A TERRACE man has organized a province-wide tour of a medical marijuana advocate.
Travelling in a borrowed motorhome, Barry Prince is taking Nova Scotian Rick Simpson on a journey beginning Aug. 21 in Nanaimo and ending Sept. 6 here in Terrace.
“That’s 4,500 kilometres in 14 days,” says Prince of a schedule covering Vancouver Island, the lower mainland, the Okanagan and east to the Kootenays.
It’s something Prince says he would never have imagined doing even six months ago.
But then, thanks to the internet, Prince has become a believer in the medicinal use of marijuana and its various extracts.
“This has nothing to do with legalization although I’m in favour of it. This is about scientific studies into the beneficial effects of marijuana,” says Prince.
“You type that into Google and you’ll come up with 1.5 million sites.”
“The system is failing us. The medical system is failing us. It’s not working. All they want to do is give you prescription drugs. Drug interactions are the biggest killer in North America.”
Advocates of medical marijuana and its derivative tout its abilities on a number of fronts ranging from diet to cancer.
Prince describes Simpson, 63, as “one of the leaders of the world medical marijuana movement and a cool old man.”
Prince decided to invite Simpson to B.C. after listening to him via internet radio broadcasts and Skype conversations.
What Simpson had first thought would be a relaxing visit to the West Coast turned into a list of appearances once word got out of his visit, said Prince.
He’s so far financing Simpson’s appearances by himself.
Proceeds beyond expenses, continued Prince, will be used to establish a compassion club society in Spain.
That country, Prince continued, is open to the idea of compassion clubs, the phrase used by medical marijuana advocates to describe groups set up to promote the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
In addition to Simpson, Skeena NDP MLA Robin Austin is scheduled to speak at the event in Terrace which is being held at the REM Lee Theatre.
In the spring, Austin came out in favour of regulated marijuana sales.
In the meantime, lower mainland marijuana activist Dana Larsen, seeking to hold a province-wide referendum to decriminalize marijuana possession, was in the northwest this past week lining up supporters for his campaign.