VANCOUVER – After serving six months of her 15-month sentence, Carol Gwilt was granted parole on March 28th. The medicinal marijuana exemptee and former owner of Da Kine Cafe — the infamous shop that attracted thousands of customers on Vancouver’s Commerical Drive in the summer of 2004 — had been sentened to 15 months in prison.
It was a shock to everyone when Carol Gwilt was sentenced to jail time in September, 2006, for charges of trafficking. During her time in Alouette Correctional Centre for Women in Maple Ridge, BC, Carol acted as a model prisoner and worked at the on-site fish hatchery.
Da Kine Cafe was a store that opened in May 2004 and sold cannabis and hash to anyone who signed a form to join. The neighbourhood businesses claimed that they benefited from the organized and safe cannabis outlet, and customers stated that they were protected from dealing with unsavory characters in order to obtain marijuana.
Together with volunteers and activists, Carol made Da Kine a very public and reputable shop that thrived for four months with no complaint. It wasn’t until Septmeber 2004 that a sudden massive raid tok place with no warning, shutting down a movie shoot (The Fantastic Four) and including helicopters, swat teams, and numerous weapons and police vehicles — all for a cafe with unarmed patrons and volunteer staff.
The police raid was thought to be motivated by the BC Solicitor General, who was openly opposed to any cannabis or anti-prohibition demonstrations, and cracked down with a huge show of unnecessary force to please American Law Enforcement.
The cafe location tried to remain open after the raid and arrests, but eventually closed due to the restrictions and lack of customers. Carol was sent to prison after her trial finally took place on September 16th, 2006. Her parole hearing happened on March 28th, and her release scheduled for Monday, April 2nd.
For more information about Carol Gwilt’s parole hearing and the result, visit this CC Forums thread.
Please also leave a comment for Carol to read when she gets settled in at home!