Meeting April 26

I reported that the results of our application to the Alberta Law Foundation for a grant should be available in a few days. Wayne checked the cost of T shirts at Fat City. We decided to order 100 T shirts, 20 frisbees and key holders. Ed attended the trial of Kieth Stroup, a U.S. lawyer and president of NORML, who was arrested for possession when arriving in Calgary. George found a band, Backup and Push,  who would play for our bluegrass festival. We could rent a table at Swap-a-rama for $2.50, space $7.50.

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Meeting April 22

We had a full agenda:

1) Grant from Law Foundation
2) News release
3) Bulletin
4) Envelopes for flyers
5) Copy of telephone survey
6) Copyright of ALCC logo
7) News of paraquat in pot scare
8) Joint ALCC Edmonton-Calgary conference in Red Deer
9) T shirts

We decided to buy the chemicals required for the paraquat testing kit: sodium dithionite ($38) sodium bicarbonate ($8). Garry and Wayne reported on phone survey and bank balance.

Herbicide-laced marijuana alarms U.S., Canadian users

(New York Times) SAN FRANCISCO
Warnings against the use of Mexican marijuana that has been sprayed with a herbicide that can physically damage humans have aroused alarm here and elsewhere in the U.S. and Canada. American smokers of the Mexican marijuana, their families and friends, are asking whether their government and their taxes are supporting the poisoning of a product that is consumed by millions of Americans.

Need counselling
Addicts’ children have problems
TORONTO (CP)
Norman Panzica, senior consultant to the Council on Drug Abuse, says children of addicts can have serious problems even when their parents are recovering from addictions. Speaking Thursday at a conference on the family at York University. Panzica said at least 90 per cent of such children require individual counselling whether or not the family as a group is getting help for addiction.

Arrest rate rising with extra police

Click here for news clipping

OTTAWA (CP)
There are more policemen than ever in Canada and they are arresting more people than ever. Statistics Canada figures show they were 51,629 sworn-in police in the country at the end of 1976, roughly one for ever 500 Canadians. The number of police had risen, 10 per cent since 1972, more slowly than the arrest rate. The same period saw an increase for federal statute violations, which includes drug violations of 58.1 per cent.

Delays in drug laws
Simple possession and the use of cannabis, a soft drug, should not be a criminal offence. The fact that millions of dollars are being wasted to charge and convict 1,100 people each week is not important enough to the federal government in Ottawa at this time. The issue of decriminalization of cannabis has been bounced around Ottawa for more than 10 years. How many more Canadians will suffer because of federal inaction?
JAMES HOAD, Brantford, Ont.

Mexico won’t stop farmers growing opium, marijuana
ALBUQUERQUE. N.M.
(UPI) ~ The deputy attorney general of Mexico says his government will not tell farmers to stop growing marijuana and opium poppies because the alternative is starvation. “The government is not going to tell the people to stop producing narcotic crops and the have those people die of starvation.” Samuel Alba-Leyba said Thursday at the Southwestern States Conference on Crime and Border.

If it’s blue don’t smoke it
A marijuana-law reform group hopes city pot smokers don’t have the “blues.” If they do it’s because they are using contaminated marijuana. In a statement Wednesday the Calgary branch of the Alberta Legalization of Cannabis Committee (ALCC) announced plans to market a chemical kit to determine if contaminated marijuana is in circulation in the Calgary area. The chemicals register a blue color if the tested marijuana is contaminated.

Dirty marijuana believed in Ontario

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HAMILTON (GP) –
A doctor says a drug user is suffering from probable poisoning after using marijuana believed to have been sprayed with the herbicide paraquat in a Mexican government program to curb the illicit drug trade. Dr. Dennis Psutka, director of emergency devices  McMaster University centre, said Tuesday that he felt obligated to inform the public that the contaminated marijuana is in this area.

Selling like hotcakes
Marijuana testing kits available
By Dave Margoshes (Herald staff writer)
No sign of marijuana contaminated with a lung-damaging herbicide has turned up in Calgary yet, but nervous smokers can now run their own tests. Kits containing a chemical mix designed to detect the herbicide, Paraquat, went on sale Thursday in two downtown shops, where they are “selling like hotcakes.” The $1.50 kit was put together by the Alberta Legalization of Cannabis Committee (ALCC) after testing by a University of Calgary chemist, a spokesman for the group said.

Pot lobbyist fined for possession
Cristine Bye” (Herald staff writer)
American anti-marijuana law activist Keith Stroup was,fined $100 in provincial court Thursday for what the judge called “just another case of possession of marijuana.” The 34-year o1d lawyer and director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) had flown in from Washington, D.C. especially for the trial. He was found guilty of possession by Judge Norman Mackie.

Meeting April 19

CFCN filmed us for the news. George suggested we give memberships to prisoners serving time for possession of pot. Donation boxes are to be made for Boodlum and Charisma shops. I suggested that we have our T shirts printed, rather than doing it ourselves, at $3.50 each for a minimum of 100.

Pot use by servicemen rising

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OTTAWA (CP)
Marijuana is being used increasing, by young servicemen in the armed forces, Lt. Gen. J.C. Smith said Tuesday. Smith, assistant deputy defence minister, told a Commons defence committee meeting “there tends to be a correlation between the very new recruits just out of high school and the incidence of use of marijuana. While marijuana use is increasing, so-called hard drugs are not being used much in the armed forces,he said. Heroin, cocaine, LSD and opium are widely considered to be hard drugs. The alcohol problem is more serious, he said. The forces have rehabilitation programs for alcoholics in several centres across Canada. Smith said he did not have figures immediately available on drug use.

Daily Colonist, Victoria
A 21-year-old North Saanich man was convicted of driving while impaired by marijuana and was fined $450 in Victoria provincial court Thursday. Ian David Brenton, 9125 East SaanIch, was convIcted following a trial before Judge Blake AHan. Constable Pete Backus of the RCMP testIfIed that he was part of a BATvan mobile roadblock on the Pat Bay Highway near Sidney on Dec. 15 when Brenton was ordered to stop.

Pot puffer in hospital due to spray, doctor says
HAMILTON (CP)
A doctor says a drug user is suffering from probable poisoning after using marijuana believed to have been sprayed with the herbicide paraquat in a Mexican government program to curb the illicit drug trade. Dr. Dennis Psutka. director of emergency services at McMaster University Medical Centre. said Tuesday that he felt obligated to inform the public that the contaminated marijuana is probably in this area. Last month, the U.S. department of health, education and welfare issued a warning that smoking Mexican marijuana might lead to irreversible lung damage.

Meeting April 12

I explained how the paraquat test kit worked. We decided to sell them for $1.50 which would be enough for 2 tests. CFCN wants to televise how the kit works. Ed or Ben will contact Scott Ross or Ralph Kline about interview. I reported on the articles that we found in Mclean’s magazine at the Calgary Library. Alex will write to Jack McLellan. Ben reported that the Flying Burrito Bros would be playing in Calgary. George will contact legal aid about copyright. Stan discussed the ALCC convention and where it might be held: Red Deer, Sylvan Lake, Camrose? At a campground, hotel? New chapters in Camrose (Judy LaVoie), Red Deer?

Paraquat testing kit bee

test kit instuctions

Test kit instructions (click to enlarge)

photo courtesy Ben Kuypers

A chemist told me of chemicals that could be used to make kits to test for Paraquat in marijuana. I was surprised how easy it was to buy sodium dithionite and sodium bicarbonate.  We met at my house and placed the chemicals in kits. Small brown envelopes were a good size and we found that the small plastic stir spoons from McDonald’s were perfect for measuring the chemicals. We put 1 tiny spoonful of the first and 4 of the second in the envelopes and sold them for $1.50 –each good for two tests. Each kit included the above instructions. If it turns blue, it’s no good for you.