Cannabis Day, July 1 1997

Ever since section 464.2 of the Criminal Code was ruled unconstituional in Ontario, we haven’t seen any charges laid for sellingillegal reading material, until now. The law that forbids sale of certain books,magazines, and other printed material in Canada is still on the books, andunless you happen to live in Ontario, police actions like the ones describedbelow are real possibility.

It’s so nice to live in a free country. There’s a rally in Saskatoon onJune 21. Contact Erin Berger, tel 477-7186 for more info.

Store busted for dope magazines

By Dan Zakreski of the StarPhoenix
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Saskatoon bookstore operators are outrages by a police raid on a downtownstore that resulted in criminal charges against the owner and the seizure ofa number of cannabis-related books and magazines.

On may 15, police raided the Vinyl Exchange on 128 Second Avenue Borthand seized owner Mike Spindloe’s inventory of CannabisCanada, High Timesand Hemp Times magazines, plus an array of pipes and smokingparaphernalia.

Spindloe is facing charges of selling literature that promnotes illicutdrug use. He appears in provincial court June 25.

The magazines are avialavle in at least 15 other Saskatoon bookstores,says Midwest News Agencies sales manager Glen Roney, the localwholesaler.

“These are all mainstream magazines, between 15 and 20 stores carry someor all of the titles. In the case of High Times (an American Magazine), itcomes through Canada Customs and is distributed nationally,” he said. “TheseMagazines are not drug paraphernalia.”

City Police Sgt. Dave Kovach said the raid and charges stemmed from aninvestigation by an officer, not a complaint. Kovach issued a word ofcaution to other bookstore owners. “The Criminal Code is very clear. If wesee this literature in other stores, they could be charged as well,” hesaid. “Anyone that has this literature can face the same consequences., seizure, and charges.”

Robert Green at Broadway Book Marchants, which sells Cannabis Canada,says he’s concerned with the police action “beacuse it censorious, andthat’s always a concern for someone in the information business. This iscertainly disturbing.”

Ernie Meili at Saskatoon Bookstore says the police targeting one store “isnot fair,” and he suggests the department may not be up on its law. “Theyabsolutely do not have the right,” he said. Assed Darwin Megyesi at theReaders Nook: “I don’t agree with the seizure, but I won’t worry about ituntil someone tries to tell me what I can’t sell in my store.”

< p>As for Spindloe, he says the experience had been like “waking up in a baddream that doesn’t stop. It’s been like a break-in.”

Spindloe knew something was up when a plainclothes officer he knew cameinto the store and purchased a copy of Cannabis Canada. He exited the store”and waved his arm. Car doors opened up all over the street and sevenplainclothes officers came into the store with a search warrant and startedloading material into boxes.” He estimated police seized $4000 worth ofmerchandise.

Spindloe has since started a petition aimed at getting the chargesdropped and the merchandise returned. He is also accepting donations for adefence fund.