Vancouver Cannabis Substitution Project assumes ‘Doobie Van’ operations

published on November 21, 2020 by Michelle Gamage in Michelle Gamage

It’s a drizzly grey November day and the whoop of sirens sound every 10 minutes as first responders push their way through the traffic of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. 

Cannabis activist Neil Magnuson pokes his head out of a parked RV to check where the sirens are coming from. When he sees they aren’t coming for him he relaxes and calls out a greeting to a local shuffling down the street. 

The “Doobie Van” is the new headquarters of the The Serious Hope Society, Healing Wave and Cannabis Substitution Project after the initiative was evicted from its storefront at the end of October.

The retro motorhome is beige, squat and requires anyone inside to hunch. It’s also a lifeline for people living in the neighbourhood hardest hit by the ongoing overdose crisis. 

The society offers low-barrier cannabis to help people reduce their use of, or substitute for, more dangerous drugs. It’s an initiative that has the support of city councillors Rebecca Bligh and Jean Swanson, the B.C. Centre on Substance Use, University of British Columbia researcher M-J Milloy, UBC professor Zachary Walsh and numerous organizations in the neighbourhood…

View the full article