It seems like the Vancouver police budget for raiding cannabis buyers clubs has been increased again! Unless those masked cops who raided the Federal Marijuana Party Headquarters, snuggled up next to NDP MP Libby Davis’ office 44 Kingsway near east 8th were US DEA agents again “helping out” on our “not so soveriegn soil” as many suggest these recent raids are of first Arthrology and poor Norm where they took plants, then Da Kine, and on Friday Sept 24th at 2pm Marc Boyer and Marijuana Party Office.
Chantelle was only there because she had lent The Party her scale and was weighing up a quarter and and eighth, that she and her boyfriend had split, downstairs when she heard shouts and masked police barged in.
She thought at first they were thieves not cops, masked as they were. She left the pot on the scale and darted upstairs running behind the counter to hide behind long haired Richard, dropping the last of her stash on the floor. The police had questions written down and carefully asked her if she had a federal exemption and/or license to grow, and if so, if license to grow specifically for Marc Boyer. They wanted to know if she was a supplier!
There was also the advocate on staff that helps people fill out their exemption applications, only not as applications, but as self declarations of need and ‘fiduciary’ contract of trust. The staff were for the most part “volunteer” receiving merely an eighth a day for their labors. Within the counter various hash’s were on display nad other products behind the counter. The police swiftly arrested Chantelle and Richard. The next person through the door carrying the police declared “The Courier” laughingly and arrested as well. The Cookie Man Marc Boyer, the MJ candidate for the riding, was arrested as he arrived righteously angry on the scene. Marc had been moving about $1000.00 a day, by some estimates, mostly baked goods but had been carefully insisting people fill out the altered exemption forms and relied as well on political asylum, in that he had linked his buyers club to the Federal Marijuana Party with Boris St Maurice’s apparent approval.
Even Queens Council John Conroy apparently had found Marc Boyer’s legalese “Interesting.” You may recall Marc Boyer during 2004 Federal election was evicted by his strata council from the upscale condominium that housed his constituency office/compassion club. He felt he was being wrongly evicted and because he did not have any “guilty mind” and is righteous in wanting to help medical patients and committing no crime that he should not be evicted. It was discrimination. However his lawyer acknowledged that at any rate he had raised awareness about the need for more “compassion” and buyers’ clubs to spring up. See www.pot-tv.net/archive/shows/pottvshowse-2762.html
Chantelle was loaded into the paddy wagon with the others and strip searched by female guards, asked to cough and all that. Of course she was on camera and a male guard watching the monitor but nevertheless she grinned and bared it. She fears she was the only one released friday and the others will spend at least the weekend in jail. The police have also found the budget to beef up foot patrols on the drive. While Flash was being interviewed by an Extra West journalist doing a feature article on the Cannabis Culture and its genocide and the stigmatization and early raids on the gay community and parallels in that. The police wandered in and out of the Melting Point Gallery near closing time while there was no one at the vapor bar at the counter testing out the volcanos. Flash saw a patrol outside Joe’s Cafe yukking it up and more outside the Britannia center plus five or six shaking down a black kid near Grass Roots Hemp and Drums. While CBC was interviewing Flash on the Bud Buddies Mail order site, which was forced to shut down given the media attention, a man in a wheel chair was being handcuffed by about 7 cops with paddy wagon waiting. Flash, beckoned the CBC crew who took perfect shots of the man in chair but never aired them. Although he too was carrying, Flash ventured forth to beg of the poor fellow why he was being so mishandled. The crippled man told Flash plainly it was for “Spitting on the side walk!” but a young officer jolted forward contradicting him informing Flash it was for “assault.” Later flash learned the handicapped man was indeed charged with possession without a Federal Exemption. So this is the the progressive European four pillar approach the advent of which our “trusted” mayor Larry Campbell promised us?
It appears to be only One pillar, that of Enforcement. “Enforcement – recognizing the need for peace and quiet, public order and safety in the Downtown East side and other Vancouver neighbourhoods by targeting organized crime, drug dealing, drug houses, problem businesses involved in the drug trade, and improving coordination with health services and other agencies that link drug users to withdrawal management (detox), treatment, counseling and prevention service”
Where are the other three?
Harm reduction – reducing the spread of deadly communicable diseases, preventing drug overdose deaths, increasing substance users’ contact with health care services and drug treatment programs, and reducing consumption of drugs in the street; separating the “hard” from “soft drugs;” bringing the underground market above board to be regulated and taxed with ordinary GST and PST. (No sin tax necessary as cannabis is “benign”- So says Supreme Court of Canada.)
Prevention – using a variety of strategies to help people understand substance misuse, the negative health impacts and legal risks associated with substance use and abuse, encouraging people to make healthy choices, and providing opportunities to help reduce the likelihood of substance abuse, including affordable housing, employment training and jobs, recreation and long-term economic development.
Treatment – offering individuals access to services that help people come to terms with substance misuse and lead healthier lives, including outpatient and peer-based counseling, methadone programs, daytime and residential treatment, housing support, and ongoing medical care.