptions for cannabis.  No one is served without a prescription and ID.  The patients they serve range in ages all over the board and the cases range from things like cancer, MS, Parkinson’s, to Fibromyalgia, to rheumatoid arthritis, to PTSD and other painful life altering conditions.  Conditions that many doctors simply give up on.  It becomes a game of “let’s try this” “let’s increase that” ” I heard good things about this drug”  Doctors are in the game of symptom management.  Although here in Canada, doctors can’t accept “kickbacks” they CAN accept training in places like the Bahamas for 2 weeks or a nice golfing vacation.  Doctors are still bought here in Canada, they just accept a different currency.

For many of us, we have come to rely on communities like this.  Let’s not forget, the fast approaching legalization debacle was built on the backs of compassion clubs and dispensaries just like Higher Living Wellness.  It’s infuriating to me that the people with all the knowledge, the care and understanding of this plant; this GOD GIVEN plant are being locked out of an entire industry.  It’s infuriating to me that the government thinks it’s OK for a stage 4 breast cancer patient to get in line at the liquor store behind two twenty year olds looking to enhance their bar game that night.  It’s infuriating to me to tell someone dying of cancer that he has to log in on a computer with a credit card to a faceless entity for his legal medicine?  There’s no one you can ACTUALLY speak with when dealing with LPs.  It’s all email.  There no recommendations, there’s no teaching moments between an LP and a patient.  This is access for sick people??  Are you joking?  This must be a joke.  No one really treats the ill like this do they?  They do in Canada.  They do in Halifax Nova Scotia.  The Nova Scotia government doesn’t care about us, they don’t care about you.  I have already lost faith in doctors, I have since lost faith in my government, I have now lost faith in the police.  It’s become clear to us that we are nothing in their eyes.

We can’t have that.  I can’t have that.  I cannot foresee a future where all my rights have been stripped and I am forced to live a bed bound isolated life again and not have at the very least TRIED to fight back.

I have always been a fighter, I will always be a fighter.

Maybe cannabis is not your fight, that’s fine.  But I bet there’s something you need to be fighting for.  Don’t let your hesitation fester in to a life long regret.  Don’t be caught off guard and steamrolled; governments are notorious for silently removing rights while you’re playing Candy Crush or taking the latest Facebook quiz.  Take action.  There is SO MUCH wrong in this world right now, pick your battle and fight for it.  Fight with everything you have.

Step out, step up.

HLWC shirt

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,

Sam

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Halifax Hauntings…

creepy girlYesterday I wrote about a creepy encounter I had at home.   A Ghost Sat on Me .  It received such a good response I thought I’d regale you with another haunted tale.

The year was 2006, it was fall and I was living on Tobin Street in Downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia.  I had fallen asleep reading a book.  I woke up around 3 am and saw something.  To my right, in the small space between my bed and the wall my window was on, stood a little girl.  She looked to be between the ages of 6 and 8.  She had long stringy, dirty wet looking hair that clung to her dirty white nightgown.  She looked like she had been in a fire as she appeared charred with scars on one side of her face.

I was in shock.  Thinking surely I was just dreaming I was seeing this, I quickly pinched my arm while looking at her.  Ouch!  She was still there.  I reached out my right arm to touch her.  Her eyes met mine as she shook her head No.   It took me a second to get it out, but I screamed and she disappeared.  I told my roommate about it the following day.

Halifax Explosion
Chronicle Herald Headline

A big History nerd, I hit the archives to find out more about where I lived.  I discovered that during the Halifax Explosion, the land where my apartment building now stood once serviced military officials that helped in the search and recovery of bodies after the explosion.

I believe that little girl was a victim in that explosion.  her nightgown was the old cotton style they wore in the early 1900s.  They may have brought her back to the station where she most likely died.  I’m not sure why she reached out to me, maybe I seemed friendly, maybe she liked my cat at the edge of the bed.  At the time, I was obviously frightened but now, I feel honored that she felt safe enough with me to show herself to me.

Halifax Explosion
Halifax Explosion Aftermath

I also lived in one of 3 high rises that border Barrington Street in downtown Halifax.  That was directly in the original blast zone of the 1917 explosion that leveled parts of Halifax.  That apartment unnerved me.  It was common for the bathroom light to turn itself on and the bathroom faucet to start running in the middle of the night.  Another curious thing that frequently occurred was one of our cats, (Kaizer) would hop up on the key table in our front entrance and sit there with his tail swinging while he chirped at the ceiling.  He did this every night.  I never felt comfortable in the living room or bedroom.  We hung out in the spare room which was converted in to a record/bar room.  I couldn’t wait to leave that place.  I was there less than a year.

 

Do you have any ghost stories?

 

Live Humbly, Be Scared, Live Cautiously,

Sam

 

Images

Creepy Little Girl  https://www.pinterest.ca/tonysnguyen/alice/?lp=true

Halifax Explosion  http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/halifax-explosion/

Halifax headline  http://www.redcross.ca/history/artifacts/halifax-explosion—halifax-herald-front-page