Pubdate: Mon, 06 Nov 2000
Source: Toronto Sun (CN ON)
Copyright: 2000, Canoe Limited Partnership.
Contact:  333 King St. E., Toronto, Ontario M5A 3X5 Canada
Fax: (416) 947-3228
Author: Dene Moore, The Canadian Press
Cited: Pot-TV
Bookmark: cannabis clippings


VANCOUVER (CP) -- It gives a whole new meaning to the term smokescreen.

Broadcast from a basement in bud-friendly B.C., Pot-TV has been getting 
25,000 hits a month since it began producing a daily marijuana news show 
and various other programs over the Internet last spring.

"B.C., as you probably know, is the heartland of cannabis culture in North 
America," said Chris Bennett, one of five full-time employees and host of 
Pot-TV's Burning Shiva, an exploration of the cultural use of cannabis 
throughout history.

Viewers can tune into The Big Toke, a cannabis comedy hour, The Grow Show 
with Marijuana Man, Cannabis Common Sense or Shake 'n Bake, a cooking show 
that puts a whole new spin on baked goods.

"It's the best job I've ever had," said Bennett.

Pot-TV also offers the Healing Herb Hour to discuss medical uses for 
marijuana and Yours in Defence, a legal discussion hosted by a 
Colorado-based lawyer.

This is no Cheech and Chong venture.

Marijuana advocate Marc Emery has spent $220,000 since the beginning of the 
year to get Pot-TV up and running, "and it produces no revenue," he said.

Emery supports the station the same way he supported his Cannabis Culture 
magazine until it began to break even a few years ago -- by selling 
marijuana seeds.

"I'm the world's most famous and well-known marijuana seed seller," said 
Emery, who makes more than $1 million a year that way.

Emery's basement on the Sunshine Coast has been converted into a studio 
with 15 computers, cameras and microphones. Programs and news items come in 
from around the world.

Emery would like to have mainstream advertisers to fund the station.

"We should be getting like, you know, the Hostess munchies ads or 
Coca-Cola, because that is our market."

But Pot-TV is too controversial for the mainstream, he said.

Emery is no stranger to controversy. Crusading for cannabis is his life.

The magazine Cannabis Culture is occasionally banned, most recently in 
Timmins, Ont. He is the candidate for the Marijuana Party in the upcoming 
federal election.

Emery's Cannabis Cafe and Hemp B.C. store, which sold marijuana and allowed 
consumption on site, was raided and had all assets seized four times before 
the city revoked the business licence.

Emery says he is doing nothing illegal with Pot-TV. Police aren't sure, either.

"It's supposed to be against the law to possess or distribute information 
that helps people to use drugs, but when the law was made we certainly 
didn't know Web sites existed yet," said Sgt. Chuck Doucette of the RCMP 
drug awareness section in Vancouver.

"The whole Internet thing has presented unique challenges for law enforcement."

Doucette said authorities are trying to address that loophole with new laws.

"In the meantime all we can do is sort of counter it with the information 
that we have that says that drugs are harmful and try to caution young 
people to make wise choices," Doucette said.
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