Pubdate: Fri, 23 Nov 2012
Source: Metro (Ottawa, CN ON)
Copyright: 2012 Metro
Author: Rosanna Haroutounian


Pot activist Ted Smith's attempt to nationalize the Hempology movement
may be stalled when he brings his Cannabis Convention to Ottawa on

Smith, author of Hempology 101, began his conventions in B.C., where
he gives public lectures at the University of Victoria.

Smith said he wanted to hold the conference at Carleton University,
but was unable to co-ordinate with the Ontario Public Research
Interest Group (OPIRG) at the university.

"It was quite frustrating that none of them were willing to help us
get hempology up and running," said Ted. "Unfortunately, they may have
the perception that I'm out trying to sell the book and they don't
want to have their club used for some kind of commercial endeavour."

Yafa Jarrar, volunteer, outreach, and programing co-ordinator at OPIRG
Carleton, said the group is not opposed to the convention, but could
not host it due to time and capacity restrictions.

"When we get a request like this, we try to partner that event with
one of our working groups, and none of them at this point do similar
work or have the capacity to take this one on," said Jarrar. She said
OPIRG Carleton may establish a Hempology chapter if it fits with the
group's mandate and commitment to social justice.

Smith wrote in an e-mail that he was so frustrated with OPIRG
Carleton's response that he booked the convention at the public
library without trying to contact groups at the University of Ottawa.
He said plans to host a convention at the University of Toronto
similarly fell through.

Adam Greenblatt from the Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis
Dispensaries said many activists turn conventions like this into a
one-man shows.

"I think any publicity at any event you do is good for getting the
message out, but in reality I think it's going to be a big
choir-preach," said Greenblatt, who will speak at the convention.

While members of the public expressed interest in the convention to
Metro the event appeared not to be on the radar of officials.

Ottawa Police Services representatives and Ottawa MPs Paul Dewar,
Mauril Belanger, David McGuinty, and Royal Galipeau will not attend
the convention. John Baird, MP for Ottawa West-Nepean, did not respond
to inquiries about whether he would attend.
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