Store Busted for Dope Magazines

Ever since section 464.2 of the Criminal Code was ruled unconstituional in Ontario, we haven’t seen any charges laid for selling illegal reading material, until now. The law that forbids sale of certain books, magazines, and other printed material in Canada is still in effect, and unless you happen to live in Ontario, police actions like the ones described below are a real possibility.

It’s so nice to live in a free country. There’s a rally in Saskatoon on June 21. Contact Erin Berger, tel 477-7186 for more info.

Store busted for dope magazines

By Dan Zakreski of the StarPhoenix
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Saskatoon bookstore operators are outrages by a police raid on a downtown
store that resulted in criminal charges against the owner and the seizure of
a number of cannabis-related books and magazines.

On may 15, police raided the Vinyl Exchange on 128 Second Avenue Borth and seized owner Mike Spindloe’s inventory of Cannabis Canada, High Times and Hemp Times magazines, plus an array of pipes and smoking paraphernalia.

Spindloe is facing charges of selling literature that promnotes illicut drug use. He appears in provincial court June 25.

The magazines are avialavle in at least 15 other Saskatoon bookstores,
says Midwest News Agencies sales manager Glen Roney, the local wholesaler.

“These are all mainstream magazines, between 15 and 20 stores carry some or all of the titles. In the case of High Times (an American Magazine), it comes through Canada Customs and is distributed nationally,” he said. “These
Magazines are not drug paraphernalia.”

City Police Sgt. Dave Kovach said the raid and charges stemmed from an investigation by an officer, not a complaint. Kovach issued a word of caution to other bookstore owners. “The Criminal Code is very clear. If we see this literature in other stores, they could be charged as well,” he said. “Anyone that has this literature can face the same consequences. . .search, seizure, and charges.”

Robert Green at Broadway Book Marchants, which sells Cannabis Canada, says he’s concerned with the police action “beacuse it censorious, and that’s always a concern for someone in the information business. This is
certainly disturbing.”

Ernie Meili at Saskatoon Bookstore says the police targeting one store “is not fair,” and he suggests the department may not be up on its law. “They absolutely do not have the right,” he said. Assed Darwin Megyesi at the Readers Nook: “I don’t agree with the seizure, but I won’t worry about it until someone tries to tell me what I can’t sell in my store.”

As for Spindloe, he says the experience had been like “waking up in a bad dream that doesn’t stop. It’s been like a break-in.”

Spindloe knew something was up when a plainclothes officer he knew came
into the store and purchased a copy of Cannabis Canada. He exited the store”and waved his arm. Car doors opened up all over the street and seven plainclothes officers came into the store with a search warrant and started
loading material into boxes.” He estimated police seized $4000 worth of
merchandise.

Spindloe has since started a petition aimed at getting the charges dropped and the merchandise returned. He is also accepting donations for a defence fund.

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