Nick James Alvernaz
I am a member of an amazing group called the Brantford Cannabis Club (BCC), which is focused on the community and changing the stigma around cannabis consumers. We also have a small group called the “Lazy Stoners: which is dedicated to volunteering around the community and pooling our skills and resources to help those in need. These same members also helped built a fence for a neighbour, assisted in many city-wide clean ups and took part in various community events. Overall, we have been trying to impact our city and bring forth positive change on behalf of the cannabis community.
We have recently been partnering with a new organization called SHARC (Self Help Addiction Resource Center) and taking part in things like food and clothing drives. Brantford’s first 420 rally was in 2014 and we managed to bring in 92 pounds of food to donate. At the same event in 2015, we brought in 248 pounds of food! We were also involved in the “Men in Heels Walk” which sponsors the Nova-Vita Women’s Shelter and managed to raise over $500 as a group. Some of the male members also wore red high heel shoes and took a walk downtown. It was great exposure for the group and an important service to support in the community.
The BCC was founded in 2013 and the “Lazy Stoners: started in the summer of 2014 during a construction project for a fellow member of the group. There was a lot of work with very little funds available, so the member relied heavily on the volunteer efforts of the group. The group also contributed to building a fence and gate for another member, again, all volunteer work. We believe in supporting each other, because we collectively believe our government is failing us and we need to be a catalyst for change.
During the winter months, some of the members would shovel snow for the elderly or assist where they could in clearing walkways. During the nicer seasons, we all gather together to clean up trails and areas that seem to be forgotten or need help cleaning. By wearing our club shirts and doing good things, we are breaking the stigma that pot smokers are lazy and inconsiderate. Some of the most considerate, kind hearted and compassionate people I know I have met through the cannabis community, and for that I am thankful.
As stated, we at the BCC are committed to changing the attitude about cannabis, both medicinally and recreationally. Our group is filled with consumers and non consumers, young and old of every nationality and religious belief. We are all human and we deserve a safe, healthy lifestyle free of abuse from authorities.