Hemp BC: Post-Bust Update
Sowing the Seeds of
by Dana Larsen
Police Raid and Seizure
On January 4th Hemp BC was raided by the Vancouver police. Over $100,000 of
stock was seized, and owner Marc Emery was arrested along with three
employees. About half of the confiscated stock was in the form of marijuana
seeds, the other half being smoking paraphernalia, mostly pipes and
bongs. Also seized were computer disks with back issues of Cannabis Canada,
which have still not yet been returned to us.
Marc Emery is the first Canadian to have been charged with trafficking
marijauna in the form of seeds. The bust generated a great deal of media
coverage for Hemp BC, and the question of marijuana prohibition was once
again raised across Canada and around the world.
Although the seizure of stock was a crushing financial blow to the Hemp BC
operation, they have begun their recovery, and are even contemplating the
idea of expansion once again.
Return of the Bongs?
After about two months deliberation, the Crown has announced that they are
dropping the charges against Hemp BC employees, but that Marc Emery will
face eight counts of trafficking and one count of possession for the
purpose of trafficking. All the charges against Marc come from the period
between September 6th 1995 and January 4th 1996.
The number and value of the many seeds seized was calculated by the police
by weighing the seed jars and assuming a weight of 64 seeds per gram. Since
no charges are being laid for paraphernalia or literature under section
462.2, Hemp BC should be eligible to have the bongs, paraphernalia, and
many other seized materials returned to them. We have not yet had any word
on when this will be.
Trial by Jury
Marc Emery wants to go to trial as soon as possible. He is desperate to
plead his case before a jury of his peers, unable to believe that any
twelve British Columbians would ever convict him. “I want to get this thing
over with as quickly a possible,” says Marc, “the only way this is ever
going to get settled is through direct confrontation of the law, with a strong show
of public support”
The trial won’t begin until November, so there should be plenty of
opportunity for public debate before then.
Ban It All!
Although it’s true that the Narcotic Control Act specifically states that
non-viable seeds are excluded, it doesn’t necessarily follow that viable
seeds are prohibited. Since marijuana is described as any “preparation and
derivative of cannabis,” then it follows that hemp paper and fabric are
equally prohibited with seeds.
We will win
Despite the nine counts against him, and the potential life sentence he
faces as a trafficker in marijuana, Marc Emery has no intentions of
stopping the sale of seeds, as
Marc Emery Seed Sales attests. The fact
that other seed merchants are now advertising with us and openly selling
their forbidden fruits across the country is a testament to the rebellious
mood that is spreading across this country.
Cannabis Canadians are beginning to stand up to our oppressors, and
announce that we are no longer willing to allow these attackes against us
to continue. Seeds of revolution have been sown across Canada, and soon
there will be a harvest of freedom.