Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Ted Smith, Paul Spong, Janine Bandcroft January 3rd, 2019

Welcome to a New Year; MMXIX as Caesar would have it. In MMXVIII, Canada finally moved towards sensible marijuana laws. For decades, Canadians were harried, fined, and even thrown into prisons for the act of smoking or otherwise ingesting an entirely naturally occurring herb, which even its harshest detractors admit is not too terribly harmful. In fact, weed has been used in a variety of World cultures for uncounted centuries as both curative and spiritual aid.

So how’s the nation’s belated enlightenment going?

Ted Smith is a long-time justice activist and co-founder of the Victoria Cannabis Buyer’s Club, which provides cannabis-based products to people with terminal and incurable medical conditions.

Ted broke the tundra-like, frozen legal trail of the Canadian medical marijuana struggle, persevering repeated harassment and arrest, and taking the case all the way to the country’s Supreme Court – and winning!

Ted Smith in the first half.

And; last week Japan announced it would be leaving the International Whaling Commission, the body set up to oversee that odious practice, incredibly still conducted by numerous nations. The Japanese say they will forego their controversial “scientific” whaling in the Southern Ocean off Antarctica, but continue commercial hunt/harvesting activities in territorial waters, or what it terms, the Japanese Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

The news has been hailed as good news by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, who say the absence of Japan from the commission will, quote “allow the IWC to pass the motion to establish the South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary thus effectively ending whaling in the Southern Hemisphere.” Others fear the move is bad for whales in other ways.

Dr. Paul Spong is marine researcher, one of the World’s foremost authorities on the Orca, and founder of OrcaLab, a land-based observatory located on Hanson Island. Spong has tracked whale and other marine mammals from the idyllic location since 1970. He attended and sent dispatches out from last Fall’s IWC 67 in Florianopolis, Brazil.

Paul Spong and what Japan’s new policy means for whales in the new year in the second half.

And; Victoria-based activist and long-time Gorilla Radio contributor, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour with the Left Coast Events Bulletin on some of the good things to be gotten up to in and around our town in the coming week. But first, Ted Smith and the ongoing effort to norml-ize marijuana policy in Canada.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.uvic.ca.  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: http://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.ca/