Amazing! We did it Canada, we voted for change this election with 68% of Canadians stepping out and making their voices heard. And more, the youth of Canada spoke. I couldn’t be prouder to be a Canadian today!
I volunteered for the Liberal candidate in my riding and met with Don Johnston and his wife Jeanette early in his campaign. I threw the question out about cannabis at him and asked what he thought about gardens and dispensaries. His answer was very much what I wanted to hear: ‘Marijuana has been beneficial medically for years and the science is there, never mind the fact it is safer than alcohol and is prohibited and that is ridiculous. People shouldn’t get criminal records and lives ruined over a bit of pot.’
Nevermind his other platform of bringing politics back to the people and wanting meeting- and townhalls, and that he really knew what was needed for our rural riding, once he said that I was full-out on the volunteer trail.
I quickly learned how to use the phone bank and, with other volunteers, went out eagerly to put up the fifty signs we had for our area — not many due to a long period of time with low voter support. The riding association was tapped; because of the long election cycle so many candidates were left with few resources to run a zealous campaign.
Kootenay-Columbia is a huge 6400 kilometre riding, and has been a strong conservative hold for the last four years. Don had his work cut out for him but he was dedicated. He attended each of the ten debates held all over the riding, met with all but two of the riding’s mayors, and knocked on doors in every community along the way. We were eager to help incumbent Conservative David Wilks out of his chair.
That goal was reached, but Wade Stetski ultimately won the seat for the NDP. The volunteers and rest of Don’s team did an amazing job and intend to keep momentum going for change for the next election. And I plan on helping!
On the day of the election I got up early and headed out the door for a registration officer position at the Ktunaxa Nation gym. I had to sit and be nonpartisan all day and make no comment on anything political. It was difficult, to say the least, when one particular woman came up to register: she was in her late fifties and told me she had never voted before, but was this time because she was terrified the Liberals or NDP would get in. Mr. Harper was doing a wonderful job, but no one appreciated him….
I really had to chew my tongue on that one but I smiled and said ‘happy voting’.
Nearing 5:00 pm the results from Atlantic Canada started to roll in. We were allowed to use our phones this year, so I asked my CPS if we were allowed to follow the results and he assured me it was okay. When the scrutineer for the Liberals came in and greeted me I am sure I had the biggest grin on my face. I asked if she’d seen the results from Atlantic Canada yet. She hadn’t. ‘Sixty-four seats,’ I whispered to her. Fifteen minutes later we were at seventy-five.
I must have looked like the cat that swallowed the canary every time I looked at my phone.…
At 8:00 pm the polls closed. I headed home, put on my FUCK HARPER shirt, and sat in front of the TV to watch the results. Then I literally jumped for joy up and down in my living room when the majority was announced; I felt like the whole world was about to change.
We sat and watched the speeches. I was still so wired there was no way I was sleeping — the overall feeling of pride coming back and the fact that cannabis was no longer going to be a dirty word, pot users would maybe be looked at like everyone else, not like we had an affliction or were some dirty word….
I am positive that the outcome of legalization for our future will be amazing, that the law for mandatory minimums will change, that people will live without fear of persecution, that criminal records for crimes related to cannabis will be expunged — that good, hardworking people that have a record for pot will be able to take their children to Disneyland and not be ashamed of something they should never have been in a courtroom for.
And I hope that we will be able to provide for ourselves, that farming will expand into fields and fields of hemp, that anyone will be able to own a store and have products for health, wellness, and recreation, and that education for doctors will be mandatory so they learn about cannabinoids and how they and benefit us.
Overall positive is how everyone should feel because Canada voted and now the ride begins!