While driving down the 401 on my way home from the 2013 Treating Yourself Expo, thoughts of my experiences over the past weekend flooded and filled my mind. I’ve attended many events on various themes over the years but none so far as ambiguous and unique at the 4th annual Treating Yourself Expo in Toronto.
The ambiguity and uniqueness of the event stems from the diversity and surprising unity of all the members that make up cannabis culture. Cannabis culture springs out of the synergy of like minded individuals advocating, protecting, growing, selling, healing, brewing, wearing, burning products derived from the cannabis plant. The conference was educational. Cannabis is used as food (human and animal), medicine, clothing, and heating fuel from a totally sustainable and renewable source. Among cannabis’s supporters and advocates are elite academics, doctors, scientists, biologists, nutritionists, lay people and everything else that rattles in between.
There were national, local and international vendors operating and populating the convention center floor. Glass blowers creating their artwork in groups live and in person. The vapour lounge where patients could safely medicate in the comfort of other self medicating patients.
What I found strange was the corporate structure of the exposition’s framework given the informal nature of the community.
The focus of the 2013 Treating Yourself Expo was centered on the benefits, treatments and number of illnesses and conditions that cannabis treats, backed up with solid scientific studies furnished by the medical arts and scientific communities lecturing on sight. The results were impressive and almost unbelievable. For many serious illnesses, medical marijuana is considered a safer and generally less debilitating alternative to most related pharmaceuticals. You may be eligible to use medical marijuana if you suffer from any of the following symptoms or conditions:
- AIDS, HIV Infection
- Sever Chronic Pain
- Severe Nausea
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Spinal Cord Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Muscle Spasms
- Tourette’s syndrome
- Sleep Disorders
The acceptance of cannabis and that it is federally protected legal for medical use status is unique. Canada is the first nation on the planet to achieve this.
Upon entering the event all attendees were greeted by a gauntlet of beautiful and friendly hostesses. Smoking hot in this writer’s opinion. One of the hostesses named Sara said ‘The scene is amazing! The people are so courteous and kind” as she went off to greet the new arrivals.
I agreed with her as everyone I approached was open to discussion and friendly. The willingness of people to speak openly and share their experiences, strengths and hopes for both medical and recreational purposes starts the necessary dialogue to the type of awareness that is needed to eventually lead towards total legalization. The validity of cannabis for medical and self treatment was driven home by this convention. I believe that everyone who attended the Treating Yourself Expo walked away with something of value whether it was factual scientific data or the purchase of vaporizer (a smokeless device for inhaling the medicine).