Dear Ms. Justice Minister


CANNABIS CULTURE – Cannabis Culture contributor David Malmo-Levine’s open letter to Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, the Liberal MP in charge of the policies of Justin Trudeau going forward or not. 

Dear Ms. Justice Minister,

My name is David Malmo-Levine. I have been a cannabis legalization activist since 1993. I have appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada in 2003 on a cannabis legalization constitutional challenge. I’ve written dozens of articles on cannabis, created multiple websites, magazines, interviews for documentaries and television programs. I’ve written chapter 3, “Recent History” of “The Pot Book,” the most authoritative cannabis reader in the English language. I’ve written a book on cannabis and the developing minds of the young. I’ve created an herb museum and a cannabis dispensary that specializes in preventive medicine.

If it is true that you have received a hundred page report and a stack of supporting materials on an issue your party used to win an election, why haven’t you contacted me back? At least to let me know it was received?

Just today I was told I had been asking the wrong people for an audience with you this entire time. I was told to call your office in Ottawa. When I called I was told to email you. Honestly, this feels like the run-around. But I am extending to you the same benefit of the doubt I would hope to receive from you, and wish to meet with you to see if we can, together, prevent a horrible injustice from happening – one to which you are being asked to attach your name.

I feel it is important that we meet. I am not sure you understand what is at stake when it comes to selecting the type of legalization we must live under for the next few generations. If we choose wrong, large segments of my community – most likely the young and the poor – may continue to suffer under prohibition. The model we select in Canada will be held as a model for all countries. Potentially millions of young users and poor farmers and gardeners all over the world could be adversely affected by our actions.

Legalization – done properly – will have fantastic benefits in the areas of human dignity, of building up many hundreds of thousands of small businesses, and of removing the red tape around industrial hemp so it can compete with – and replace – many polluting industries such as fossil fuels, plastics and timber. In this age of climate destabilization and pollution from non-renewable resources, we need hemp ethanol to survive as a species.  The tight controls advocated by some members of your party can only be justified if certain myths – primarily “cannabis harms the developing minds of young people” – are not exposed as untrue. I have proof that these are lies meant to justify monopoly and continued persecution.

As one member of a historically persecuted minority to another, I appeal to your sense of decency and honour: please meet with me and discuss these matters in person.