Since the Victoria branch of the Cannabis Buyers’ Clubs of Canada was busted on February 19, 2003, (See Victoria Cannabis Buyers’ Club busted), the club’s staff have been putting it back together again, replacing medicine and computer equipment seized by police, and getting two of the club’s employees released from prison.
Ryan Fink, the club’s former baker, and Scott Johnstone, the webmaster, spent the night in jail after refusing to sign conditions of release that included not talking to each other, not communicating to club founder Ted Smith, not coming within a block of the club, and not possessing pot or pot paraphernalia. The next day they were released by a judge who imposed all of these conditions, except the ban on speaking to each other.
According to club employee Tyler MacDonald, the conditions of release are unconstitutional as they restrict fundamental freedoms of movement and association. The club’s lawyer, Robert Moore-Stewart, has challenged such conditions in past club cases and won. Fink and Johnstone’s next court hearing is Tuesday, February 25, 2003.
Police say they decided to raid the club after arresting someone rolling a joint in a downtown park.
“Then they staked out the club, grabbed someone coming out, found pot on them and came in,” MacDonald told CC. “Now that the 20-member drug squad has gotten rid of all the obvious heroin and coke dealers, they are coming for us. They don’t care that more people will have to buy on the street. They are going about it all backwards.”