CANNABIS CULTURE – The spliff-shaped Olympic torch burned through the Pot Block, Vancouver’s marijuana-friendly district, during the launch of the 2010 Winter Games on Friday.
Pot activists, smokers and employees of Marc Emery’s Cannabis Culture Headquarters lined the streets of Hastings street to see the dramatic ceremony, which has its roots in ancient Greece and the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany, and has now become a mainstay of the international games.
Prince of Pot Marc Emery and his activist wife Jodie waved flags and chanted outside of the popular headshop and home to the BC Marijuana Party, Cannabis Culture Magazine and vaporizer lounge at 307 W. Hastings Street.
As hundreds of onlookers gathered close to Victory Square to await torch and runner, a group of Olympic protesters unrelated to the cannabis community, some shouting Aboriginal land claims, blocked the official route and caused a stir.
In a matter of minutes, Vancouver police were at the scene in full force, with a compliment of officers on horseback who seemed to push dangerously close to the group of chanting dissidents.
The route was quickly detoured and the protest action subverted with no violence or damaged property.
The flaming torch, which was lampooned by the press for its uncanny resemblance to a large joint, made it safely through the Block and on its way to the Olympic Opening Ceremonies downtown.