Today, we are announcing the top three finalists in the “Politician” category. Congrats to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction Bill Blair and Joy Davies!
Bill Blair was appointed the Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction this past July.
Before his involvement in federal politics, he served as the chief of the Toronto Police Service from 2005 until retiring in 2015. He served for three decades.
In January 2016, Blair was named as the head of the federal-provincial task force tasked with creating a plan for the legalization of cannabis in Canada.
It’s been suggested that Blair is the reason Canada moved to legalize cannabis. He’s actually opposed to the promotion of cannabis use, but says the focus must be on keeping it out of the hands of children and displacing the illicit market.
Justin Trudeau is Canada’s 23rd Prime Minister.
Along the campaign trail, Trudeau vowed to legalize and regulate access to marijuana, saying Canada’s current system of prohibition doesn’t work.
And once elected, he enacted legislation to do just that.
Legislative changes to legalize recreational cannabis under his watch has involved enacting stronger laws to punish more severely those who provide it to minors, those who operate a motor vehicle while under its influence, and those who sell it outside of the new regulatory framework.
This past June, Trudeau announced Oct. 17 would be legalization day.
Joy Davies was elected to Grand Forks city council in 2008. Right after, a dear friend of hers died after a battle with a terminal disease.
Davies said her friend “was unsuccessfully on prescription medications for 10 years.”
“Although she provided her doctors with a peer-reviewed study on how
cannabis might benefit her symptoms and she provided them with Health Canada application papers they denied her the right to access and put her on methadone,” Davies elaborated.
In 2012, Davies was encouraged by a local provincial politician to continue her advocacy.
“Without his encouragement I would have stopped,” she recalled. “In 2013, I founded the BC Medical Cannabis Partners Society and in 2014 the Canadian Medical Cannabis Partners and was a speaker for the Sensible BC tour. The medical patients, caregivers and individuals who could not stand up publicly to be seen as medical cannabis consumers due to their fear of community re-crimination and possible loss of their freedom and liberty due to possible arrest, were the catalysts for my ongoing involvement.”
In 2015, Davies became a candidate in the federal election. It was around that time that Davies made headlines over controversial Facebook posts about marijuana, and resigned from seeking office in that election.
Today, Davies is the Western Canada Business Development Coordinator for International Cannabis Solutions, a health education company providing education of all aspects of cannabis to the workplace.
Davies said seeing the government step up to the plate, showing they have heard the message, motivates her to continue her work.
As does “seeing the ongoing health success stories of courageous patients who choose to be ‘illegally alive rather that legally dead’ and are benefiting from including cannabis to their medical regime.”
“I felt humbled and honoured that my nearly 10 years of political work in the realm of compassionate, dignified access to medical cannabis has been seen and acknowledged by Canadians who were also, with dignity and strength of courage, working in their own individual ways to bring to government and the medical community’s attention to the fact that cannabis is an important choice for many medical conditions and that they also have a right to choose what to consume recreationally.”
Click here to read more about the BotaniQ Power 10 awards.