Philippe G. Lucas
Philippe Lucas is a the founder and director of the Vancouver Island Compassion Society, a Canadian non-profit therapeutic cannabis research and distribution center; and founder of Canadians for Safe Access, the nation's largest medicinal cannabis patients rights organization. A former secondary school teacher, he also serves as Director of Communications for DrugSense, a U.S.-based drug policy think-tank, and is one of about 750 Canadians who are currently allowed to legally use therapeutic cannabis.

An experienced medicinal cannabis researcher and advocate, Mr. Lucas has recently presented before the Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs, the Health Canada Office of Cannabis Medical Access Advisory Committee, the House of Commons Special Committee on the Non-Medical Use of Drugs, The Third National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics, and the American Association of Pain Management.

He is currently co-investigator in three research projects involving medicinal cannabis: a hepatitis-C protocol with the University of California, San Francisco; a nausea and pregnancy survey protocol with the University of British Columbia; and a smoked cannabis and chronic pain clinical trial with the Vancouver Island Compassion Society and Dr. Shannon Hamersley (pending approval). He is also a collaborator on an upcoming Center for Addiction and Mental Health study on the use of medicinal cannabis, with a focus on the membership of compassion clubs and societies (head investigator: Dr. Andrew Hathaway, CAMH).

Mr. Lucas continues to advise and work with all levels of government on this important health and social issue, including an 18-month volunteer position as vice-chair of the Victoria City Council Downtown Advisory Committee. He is also a current board member of the Victoria Disabilities Rights Organization, and a Director-at-Large of the Vancouver Island Person's Having AIDS Caucus. Next fall Mr. Lucas plans to begin work on a Master's degree on Studies in Policy and Planning with the University of Victoria department of Human and Social Development, with a focus on Canadian drug policy.

Curriculum Vitae
Philippe G. Lucas
17-1875 Christie Way
Victoria, BC
V8R 3S7

Telephone: (250) 370-0981
Work: (250) 381-8427
Cell: (250) 884-9821

D.O.B.: July 24th, 1969


University of Victoria - Master's in Studies in Policy and Practice
  - September 2006

University of Victoria - Post-Degree Certificate in Secondary Education
(English and Theatre)
  -completed 04/97
  -member of the Student Teacher Advisory Committee
  -member of the Secondary Program Council (overseeing the reform of the Department of Education Secondary Program)

Carleton University (Ottawa, Ontario) - B.A. English Literature - 1991


Fluently bilingual in English and French


Vancouver Island Compassion Society ( - Victoria, BC.
October 1999 to present
Founder and Director - duties include running day-to-day operations of well-respected, non-profit medicinal cannabis research, advocacy, and distribution organization. Extensive media experience, including the CBC TV National News, CBC Radio1, BBC Radio, local and international newspapers, and national magazine publications such as McLean's Magazine. A documentary on the organization, titled "Crimes of Compassion" continues to air nationally on Global Television. Experienced spokesperson and presenter; presentations include the Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs, Office of Cannabis Medical Access Advisory Committee, AIDS Vancouver Island, Comosun College, The BC Homeopathic Physicians Organization - as well as organizing a full day seminar on the planning and implementation of a medicinal cannabis dispensary. Duties now also include an extensive research agenda (see "Research" below).

Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies - Ben Lomond, CA
October 2005 - August 2006
Research advisor on ibogaine protocol titled " Observational case series study of the long-term efficacy of Ibogaine-assisted therapy and associated interventions in participants with opiate addiction treated at the Iboga Therapy House"

Americans for Safe Access - San Francisco, CA
May 2006 - June 2006
Updated research and medical information in ASA's condition-based booklets for medical cannabis use (

City of Victoria Downtown Advisory Committee - Victoria, B.C.
January 2003 - July 2006
Currently Vice-Chair of this volunteer committee appointed by city council to address issues concerning Victoria's downtown core. Recent initiatives include developing city policies on harm reduction, beautification and urban markets and gardens.

Greater Victoria Green Party, Candidate for City Council - Victoria, B.C.
August 2002 to November 2002, and August 2005 to November 2005
As a Green Party candidate I studied and addressed local and municipal concerns, with a focus on the environment and social justice issues. Proposals included a plan to create more affordable housing, secondary sewage treatment, effective and affordable transit, and harm reduction policies such as safe-consumption sites and treatment-on-demand. I attended and spoke at 7 all-candidates meetings and added to my media experience and knowledge of municipal affairs. Results have been positive: after falling short by 1200 votes in 2002, I missed getting seat on council by just 118 votes in 2005. See < href="">

Canadians for Safe Access ( - Canada
March 2003 to present
Founder and Director of national grassroots, action-oriented, medicinal cannabis patients rights organization. Actions have included organizing protests and press conferences (OCMA Advisory Committee, Montreal - May 2003; Parliament Buildings, Ottawa - July 2003), and federal accountability through scientific testing of the govt. grown supply of cannabis. Responsibilities include public relations, press relations, and planning.

DrugSense ( - Irvine, California
March 2001 to present
Director of Communications for California-based drug policy think-tank, & Editor of Hemp and Cannabis Issues for DrugSense Weekly eNewsletter. As Director of Communications, duties include establishing and maintaining media contacts regarding drug policy reform issues, as well as fostering a cooperative relationship between the press, international activists, and reform organizations. As Editor of Hemp and Cannabis Issues for the weekly DrugSense e-Newsletter, I select, group, and comment on the week's top cannabis related international news stories.

Professional Accountability Project - Marijuana Policy Project (Washington, D.C.)
February 2002-present
Project Coordinator and Director of Research - This project, funded by a grant from the Marijuana Policy Project and administered by Dr. David Hadorn M.D. Ph.D., aims to bring a scientific approach to drug reform by ensuring that statements made by physicians and researchers regarding recreational and medical drug use (especially cannabis) follow the current scientific knowledge. As Director of Research I have assembled and analyzed a vast compendium of cannabis-based scientific research (see as an information database for the project.

Freelance Writer/Novelist
1995 to present
Articles and columns on a range of topics for Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives, Victoria News, Wildlife Magazine, Cannabis Culture Magazine, Monday Magazine, Vancouver Sun, etc. Currently working on novel titled "Hex Life".

Elizabeth Buckley School - Victoria, BC.
September 1999 to July 2000
French teacher for grade 2 and 3 students in progressive alternative school setting.

Urban Male Magazine - Ottawa, Ontario.
October 1998 to October 1999
Staff writer and west coast contributor to new Canadian men's magazine.

Ridgeford Properties - London, England.
August 1998 to October 1998
Scriptwriter for feature-film screenplay titled Midlife (still under development).

The Wildlife - Banff, Alberta.
July 1997 to January 1998
Wrote a monthly column, music and concert reviews and poetry for Banff's arts and entertainment newspaper.

Esquimalt Secondary School - Victoria, BC.
January 1997 to May 1997
Practicum placement. Taught English 8 & 9, and Theatre 9/10.


Changes in substance use patterns in 20 new members of a community-based compassion society - VICS/Center for Addiction Research of British Columbia.
July 2006-May 2008
Principle Investigator in observational case series study examining the changes in licit and illicit substance use patterns in new members of the Vancouver Island Compassion Society.

Observational case series study of the long-term efficacy of Ibogaine-assisted therapy and associated interventions in participants with opiate addiction treated at the Iboga Therapy House - Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies.
October 2005 - August 2006
Research advisor on protocol investigating changes in opiate use following treatment at Iboga Therapy House.

Survey of medicinal cannabis use among childbearing women: patterns of its use in pregnancy and retroactive self-assessment of its efficacy against 'morning sickness' - Westfall, Janssen, Lucas & Capler. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2006 Feb;12(1):27-33. Epub 2005 Dec 22.
June 2002 - December 2005
Co-researcher (along with Rachel Westfall, UVic; Patti Jansenn, UBC; and Rielle Capler, BCCCS) on a retroactive survey protocol to examine the effects of cannabis on nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy.

Cannabis as Therapy for People Living With HIV/AIDS - Canadian AIDS Society
Spring 2005-present
Steering Committee member of federally-funded study of the human rights and ethical concerns of HIV/AIDS sufferers in accessing medicinal cannabis. The study's final results will be released in June of 2006.

Cannabis use as self-medication: A study of Canadian compassion clubs and clients - VICS/Canadian Center for Addiction and Mental Health. CIHR funding secured; currently awaiting approval of review board.
This study is an ethnographic examination of the members and customers of community-based medicinal cannabis distribution organizations. The primary investigator is Dr. Andrew Hathaway, and I will act as a collaborator to the protocol.

A comparison of the effects of smoked whole-plant cannabis of different THC concentrations in non-treatment naive patients with chronic pain - The Vancouver Island Compassion Society
September 2003 - present
Co-researcher along with Dr. Shannon Hamersley in a smoked cannabis and chronic pain double-blind protocol to compare the analgesic potential of different strengths of cannabis versus placebo on intractable chronic pain. This clinical study has been unconditionally approved by an investigative review board; Health Canada approval is pending. It is only the 5th smoked cannabis study to reach this level of approval in Canada over the last 15 years.

Vancouver Island Compassion Society strain/symptom survey protocol
June 2003-present
Survey protocol to determine if certain cannabis strains cultivated and standardized by the VICS are more effective at treating specific symptom groups than others.

The Effects of Cannabis Use on Hepatitis C and Interferon/Ribovarin Treatment. - VICS/BCCCS/Dr. Sylvestre (University of California, San Francisco).
May 2002 - Sept. 2005
This research survey protocol (based on Dr. Sylvestre's research on hepatitis c interferon treatment and methadone maintenance) aims to see if cannabis use increases the success rate of interferon/ribovarin treatment on hepatitis c. I was co-researcher of the project, but the results proved inconclusive.

Canadian Compassion Club Survey Protocol - VICS
August 2001 - August 2003
This survey protocol aims to see if a strain/symptom correlation is apparent in the dozen or so compassion clubs throughout Canada.


International Harm Reduction Association Conference
May 2006 - Vancouver B.C.
"Regulating Compassion, A 5-Year Overview of Canada's Medical Cannabis Policy and Program".

Fourth Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics
April 2006 - Santa Barbara, CA
Presented results of nausea and pregnancy study published in Journal of Complimentary Therapies in Clinical Practice.

NORML Annual Conference 2006
April 2006 - San Francisco, CA
Organized and chaired panel on Canadian Medical Cannabis Research, and presented results of nausea and pregnancy study published in Journal of Complimentary Therapies in Clinical Practice.

Drug Policy Alliance Conference 2005
November 2005 - Long Beach, CA
Chaired panel on Canadian cannabis research, and presented on a recently completed nausea and pregnancy study (please see above).

Entheogenesis 2
May 2005; Vancouver, B.C.
Forbidden Knowledge - The Renaissance of Medicinal Cannabis Research in the 21st Century

Canadian Public Health Association
April 2005; Vancouver, B.C.
Cannabis Use and Driving Consultation

NORML Annual Conference 2005
April 2005 - San Francisco, CA
Chaired panel on Canadian Issues titled: "Oh Canada! Separating the Myth From Reality"
Research panel presentation: "Forbidden Knowledge: Cannabis Research by Compassion Clubs Under Prohibition"

3rd National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics
May 2004 - Charlottesville, Virginia
"Forbidden Knowledge: Cannabis Research in Canada Under Prohibition"

BC Civil Liberties Association "Beyond Prohibition" Conference
May 2004 - Vancouver, BC
"Forbidden Knowledge: Cannabis Research Under Prohibition"

NORML Annual Conference 2004
April 2004 - Washington, DC
"What the Government Won't Tell You About Their Cannabis"

Entheogenesis Conference
February 2004 - Vancouver, BC
"Science, Spirituality and Compassion: The Modern Cultivation of An Ancient Healing Plant"

Drug Policy Alliance Conference
November 2003 - New Jersey, NY
"The Vancouver Island Compassion Society Research Plan"
"Medical Marijuana in Canada: Good Pot, Great Research, Poor Policies"

House of Commons Special Committee on the Non-Medical Use of Drugs
October 2003 - Ottawa, Ontario
Presentation on behalf of the Vancouver Island Compassion Society and Canada's Medical Cannabis Community

American Association of Pain Management Symposium
September 2003 - Denver, Colorado
"The Vancouver Island Compassion Society Therapeutic Cannabis Research Plan"

Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs
September 2002 - Burnaby B.C.
Presentation on behalf of the Vancouver Island Compassion Society and Canada's Medical Cannabis Community


Research Fellow - Center for Addiction Research of British Columbia
Center for Addition Research of British Columbia Advisory Board
Americans for Safe Access Medical Advisory Board

High Times Freedom Fighter of the Month - August/September 2004
Vancouver Island Civil Liberties Association Leadership Award - 2002

Member - Victoria Chamber of Commerce
Member - Community Council of Victoria
Member - Values-Based Business Network
Member - The Land Conservancy