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September 30, 1999
>From The Toronto Star
By Leatrice Spevack, Special to The Star


Comedy Show Benefits Crusade To Legalize Pot

One person's recreation is another's remedy, but unlike tequila or Tylenol, using marijuana can land you in the slammer -- whatever you use it for.

Oh Cannabis!, a benefit for the Medical Marijuana Defense Fund and the Toronto Compassion Centre, aims to help change that.
(Marijuananews note: For non-Canadian readers, Oh Cannabis! is a pun on the Canadian national anthem, Oh Canada.)

The show, next Wednesday at Yuk Yuk's Superclub, is simply smokin' with top stand-up talent. Comedy addicts will get a dose of some rollicking reefer madness as Ed the Sock's side-kick, Craig Campbell; Nubian Disciples main man, Kenny Robinson; Jerry Springer hoaxster Johnny Gardhouse; Tom Stade, Alan Park, Kid Keno, Lou Eisen and Kerry TaImage, among others, make laughter matter for the seriously ill.

What lures Lou Eisen (the mastermind behind Yuk Yuk's Yids in the Hall) to the cause is that "I got caught ... oh, uh, I got involved because if something helps somebody medically they should be allowed to have it, whether it's marijuana or Ben and Jerry's. In fact, if Ben and Jerry had a marijuana-flavoured ice cream, that'd be great not for me, of course."

Oh Cannabis! producer and comic, Howard Dover, 36, who is busy preparing his showcase at the renowned Caroline's Comedy Club, cracks, "What prompted me to do the second benefit was that the first one only raised enough for a couple of ounces."

More seriously, he adds, "I have a cousin who is stricken with AIDS and is petitioning for medical marijuana."

AIDS patient Jim Wakeford, who may be in attendance at the benefit, is one of only two Canadians who are currently allowed to use medical marijuana.

See Canadian Health Minister Issues Call To All Pot Growers To Send Him Their Resumes.

In The Meantime, He Is Going To Try To Get Marijuana From DEAland.
Maybe He Will Have Better Luck Than Our Own Researchers.
Two AIDS Patients Get Exemptions.

The courts, according to York University law professor Alan Young, are "sitting on 90 other applications with no light at the end of the tunnel."

Young will be championing the cause at the Ontario Court of Appeals on October 6 and 7.

"I've been involved in issues relating to cannabis roughly 5 years now. What I consider to be a grave injustice is the Canadian government converting law-abiding, productive citizens into criminals simply because they chose to ... medicate themselves in alternative ways."

See Exhausted MS Patient Harichy Abandons Court Fight; Will Try For Bureaucratic Exemption.
"Surely, Canada can do better." -- Great Column In Her Hometown Paper

Comic Kerry Talmage, who undergoes treatment for diabetes, a kidney transplant, high blood pressure and cancer, says, "Everybody knows that I've had 35 operations in the past five years. I've seen the light so many times God sends me a hydro bill."
(Marijuananews note: No, that is not about "sophisticated" indoor growing. It is the electric bill.)

"My medical background says it all. I take six needles a day ... two for diabetes. So if anybody's for the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, it's me -- I use it. You know where I can get any Cheezies?"

Only tickets sold in advance at the following locations will benefit the Toronto Compassion Centre and the Medical Marijuana Defense Fund: Toronto Compassion Centre (654-6120); The Toronto Hemp Company, (667 Yonge); Ed's Record World, (2359 Yonge); and The Hidden Jungle (3327 Lakeshore W.).

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