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UPDATE: According to the website the Champs Conference will take place on Saturday May 24 – and Sunday the 25, 2014:

NORML Canada’s National Conference

May 24 – 25, 2014 • Metro Toronto Convention Centre

Map & Directions

The conference will feature panels on the topics of:

  • Marijuana legalization tactics
  • Legalization laws – the template for the future
  • Medical marijuana laws and tactics
  • New research on prohibition
  • Cultivation and strain science

Conference Schedule

Opening Address (Saturday, May 24 at 12:15 – 1:00 pm)

Alan Young, Vice President of NORML Canada

Medical Cannabis – Laws and Tactics (Saturday, May 24 at 1:05 – 2:20 pm)

John Conroy, QC, lead counsel on Allard v The Queen

Rielle Capler is a doctoral student studying the impact of the changes brought about by transition from the MMAR to the MMPR

Marc Gobuty on behalf of the Canadian Medical Cannabis Industry Association

Legalization Tactics (Saturday, May 24 at 2:25 – 3:40 pm)

Dana Larsen founder of Sensible BC

Keith Stroup founder of US NORML

Dan Mulligan on behalf of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP)

Erica Moses on behalf of Legalize Canada

Gillian Maxwell, co-founder and executive member of Canadian Drug Policy Coalition

Prohibition Research Panel (Saturday, May 24 at 3:45 – 5:10 pm)

Rebecca Penn is a doctoral candidate studying the social construction of knowledge and expertise in drug policy

Katrina Kolar is a doctoral candidate working on “Marijuana Use Through the Lens of Drug Normalization Framework”

Mark vanderMaas is the author of “Deterrence Revisited; Legal knowledge, use context and arrest perception for cannabis”

Legalization Laws – The Template for the Future (Sunday, May 25 at 12:00 – 1:15 pm)

Eugene Oscapella, founder of the Canadian Foundation for Drug Policy

Donald MacPherson, Director of the Drug Policy Coalition

Kirk Tousaw, drug reform barrister and board member for BCCLA, NORML Canada and Sensible BC

Jodie Emery, owner and director of Cannabis Culture Magazine and Pot TV

Cultivation Science Panel (Sunday, May 25 at 1:20 – 2:35 pm)

Mat Beren

Simon the Professor

The Joint Doctor (Sasha)

Mykala Comstock says a few words/ song by John V (Sunday, May 25 at 2:40 – 3:00 pm)

Closing Address (Sunday, May 25 at 3:05 – 3:35 pm)

John Conroy, QC, President of NORML Canada

CHAMPS Canada promo Erb4Herb logo
Conference hosted by CHAMPS Canada expo. For more information on the expo visit: Conference funding generously provided byErb4Herb


Conference Speakers

John W. Conroy, Q.C.

John Conroy

Mr. Conroy is a Barrister and Solicitor who graduated from the University of British Columbia Law School in 1971 and was called to the Bar of British Columbia in 1972. He has his own law firm, Conroy & Company, based in Abbotsford, British Columbia and his practice is primarily as Defence counsel in criminal matters with an additional focus on sentencing and post-sentencing matters which involves an extensive administrative law and constitutional law practice. From 1975 – 1980 he was the Director of Abbotsford Community Legal Services. From 1980 – 1990 he was the Director of British Columbia Prison Legal Services. He was the Chairman of the Committee on Corrections & Institutions of the Canadian Bar Association (B.C. branch) from 1978-1979. He was a Member and then Chair, CBA National Task Force on Imprisonment and Release from 1985 – 1988. He was the Chairman of the Committee on Imprisonment and Release of the National Criminal Justice Section of the Canadian Bar Association from 1988 to 2001. He is a Member of the Board of the International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law. In 1992 Mr. Conroy was awarded the Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of Canadian Confederation for significant contributions to Canada, community and fellow Canadians. In January 1996 Mr. Conroy was appointed Queen’s Counsel.

Alan N. Young

Alan Young

Alan Young is Co-Founder and Director of Osgoode’s Innocence Project, which is a clinical program that guides JD students through the process of investigating suspected cases of wrongful conviction and imprisonment. He also maintains a small practice specializing in criminal law and procedure that is primarily devoted to challenging state authority to criminalize consensual activity.

He has brought constitutional challenges to our gambling, obscenity, bawdy-house and drug laws, and for nearly two decades has provided free legal services to those whose alternative lifestyles have brought them into conflict with the law. He has represented countless numbers of people suffering from AIDS, cancer and multiple sclerosis who were charged after using marijuana for medicinal purposes, and as a result of these cases, the Federal Government was compelled to create a regulatory program authorizing the use of medical marijuana. In addition to his work in the area of consensual crime, Professor Young has also provided free legal services to victims of violent crime and to individuals attempting to sue the government for malicious prosecution.

Canadian Lawyer magazine has recognized the contributions Professor Young has made to the law, and named him one of the “Top 25 Most Influential” in the justice system and legal profession in 2010, 2011 & 2012. He is the author of Justice Defiled: Perverts, Potheads, Serial Killers and Lawyers (Toronto: Key Porter, 2003).

Research Interests: Criminal Law & Procedure; Victims Rights; Police & Prosecutorial Misconduct; Wrongful Conviction.

Kirk Tousaw

Kirk Tousaw

Kirk Tousaw is a barrister and advocate for law reform. His primary practice areas are Medical Cannabis Regulatory Compliance, Cannabis Criminal Defence and Strategic Litigation.

In addition to the daily practice of law, Kirk advocates for law reform. He sits on the all-volunteer Board of Directors of the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association. He also sits on the Board of NORML Canada and the Sensible BC Society. Kirk drafted the Sensible Policing Act, a recent ballot initiative in BC that garnered more than 200,000 signatures.

Kirk began practicing law in 1998 in the United States. He has a background in business litigation, criminal defence, and social justice advocacy pursuant to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. He has been a practicing member of the Law Society of British Columbia since 2005.

Academically, Kirk holds a Bachelor’s of Art in political philosophy (Michigan State University), a Juris Doctor, cum laude (Wayne State University School of Law) and a Master’s in Law (University of British Columbia Faculty of Law).

Kirk has written and spoken extensively on issues related to drug policy, privacy, religious freedom, and criminal justice policy. In addition, Kirk has had the privilege of testifying several times before the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights of the House of Commons and also before the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs.

R. Keith Stroup, J.D.

Keith Stroup

Mr. Keith Stroup is a Washington, DC public-interest attorney who founded NORML in 1970.

Stroup obtained his undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Illinois in 1965, and in 1968 he graduated from Georgetown Law School in Washington, DC. Following two years as staff counsel for the National Commission on Product Safety, Mr. Stroup founded NORML and ran the organization through 1979, during which 11 states decriminalized minor marijuana offenses. Stroup first smoked marijuana when he was a first-year law student at Georgetown and has been a regular smoker ever since.

Stroup has also practiced criminal law, lobbied on Capitol Hill for family farmers and artists, and for several years served as executive director of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL).

In 1994 Stroup resumed his work with NORML, rejoining the board of directors and serving again as Executive Director through 2004. He currently serves as the organization’s Legal Counsel.

In 1992 Stroup was the recipient of the Richard J. Dennis Drugpeace Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Drug Policy Reform presented by the Drug Policy Foundation; in 2010 he received the Al Horn Memorial Award from the NORML Legal Committee; and in 2012 he received the Dr. Lester Grinspoon Lifetime Achievement Award from High Times Magazine.

Eugene Oscapella

Eugene Oscapella

Mr. Oscapella completed undergraduate studies in economics at the University of Toronto in 1974 and received his Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Ottawa in 1977. He obtained his Master of Laws degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 1979. He was called to the Ontario Bar in 1980.

From 1980 to 81, Mr. Oscapella served as a commission counsel with the McDonald Commission of Inquiry into the RCMP and during his career has worked on five other major commissions of inquiry. From 1982 to 85, he was Director of Legislation and Law Reform for the Canadian Bar Association.

Mr. Oscapella was associated with the Law Reform Commission of Canada for over 14 years and was the first chairman of that body’s Drug Policy Group. He is a founding member of the Canadian Foundation for Drug Policy, an independent organization created in 1993 to examine Canada’s drug laws and policies. For several years he sat on the policy committee of the Canadian Criminal Justice Association and more recently sat on the steering and policy committees of the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition, formed in 2011.

He has appeared many times before Canadian parliamentary committees on drug policy issues, including the Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs and the House of Commons Special Committee on the Non-medical Use of Drugs. He lectures on drug policy in the Department of Criminology at the University of Ottawa and has also lectured and been published widely in Canada and abroad on drug policy issues. In April 2011, he received the Kaiser Foundation National Award for Excellence in Public Policy for his drug policy reform work.

Dana Larsen

Dana Larsen

Dana Larsen has been working in cannabis and drug policy reform for over two decades. Larsen was the founding editor of Cannabis Culture Magazine, co-founder of the Vancouver Seed Bank, and a founding member of the BC Marijuana Party. In 2012 Larsen was a candidate for the leadership of the BC NDP, and currently serves as Director of a number of non-profits, including the Vancouver Dispensary Society, the Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries, and the Sensible BC campaign for a marijuana referendum. Larsen is the author of a few books, including Hairy Pothead and the Marijuana Stone.


Jodie Emery

Jodie Emery

Jodie Emery is the wife of Marc Emery, the infamous US-imprisoned Canadian marijuana activist and philanthropist seed seller. At 29 years old, she is a well-known marijuana legalization activist, political candidate and public spokesperson, and is also owner of Cannabis Culture Magazine, Pot TV, Marc Emery’s Cannabis Culture Headquarters store, and the BC Marijuana Party vapour lounge.

Often featured in newspaper, radio, and TV stories about marijuana prohibition and legalization, Jodie also speaks at rallies, conferences, and other events in Canada and the United States. She ran for office as a B.C. Marijuana Party candidate in 2005 and 2008, and was then asked to run as a B.C. Green Party candidate in 2009 and 2013. Jodie regularly visits her husband in Mississippi federal prison while managing nearly thirty employees and a growing activism business “hempire”.

Mykayla Comstock

Mykayla Comstock

Mykayla Comstock was diagnosed with intermediate risk T-Cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia on July 14th, 2012, at 7 years old. She is also Oregon’s youngest Medical Cannabis Patient. This is where her journey is chronicled for all to see.

Brave Mykayla Comstock wants to help change how childhood cancer is approached. Mykayla uses Cannabis as medicine. She began using Whole Extract Cannabis Oil to help her leukemia go into remission. Now she continues to use cannabis to help mitigate the debilitating effects of her required chemotherapy protocol, successfully. Mykayla and her family want to speak out, spread the word, raise awareness and let everyone know that Cancer Doesn’t Have to be So Scary!

Donald MacPherson

Donald MacPherson

Donald MacPherson is currently the Director of the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition a national coalition of organizations and individuals working to improve Canada’s drug policies. He is the author of Vancouver’s groundbreaking Four Pillars Drug Strategy, which called for new approaches to drug problems based on public health principles and the appropriate regulation of all psychoactive substances. In 2007 he received the Kaiser Foundation National Award of Excellence in Public Policy in Canada. In 2009 he was awarded the Richard Dennis Drug Peace Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Drug Policy Reform by the Drug Policy Alliance in the United States. He is currently Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver Canada.

Gillian Maxwell

Gillian Maxwell

Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Gillian Maxwell is an experienced organiser, public speaker, coach and facilitator, committed to raising consciousness in individuals and organisations. She brings warmth and charisma to match a sophisticated and well-crafted rigour to public debate and dialogue.

Gillian is co-founder and executive member of the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition (CDPC), whose mission is to reform drug policies nationally and internationally, where she focuses her attention on community relations and fund development. Her training is in mediation and negotiation, and she is well known in British Columbia as the host and facilitator of a number of public forums at Simon Fraser University’s Wosk Centre for Dialogue, as well as a speaker on harm reduction initiatives at international conferences in the U.S. and Europe.

Over the past decade, she has arranged and conducted a number of tours and interviews with Vancouver’s harm reduction community for visiting delegations, which included government officials, politicians, researchers, public health workers and special knowledge exchange program participants from around the world.

Since 2000, she served as the project director of Keeping the Door Open: Dialogues on Drug Use (KDO), a community-based coalition organising dialogues on problematic substance use to educate the public and inform public policy in Vancouver, and was the spokesperson for the Campaign for Community Safety to advocate for the permanent status of INSITE, the internationally recognised supervised injection facility in Vancouver.

She has been a member of the Vancouver Police Board and a Trustee of AIDS Vancouver, and during the 2010 Winter Olympics brought SafeGames2010, a large-scale harm reduction initiative, to Vancouver’s Winter Olympic celebrations.

She is currently a member of the Advisory Board of MAPS Canada (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies), and a proud recipient of the 2012 Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Gillian works as a consultant with individuals and groups to discover their unique gifts and coaches them to fulfill their potential. She is a connector and a public speaker where she brings her extensive life experiences together to inspire and educate. Through her vast network established over many years of social activism and community work, Gillian Maxwell knows how to translate important ideas into significant action. She is the link between the individuals, the organisations and the decision makers who need to come together to effect change in the world.

A long-time resident of Strathcona, she lives happily with her beloved husband, Richard, their darling dog, Brandy, and is the proud step-mother of two grown children.

Kat Kolar

Kat Kolar

Kat Kolar is a PhD student at the Department of Sociology, University of Toronto, where she is completing the Collaborative Program in Addiction Studies. Her current research on drug normalization explores gender differences in cannabis use norms as well as the acceptability of student non-prescription stimulant use. She is also working as a research analyst on several projects in the areas of: sex work and policy; sexuality, sexual risk-taking, and HIV prevention; and resilience among marginalized groups. Follow her on twitter @katneverlies


Rebecca Penn

Rebecca Penn

Rebecca Penn is a doctoral candiate in Social and Behavioural Health Sciences at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. Her research focuses on the social construction of knowledge and expertise in the areas of drug policy. In addition to her interest in medical cannabis, Rebecca’s research also explores the engagement of peer workers in harm reduction programs.


Mark vanderMaas

Mark vanderMaas

Mark vanderMaas is a PhD candidate in the department of sociology at the University of Toronto. He is also involved in the Collaborative Program in Addiction Studies run in association with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Mark has been involved in a number research projects related to addiction and mental health including problem gambling, cannabis, adult ADHD, and adolescent substance abuse.


Dan Mulligan

Dan Mulligan

Dan Mulligan is a 29 year veteran of the Ontario Provincial Police, where he is a sergeant and currently holds the position of Pilot in Command – Helicopter within the department’s aviation services section. In the three decades he has spent in law enforcement, Dan has participated in a wide range of police work, from uniform patrol to undercover narcotics to criminal investigation. Criminal investigation and wiretapping became Dan’s primary focus, eventually earning him the rank of Detective Sergeant within the electronic interception section of the department’s technical support branch.

Dan grew up with a fervent desire to serve as a law enforcement officer. Motivated by an interest in problem solving and dealing with people, he rejected prohibitionist drug policies from the beginning. Dan believes that the war on drugs has been a failure since its inception, and that we must all assume a degree of responsibility for the social, economic and criminal justice fallout that has resulted from prohibition.

“We’re faced with a total of nearly four generations now that have lived through this arbitrary prohibition with the resultant inertia in relation to accepting both completely new information on the issues as well as the significant change we’re now trying to sell,” says Dan. “My focus in terms of accomplishing this much-needed change in perspective will be an emphasis on the importance of decriminalizing our youth.”

Dan holds a degree in Law and Sociology, with a focus on Criminology and Corrections, from Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, and has participated in a number of justice-related forums in Canada. He resides in Bracebridge, Ontario, with his wife of 32 years, Pam, and their three children.

Mark Gobuty

Marc Gobuty

Mark A. Gobuty has had extensive experience at the Executive level, as well as Sales functions within Tier 1 Consumer Packaged Goods Companies in Canada. He has been a pioneer in the Functional Health Foods industry for the past ten years and has founded a number of Canada’s leading health food and Superfood brands. In 2010, Mark founded The Peace Naturals Project after discovering his passion for this industry with his need to provide alternative medicine for his parents, who both have suffered from serious long-term ailments. This led him to embark on an extensive journey with visits to a number of top medicinal Cannabis clinics around the world. During his travels, Mark had hands on involvement with patients and expanded his knowledge of medicinal Cannabis agriculture, Organics, best practices and GMP’s. Through his Functional Health Foods business, Mark has also worked hand-in-hand with Industrial Hemp farmers across Canada, developing a great deal of experience in Industrial Hemp agriculture. Mark has relevant experience/understanding of new business development, product development, consumer awareness, operations, demand planning and leadership.

Simon the Professor

Simon the Professor

The breeder behind Serious Seeds, Simon, is responsible for the material sold by the seed bank. He studied biology at one of the universities in Amsterdam and was always a non-smoker. (Non-tobacco-smoker, and therefore also non-cannabis-smoker, because in Holland it is common practice to mix marihuana with ‘tobacco’ and then roll a joint.) He only discovered the merits of smoking pure marihuana after his study while traveling through Africa in 1986. Today he remains one of the few Dutch, who smoke this wonder-plant in its pure form as one should.

From this moment on he started collecting seeds and put them into his private genetic library. Back in Holland he immediately started growing those seeds out for personal pleasure. Crossing what he thought were the best plants seemed a natural follow up. Contacts with other growers gave him access to different plants from which he also selected the best ones. The genetic background of this material was not always clear in this time.

Simon taught biology at a highschool when Alan Dronkers asked him to come and work at Sensi Seeds. This meant a drastic career-change for Simon, but he never regreted this step. After having worked a while for Sensi Seeds, Simon teamed up with two american “cannabis-refugees” and founded their own seed bank.

In that year (1994) the ‘AK-47’ and the ‘Chronic’ both won prices at the High Times Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam.After this exceptional success with his strains, the collaboration with the Americans was stopped and Simon founded his own seed bank “Serious Seeds” in 1995.

The Joint Doctor (Sasha)

The Joint Doctor

Since launching the ground-breaking Lowryder automatic, the Joint Doctor (Sasha) has been specialized in creating and improving autoflowering varieties. He played a big part in developing the genetics and terminology associated with autoflowering strains, which are now treated as a whole new category of cannabis.


HOWEVER, A different schedule is listed on the official website:

The CHAMPS Expo takes place this weekend in Toronto, Canada. The NORML medical cannabis conference schedule has been released and here it is as of May 21st 2014:

Champs 2014 Conference Schedule


Join CHAMPS in Canada for our first ever excursion across the border into the breath-taking city of Toronto. Bringing the undisputed leader of business to business counter-culture trade-shows to Canada, CHAMPS will present a 3-day International Trade Show extravaganza. Experience the largest 3-day venue ever in Toronto with Friday May 23rd strictly business to business, with public doors opening Saturday May 24th and Sunday May 25th.

CHAMPS also annoucned on social media that this weekend will feature the gorgeous High Five Girls


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