Cannabis Canada, spring96 – Responding to Complaints
On Nov. 2nd, ’95, the North Vancouver RCMP detachment paid a visit to “The Joint”, the first industrial/recreational cannabis beachhead in the North Vancouver area. Owner Ryan Mawhinney was charged with possession of marijuana. That, combined with an invalid business license, allowed the police to throw Ryan in jail, and cart away almost all of his stock.
This was just the beginning to Ryan’s troubles. He was followed. His friends were harassed by the police for visiting his house. And on the night of November 22, just twenty days after the first arrest, Ryan was busted again – at Hemp BC.
The cop came in “undercover”, was turned away, called his backup (two bikes, some squad cars and a paddy wagon) and moved in, claiming once again that they were responding to a complaint. The cops covered up the door with burlap sacks, but we managed to get a few photos to commemorate the whole event.
The end result is that Ryan, Hemp BC. employee Shell Windsor, and a customer (who was just buying pants) were all charged with possession of a few grams of marijuana. There is now a no-smoking policy at the store.
“If the police don’t further violate the integrity of what we are fundamentally about, then for now we’re willing to try to accommodate them” said Marc Emery, proprietor of Hemp BC, after the raid.
This article was written before Hemp BC was raided again on January 4th. We left the text unmodified from how we were going to run it, in order to show the conciliatory mood of Marc Emery and Hemp BC after the first raid.
During the first raid on Hemp BC, the police officers told Marc Emery that they weren't there for his business. Foolishly, Marc thought this meant that they wouldn't bust him for selling seeds and pipes. He was wrong, and his accomodating mood has now gone. In Marc's mind the police deceived him, and having a hundred grand in merchandise get seized made Marc angry. When you ask him what he's doing now, he'll tell you that he's back in business... with a vengeance.