At 5.00 p.m. Friday, Hamilton police stormed into the Up In Smoke Cafe when it was packed with over 30 patrons & Staff. Five uniformed cops, 3 forensic uniformed police, 7 swat police brandishing drawn tasers, guns stormed into the #1 activist centre in Ontario, Canada.
Police ordered all people to lie on the floor. Many people had to lie on other bodies. Police booted many patrons in the head, neck and back in order to force compliance. A Cambodian man said he couldn’t do it because it was like when his parents had to pretend to be dead in Cambodia during POL POT’s murderous regime, or prior to when Cambodians would be executed in mass graves. The Cambodian man was kicked to the floor.
Police came with warrants for John Anderson, Adam Glover and Matt Mernagh. All are being charged with trafficking for giving out joints at Hamilton’s popular 4/20 rally. Chris Lawson was arrested in the raid and charged with p;ossession of marijuana and released Friday night at midnight. He was held responsible for marijuana found in Up in Smoke as he was manager at the time. Two American visitors were arrested for possession of marijuana. Activists gave out a pound of pot at City Hall on April 20 to celebrate the international cannabis holiday.
Police are arresting anyone who was videotaped giving out marijuana at yesterdays event, which was infiltrated by undercover cops who got some of the free joints. Police watched yesterdays events. Chris Lawson, one of the 4/20 organizers, yesterday commented on how civilized the police were yesterday.
Witness Mike Truman said today the police were angry and abusive immediately. Guns were drawn and pointed. Police announced they would taser any resistance. All people were forced to lie down, many on top of other people.
Loyal staffer John Anderson is charged with two counts of trafficking ( giving out passing joints at the rally on Thursday), and two counts of possession. Anderson is also charged with accepting the proceeds of crime for the money that was in the Up In Smoke till! Mernagh has two trafficking and two possession charges. Glover has NINE trafficking counts for yesterdays or todays joint dispersal. Their warrant is with them at the Hamilton lock-up. The three arrested were held over night but as of mid-day Saturday, Anderson and Mernagh had been released on $5,000 sureties each! Glover will require $5,000 surety before he is released, which so far has not been forthcoming.
Matt Mernagh, one of the organizers arrested, is a writer for Cannabis Culture Magazine, Now Magazine and many other publications. Police by 6.00 p.m. eastern had 6 people in custody. All other patrons were released. From 5.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m. , CC was watching police activity in the store through the webcam.
At 7.00 p.m. Hamilton time, police deactivated one transmitting camera at the Up In Smoke Cafe. Watch the video here.
At 8.30 p.m., Goodwin is told police had obtained a warrant for his Up In Smoke Cafe computer. The computer however, has no sensitive correspondence or business data on it. Apparently, according to Goodwin it contains only image files. Later, when Up In Smoke is re-occupied, this terms out to be false and the computer remains in the store.
As of 8.51 p.m. Hamilton time, police begin looting pipes, bongs, vaporizers, smoking supplies as defined under section 462.2 of the Canadian Criminal Code. Bongs and vaporizers and pipes however, are not in the warrant as revealed later when the cafe is re-occupied.
This means the police are now very determined to put Up In Smoke out of business. The Ontario Solicitor-General would have authorized this action in conjunction with the Hamilton Police Chief. The government is determined to stamp out Up In Smoke. There are, after all, 7 other pipe & bong stores in Hamilton and none receive this harassment.
At 11.00 p.m. Police left the Up in Smoke Cafe and BUT REFUSED to hand over a key to the store to anyone but Chris Goodwin. They say Goodwin can pick the key up at the police station.
At 12.30 a.m. the forces of good entered Up in Smoke. Police had been smoking cigarettes in the store. Vaporizers were not all taken but the store Volcano is gone. Pipes and bongs were taken. Rolling papers were not taken. Scales were taken. The Webcam was restored at 12.30 a.m. and Up In Smoke volunteers entered the store to fix things up.
Police took posters off the wall and cannabis leaf flags.
Dana Larsen reported that staff member Adam Glover had an epileptic seizure in the police van and was taken to hospital before being booked in jail.
Police took $4,000 out of the Up In Smoke safe and all the money out of the cash register (maybe $1,000) . Bastards!
Chris Lawson reported that the police were mean to the four in jail. The Americans were released immediately but charged with possession.
Lawson reported police never read him his rights. They refused to show Lawson the warrant when they entered the store, ” ‘we’ll show you later’, they told me”.
Lawson said police were rough. He did not see any guns or tasers ” because I hit the floor right away once the cops told everyone to hit the floor. There was not enough room to lie down because the store was wall to wall packed. Police barged right in, batter rammed the basement door in.”
Author Laurence Cherniak (Great Books of Hashish) was there at the time, but released.
Eyewitness Amanda reported to CC Online that police did indeed draw guns.
The warrant that was found in the store after midnight indicated that police had come into the Up In Smoke Cafe on Friday, April 21st and saw joints being passed around and immediately got a warrant and launched a very forceful and rapid response.
Nowhere on the warrant does it permit the seizure of bongs or vaporizers. In fact, the warrant looks for “debts lists to show trafficking”, scales, Baggies, and other trafficking paraphernalia.
Next morning, Puff Mama of Clandestiny and Dominic Kramer of THC on Yonge St. brought supplies of bongs and pipes, and sales were brisk throughout the Saturday. Inventory began arriving throughout the day. Seeds were sold as usual. Business was good but Goodwin estimates his losses to the police raid around $15,000.
The rally in Niagara Falls went well despite pouring rain through Ontario much of the day. Four buses of activists went to Niagara Falls for the annual US-Canadian Cannabis Peace Rally at the border city.
Please come to buy something from Up In Smoke Cafe or order online at www.upinsmokecafe.ca. all aspects of their business are still fully operational.