Cannabis Canada, spring96 – Arrest

Arrest

It can happen any time of the day or night. It happens about every five minutes of every hour of every day of the year. Someone just like you or me gets arrested on a marijuana charge.

Over one hundred thousand Canadians are charged every year, and they are fingerprinted and humiliated. Thirty-five thousand are convicted and punished.

Arrest.

It happens when semi-auto-matic rifles are aimed directly at your head, held by men in blue uniforms whose motto is “To Serve and Protect”.

Arrest. One million Canadians with criminal records from government prohibition.

Arrest. Children robbed from mothers deemed unfit parents by Social Services.

Arrest. Elderly medical marijuana grower on the Gulf Islands.

Arrest. Industrial hemp grower in Grand Forks.

Arrest. Stores like Hemp Nation in London, Ontario, the Joint in North Vancouver, and Kayiun in Thunder Bay. Inventory gutted by men with guns.

Arrest. Section 462.2. $100,000 and/or 6 months.

Arrest. My rite of passage. Jan 4, 1:30pm on a cloudy Thursday.

Twenty-five officers, twelve vehicles, handcuffs. My employees and friends, my inventory, clothing, mushroom kits, rolling papers, documents, our personal pipes, computer disks containing Cannabis Canada. My life carted out in boxes. All day and through the evening.

Arrested. Jason Copps and Jeremie Williams. Friends and employees, charged with traffciking and possession of marijuana in the form of seeds, and selling paraphernalia and literature in violation of section 462.2 of the Criminal Code. All because they were behind the counter at Hemp BC. Their rite of passage is to wait on a ccourt to determine if they are to be punished with life imprisonment, and $120,000 in fines.

Arrested. Hilary Black, manager of Hemp BC. In the office with me when the cops came. Charged with possession of marijuana for the purposes of trafficking and violation of 462.2. Facing life imprisonment and $120,000 in fines.

And then there was me.

Arrested. No-one in Canada has been charged for trafficking in seeds prior to my arrest. But if I get the wrong black-robed government appointee then it’s life imprisonment for me, plus $120,000 in fines, on top of the $100,000 in stolen inventory and at least $25,000 in legal fees.

The police said they had “bigger fish to fry” hundreds of times before my arrest. Officers came in to tell me that “we aren’t interested in what you’re doing. Just stop stamping your money with Legalize Hemp, stop smoking marijuana in the store, and get those bongs out of the window.”

I played ball with the boys in blue, but they lie. They steal. They cheat. They kill. They shot Daniel Possee to death in 1992. The atrocities must stop. I loathe them now, with a depth of burning hate that eats at me.

My life is now consumed with this very personal hanging. My future is in the hands of laws written by the government, before a judge appointed by the government.

Ceremonial chemistry before ceremonial law.

Arrest. They charged my sixteen year old son Jeremy with possession. He had a joint on him. He’ll never trust a cop again.

Deb and I fear our children will be taken from us. The night he coordinated the butchery of Hemp BC, Sgt Jens Linds told me “You’re a bad parent” while I was in my cell.

Later he spoke to me like an old colleague, saying “I’d like to talk more, but we’re all going for a drink. As you know, we’ve had a hard day.” They like to taunt you in your cell.

Arrest. It could happen to you.

Cultural genocide. It’s happening to us. In 1996. In Canada.

I’ll always remember the jarring clang of prison cell doors. I remember it from 1988 and I shiver. I remember it from January 4 and my gut wrenches. I think of them doing this to my boy and my employees and I feel violated.

Angry.

The Buddha said “Life is suffering and then you die.” I am not a Buddhist. I am a patriot, a warrior, an idealist, and a human being. I am not a criminal. I am only a breaker of immoral, insane laws.

Arrest.

“It’s what you wanted.” people say to me incredulously.

I throw up every day. I am torn by anger and fury.

“It’s good publicity.” I am told.

I feel so tense I believe I may have a heart attack.

“Everyone is counting on you Marc.”

No room for emotion. No room for human weakness.

Arrest. I’m broke, for now.

Arrest? I need a rest, indeed.

But, I have the hemp clothes on my back, my principles, my courage (battered a bit), my business, my associates at Hemp BC, and you.

You can send money.

You can buy goods from Hemp BC.

You can write to your MP. The time is now.

You can call Vancouver Police Spokesperson Constable Anne Drennan and tell her what you think. Call (604) xxx-xxxx.

You can write to Hedy Fry, MP for Vancouver Centre where Hemp BC is located, and tell her to stand up and support Hemp BC.

You can write to the Senate and demand that they reject the prohibitionist Bill C-7, now under final review.

You can grow more pot and overgrow the government.

You can educate your parents and your children about the beneficial uses of cannabis and the stupidity of waging war on drugs.

You can get subscriptions to Cannabis Canada for your friends, family, and local library.

You can write or call local and national media to support Hemp BC and correct misinformation.

You can design some simple and informative posters and plaster them in highly visible places in your city.

You can make a presentation to your scout troop, church group, or school class about cannabis.

You can correct anyone who says something about marijuana that isn’t true.

You can publicly admit that you smoke marijuana.

You can smoke marijuana in public.

You can ask police officers on the street what they think about marijuana.

You can tell people who have asthma, glaucoma, arthritis, and AIDS about the medicinal benefits of marijuana.

You can wear hemp clothes, use hemp paper, and tell everyone about it.

You can plant cannabis seeds everywhere you go.

You can do more. Much more.

You must do it now.

Arrest. It could happen to you, unless we rise up and overthrow this cultural genocide sponsored by the marijuana-hating Canadian government.

Please help us to end the war.


The Canadian Cannabis Culture must demand the following five conditions to ending this 73 year old war against us.

1. The legalization of cannabis, and then as quickly as possible to all other herbs and ethnogens.

2. That all Canadians convicted of any cannabis related offense immediately receive a complete and unconditional pardon from the government of Canada.

3. That there be no regulatory controls over who may cultivate and distribute cannabis in the form of marijuana, hashish, hemp, and all their by-products.

4. That restitution be paid to the victims of cannabis persecution for all time spent in jail and confiscation of money and property. These payments could be drawn from taxes gathered through the legal sale of cannabis products.

5. An official apology from the Prime Minister of Canada to the effect that the government acknowledges its 73 year war on cannabis culture as a vicious, murderous bigotry with no legitimate health concerns whatsoever. The apology must express regret and order a cessation of this cultural genocide immediately.

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