Episode 40: Kratom Part 3: More Amazing Kratom Stories

February 14, 2018
Since the release of our first episode about Kratom, we’ve had a flood of comments from users telling us how much Kratom has changed their lives. It’s nothing short of shocking and amazing to hear how so many people were lifted from such dark places thanks to this humble plant.
The sad part is that, in the U.S., Kratom is facing even more government push back. On February 6th, the FDA released a statement comparing Kratom to opioids and blaming it for 44 fatalities. You can read the full letter below.
Kratom advocates strongly refute the FDA’s claims. Their belief is that existing science on Kratom does not justify it being placed on any schedule or controlled substances list that would prevent consumer access. They’re encouraging continued lawful access to Kratom, with balanced regulation, proper research, and protecting rather than harming public health.
Based on what we’ve seen, we are 100% on the side of the Kratom advocates. If you’re not, hearing the stories in this episode will likely change your mind. We’ll share with you many of the stories that have been submitted, and our guest Josh (who is now a trusted Kratom vendor) tells us about his struggle with opioid addiction, being discharged from the military, spending 4 years in a maximum security prison, and how he finally built the life he wanted. 
Host and Producer: Karla Stephens-Tolstoy
Editor and Co-Producer: Joel at East Coast Radio Creative http://eastcoastradiocreative.ca 


Thanks to Stand Up Speak Up Apparel: https://www.standupspeakupapparel.com 


If you enjoyed this episode, please take a moment to help us with a review on iTunes: http://getpodcast.reviews/id/1224226582 
Josh’s kratom store: http://www.soapkorner.com/ 
‘Landslide’ performed by Linda Nusca and Andrew Hunt, recorded by Mauro Giammarco.

Episode 39: Kratom Part 2: Real Life Stories

February 7, 2018
Perhaps the most fascinating and stunning part of our journey learning about Kratom is the real-life stories from its users. It is after hearing these stories that we really understand the effect this plant can have on lives, and why its advocates are so passionate about its acceptance.
Adrian is a 62-year-old mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother in Jamestown, New York. She became medically addicted to pharmaceuticals and eventually lost everything. Although she was not responsible, 2 more generations of her family went on to suffer from addiction as well. After hearing about Adrian’s struggles with pain for years, you’ll be shocked to hear about the effect Kratom has had on her life.
David Derian also joins us again, but this time not to talk about the Botanical Education Alliance. He shares his experience with pain, pharmaceutical addiction, and recovery. David can’t even think about life without Kratom, yet his business, INI Botanicals, has faced repeated challenges for trying to make Kratom accessible to others. 
Host and Producer: Karla Stephens-Tolstoy
Editor and Co-Producer: Joel at East Coast Radio Creative
Thanks to StandUp SpeakUp Apparel: https://www.standupspeakupapparel.com
If you enjoyed this episode, please take a moment to help us with a review on iTunes: http://getpodcast.reviews/id/1224226582 
More about Adrian & Chanda Lynn: 
David’s U.S. Kratom Legality Map: 
Like StandUp SpeakUp on Facebook: 

Episode 38: Kratom Saved Me Part 1

February 5, 2018
Canada is experiencing record numbers of deaths from opioid overdoses. In 2017, there were an estimated 4000 drug overdose deaths in the country. A substance that may be able to put a dent in that number is worth looking into.
Kratom is a leafy plant from South East Asia, from the coffee family. It’s an ancient drug, traditionally used to relieve pain, increase energy, appetite, and sexual desire. It was also known to be used as an opium substitute in the 18th & 19th centuries.
In 2013, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said Kratom had no legitimate medical use. 
Recently, the FDA issued a health advisory against the plant, which some claim is spreading misinformation about its dangers, and not backed up with any scientific evidence. 
Currently, Kratom can be sold legally in Canada in a powdered form, but only for aroma therapy purposes. At this time it has not been approved for consumption by Health Canada.
In the first part of our series on Kratom, we hear from experts such as Dr. Edward W. Boyer of Harvard, and Angela Watson and David Derian of the Botanical Education Alliance. 
Later in the series, hear stories from users of Kratom who say it has improved - and maybe even saved - their lives.
Host and Producer: Karla Stephens-Tolstoy
Editor and Co-Producer: Joel at East Coast Radio Creative
Stand Up Speak Up Beyond Addiction collection:
This episode contains music used under the CreativeCommons license:
Derek Clegg - Four Walls

Episode 37: The Deadly Truth of Ocean Life

January 30, 2018

We explore the difficult realities for marine workers, telling the story of an Indian teen named Kshitij who died on his third day working on an international cargo ship. We speak with his twin, Sagar, who must decide how to make sense of an all-too-common tragedy.

Story Editing – Erin Linn McMullan, Fresh Horses

Recording – Vancouver Public Library’s Inspiration Lab


Waichiay Friendship Centre’s WAMM studio


Podshare Hollywood


Music -

Jamie Cowling "Peace of Mind"

アーネスト ASAMOAH “Fantasy” – Thans to Ernest Owusu Asamoah


Bitter Lake “Distortions in Sombre,” “Class War”


Dave Swindell “Friday Night In”

Bad Decisions “Yeah Boi”


Cymatics “Signal” (The NAMAN remix) – thanks to Naman Patil of NAGPUR, India for sharing


Phazii “Our Sails” from Antwerp record label Augmented Chill


Frequency Horizon “Sagar Saturday,” “Cake Day”



Episode ​36: Big Issues on the Big Screen with Chris Bergoch

January 23, 2018
When Chris Bergoch writes a movie, he doesn’t shy away from social advocacy topics that can be seen as controversial. At StandUp SpeakUp, we try to raise awareness around important social issues, so when Karla discovered the work of Chris Bergoch, she couldn’t wait to have him on the podcast.
Two of Chris’s biggest credits are Tangerine, a movie about a transgender sex worker who discovers her boyfriend and pimp has been cheating on her, and his latest, The Florida Project, about a young mom who resorts to prostitution to take care of her daughter. The Florida Project seemed so real that people have actually called the motel where the movie took place, asking how the characters were doing. 
Chris gives us a look into his career journey thus far and insight about how the movies came to be.
Host and Producer: Karla Stephens-Tolstoy
Editor and Co-Producer: Joel at East Coast Radio Creative
StandUp SpeakUp Teens @ Risk Collection: 
The Florida Project Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwQ-NH1rRT4
This episode contains music used under the CreativeCommons license:
Rupert Blaise - What A Wonderful World

Episode ​35: Motorcycle Gangster Begins Again

January 17, 2018

Why does someone get involved in the criminal world? What makes someone interested in joining a motorcycle gang known for brutal activity? In this episode we tell the story of one man who was let down by the Quebec foster care system growing up, and followed his anger down a very dark path. He looks back on his days in the Mongols Motorcycle Club, as he struggles to create a new life on the other side.

Executive Producer: Karla Stephens Tolstoy

Producer + Original Sound Design: Drew Penner

Voice: Marc Oliver

Music: DJ Philosophy ​“Watery,” “4th Kind,” and “Distance,” our track of the week.

-Tanner Feehan (aka Philosophy) is an L.A. musician who has moved to Canada’s West Coast to pursue music production, and was kind enough to lend us a track to go with the story. You can check out his Dropping Knowledge radio show on CFUV 101.9 FM in Victoria, Saturday nights at 7 p.m.

​Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/phil0s0phy​

Radio show: http://cfuv.uvic.ca/cms/?show=dropping-knowledge

Bernardo de la Torre – “Boxing Day,” and “Boxing Day v.2”

-Bernie is a musician who moved from Guadalajara, Mexico to British Columbia, where he makes music and loves exploring the outdoors.

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/bernieff

Frequency Horizon “Biker Gang Escape Theme,” “Skip the Prospect Stage,” “Bop on the Head,” “Piano and Horn Muscle,” “Messed Up Bells,” “Fam Seeking / Finding."

Soundcloud: http://soundcloud.com/frequencyhorizon

Image: Composite by Drew Penner featuring inspiration/art from ​meddygarnet (Flickr), Eric Birdman and DR.KNUDSON.

Drew Penner is a journalist based in California whose work has appeared in publications including the Globe and Mail, the Calgary Hearld and the Victoria Times Colonist. He also produces the Frequency Horizon podcast (soundcloud.com/frequencyhorizon) and loves surfing, hiking and random adventures.


Episode 34: Let’s Talk Serial Killers With Lee Mellor

January 9, 2018

Statistically, men commit far more acts of physical violence than women, and that also applies to serial killers. There are far fewer female serial killers than males, but the number is big enough not to be ignored - and may surprise you.

Today we’re looking at female serial killers, specifically here in Canada. How they differ from men, their motivations, and some stories of well-known Canadian killers.

Our guest, Lee Mellor, is a criminologist and author. We’ll cover the stories of Elizabeth Wettlaufer, Lila Young, Paul Bernardo & Karla Homolka, Stephanie Bird, and Millie Weeks.

Content may be disturbing.

Host and Producer: Karla Stephens-Tolstoy

Editor and Co-Producer: Joel at East Coast Radio Creative

Stand Up Speak Up Fashion:

Women's Cotton Tee - https://standupspeakupfashion.com/collections/womens-cotton-tees/products/the-predator-womens-cotton-tee

Men's Cotton Tee - https://standupspeakupfashion.com/collections/mens-cotton-tees/products/the-predator-mens-cotton-tee


Lee’s book “Cold North Killers”: https://www.amazon.ca/Cold-North-Killers-Canadian-Serial/dp/1459701240

Karla Homolka & Paul Bernardo Documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FP17XnMs0zg&t=1727s&ab_channel=SerialKillersAroundTheWorld


Lee’s Podcast ‘Murder Was The Case": https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/murder-was-the-case/id1327969221?mt=2 


Episode 33: Special Edition: Interview with Karla Stephens-Tolstoy and Zach Tolstoy

December 26, 2017

If you’ve listened to StandUp SpeakUp before, then you’ve heard the voice of host Karla Stephens-Tolstoy. Usually, she’s helping tell the story of others, but you might not have known that Karla herself has a led a pretty interesting life!

She’s a Canadian born & raised entrepreneur, businesswoman, volunteer, mom… and those are just a few of her titles!

Karla overcame learning disabilities, and eventually landed the title of CEO at Vodafone, one of the biggest telecom companies in the world. She’s proven that with hard work, nothing is out of reach.

Also on her journey Karla has worked many interesting jobs, hosted a community TV show called “Chit Chat”, started a dating app and website called Tokii, and more.

Today, we sit down with Karla to hear her story, and later her son Zach joins to talk about the mother-son team behind StandUp SpeakUp fashion.


Episode 32: The World Of Organized Crime

December 12, 2017

It’s estimated that illegal trade accounts for one-fifth of the global GDP.

In his 2009 book McMafia, Misha Glenny outlined the growth of organized crime around the world, from drugs and sex trades to internet frauds and money laundering, documenting various mafia organisations.

McMafia is now serving as inspiration for a big TV show of the same name, being produced by BBC & AMC, and starring James Norton. It’s expected to air in 2018.

In Misha’s time as a journalist and writer, he’s seen the inner workings of the dark things that take place in this world. In this episode, he tells Karla about his findings, the mass amount of organized crime that takes place, and what it’s like to sit down and chat with some of the most dangerous people in the world.

Host and Producer: Karla Stephens-Tolstoy
Editor and Co-Producer: Joel at East Coast Radio Creative

StandUp SpeakUp Teens @ Risk Collection: https://standupspeakupfashion.com/collections/action-for-teens-risk-collection

Misha Glenny’s Book McMafia:  https://www.amazon.ca/McMafia-Journey-Through-Global-Underworld/dp/0887848184

This episode contains music used under the CreativeCommons license:

Regina Pik - Knots


Episode 31: World’s Greatest Warriors: Seal Team Six

November 28, 2017

Most of us have enjoyed a good action movie, but the difference between a movie and Don Mann’s life, although it may sound like something from a movie, is that his life is completely real. No written storyline. No special effects.

Don is the author of Inside SEAL Team Six: My Life and Missions with America's Elite Warriors. This book details his experiences as a member of the most elite team in the U.S. Navy, the mental and physical strain needed to join, and the inner workings of the minds of the men who carry out top-secret missions that shape the world.

In this fascinating discussion, we hear about:

-       The grueling selection and training process for SEALs
-       Situations where Don has stared death straight in the eye
-       Why there are no women SEALs
-       How his life experiences have shaped his political and world views

Host and Producer: Karla Stephens-Tolstoy
Editor and Co-Producer: Joel at East Coast Radio Creative


Why Don’t Black Americans Swim? http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-11172054
About Don Mann: http://www.usfrogmann.com/about-don-mann-navy-seal/

This episode contains music used under the CreativeCommons license:

Cellophane Sam – Every Cowboy