– On January 20, Marc Emery was in court to face multiple charges of selling marijuana seeds. Emery plea-bargained, pleading guilty and receiving a $5,000 dollar fine. Emery will serve no time, probation or community hours whatsoever, although he still suffers the loss of about $600,000 in merchandise over multiple police raids.
Emery also plead guilty to the feeble charge of “promoting vapourizers” in the Cannabis Cafe, and of one employee selling a vapourizer to a cop. He received another $5000 fine. When asked why he didn’t mount a constitutional challenge to fight the charges, Emery explained that “a legal challenge would cost over $50,000 in fees for lawyers, and that money simply wasn’t available, nor am I convinced it would have been an efficient use of limited resources.
“The only remaining charge outstanding against me is the ‘spitting on a cop’ charge which I don’t deny doing,” says Emery, referring to events surrounding the December 16, 1997 raid on Hemp BC. “They were beating up my employees and I stopped it with that action, so I am claiming it was reasonable under the circumstances.”
– Relations between Holy Smoke hemp shop and the City of Nelson, British Columbia, were strained last year when the city attempted to raise Holy Smoke’s licence fee to $1000, over eight times the regular cost.
Holy Smoke won a round against the city on January 26, when the city backed down outside small claims court. The city agreed to accept the regular $120 business licence fee from Holy Smoke owners Paul DeFelice and Dustin Cantwell, plus a $10 late charge.
On March 8, Holy Smoke owners must defend themselves against charges of possession for the purpose of trafficking in marijuana. The trafficking charges may be the deciding factor in the city’s ongoing bid to rid themselves of the store. It has become routine for cities in British Columbia to use criminal charges as an excuse to deny hemp store owners their licenses.
– David Glover, shot in the chest during a March, 1990 marijuana raid on his home, is still having troubles with the court system.
Glover was shot by RCMP officer Glenn Magark using an illegal caliber gun, who said he thought the remote control Glover had in his hand when he answered the door was a weapon. The raid netted 1.5 pounds of pot.
Glover launched a civil suit against the officer who shot him, claiming that Magark had acted “recklessly and without justification.” Magark testified that Glover had attacked him with the remote control.
The judge decided that Magark hadn’t acted recklessly when blowing a hole in the unarmed Glover’s chest, and awarded him no damages.
Glover has received absolutely no compensation from the police for his severe injuries. Instead, the RCMP has engaged in delay tactics and intimidation.
“In September of ’96 [the police]sent me a letter offering me $15,000 to drop my case. They also said that if I pursued it, they were going to sue me for court costs ? after that they squashed me like a bug with all kinds of expert witnesses that they had wined and dined at fancy hotels, pushing up the costs they were planning to pass on to me.”
– Jason Rowsom organized a marijuana demonstration in Abbotsford to protest the brutal abuse of force by police officers at Raber’s 7-year-old child’s birthday party (CC#17). While the demonstration was peaceful, protestor Tim Falgor pushed for the police to arrest him. Reportedly, when police asked Falgor and others to put out their joints, Falgor blew smoke in the face of officers while everyone else stubbed them out.
Officers grabbed Falgor to haul him away, but David Malmo Levine arrived on the scene and practiced “hug tactics.” Malmo-Levine jumped from the stage and hugged Falgor to prevent his arrest. Police levered Malmo-Levine away from Falgor by twisting back his thumb.
“I wouldn’t have hugged him if I knew he wanted to be arrested,” says Malmo-Levine, “I have to go and check if my thumb is broken now.”
“Falgor thinks we can clog the courts with marijuana arrests,” continues Malmo Levine, “but the courts system is ready for our bodies.”
Malmo-Levine was arrested on obstruction charges because of his attempts to free Falgor.
– Despite his recent brush with the law, David Malmo-Levine will soon be arguing for a “bail supervision augmentation,” to have the conditions of his bail changed.
“I am going to try to get my conditions changed from ‘thou shalt not possess marijuana’ to ‘thou shalt not possess marijuana for the purpose of trafficking.'”
David has agreed to delay his case until after Randy Caine’s, so that Caine’s case will reach BC Supreme Court first. Since both cases use similar argument, this will avoid Malmo-Levine setting legal precedent that could damage the Caine case.
– Brian Taylor, mayor of Grand Forks, BC, is back from his “administrative hearing” in the US. The hearing was held to decide if he would be barred from the states for growing hemp before it was legal in Canada.
“The judge threw out everything but my pot smoking,” says Taylor. “He threw out charges of growing hemp and association with marijuana. He also said there is a difference between marijuana and hemp, and that what I had done was more of a Canadian permit violation.”
Taylor must now apply for a special permit if he wishes to enter the states, which only lasts one year and costs several hundred dollars. Taylor is putting together a medical marijuana cooperative farm for this summer. Those interested in hemp farming should contact him.
? Marc Emery of Marc Emery’s Direct Seed Sales: tel (604) 681-4690; email [email protected]
? Dustin Cantwell of Holy Smoke: tel (250) 352-9477; email [email protected]
? David Glover can be reached care of Cannabis Culture.
? Jason Rowsom: tel (604) 850-5073
? David Malmo-Levine: leave messages at Holy Smoke: tel (250) 352-9477.
? Mayor Brian Taylor: tel (250) 442-5166; fax 442-8524