Hemp Store Harassment
Cops Steal Bongs
??? When Vancouver police raided Hemp BC on January 5, 1996, they seized
their entire inventory of pipes, bongs and vapourizers, as well as their whole supply of
marijuana seeds, and other miscellaneous items like computer disks with back issues of
Cannabis Canada. Yet although owner Marc Emery faces eight counts of trafficking in
marijuana seeds, he has not been charged with anything relating to the seized
paraphernalia or other items. Despite this, Vancouver police refuse to return his
merchandise, claiming that it is simply “illegal” and that they do not need to
lay a charge to keep his products.
??? This judicial decision by the Vancouver police as to what is and is not
prohibited is clearly not justifiable in a free society. If this kind of arbitrary police
seizure is allowed to go unchallenged it may quickly become the norm, and the police will
certainly use the tactic of repeatedly seizing merchandise without pressing charges as a
simple and effective means of driving hemp stores across Canada out of business.
??? Marc goes to trial in July, but that is only a hearing to determine if
the court will hear his constitutional challenge. It is likely that his actual trial will
be a long process which could last for at least a year. In the meantime Marc Emery
continues to sell pipes, bongs and seeds at Hemp BC.
? Contact Marc Emery
at (604) 681-4690.
? Contact the Vancouver Police Dept. at (604) 665-3081,
or (604) 665-2129.
??? When London police raided Hemp Nation on December 6, they
simultaneously raided another London seed outlet called Hi Times. I spoke to owner Mike
Jain by phone after the raid, and he explained to me that he had called London police
about a year before the raid, before he began selling seeds, to ask about their legality.
Jain says that they told him that if there was no THC in the seed then they were legal,
and he had been openly selling seeds for a whole year with no police warnings or
interference prior to the destructive police raid.
??? Jain told me that after he was arrested and his store cleaned out, 15
RCMP officers went to his home, used his keys to enter his house and woke his sleeping
wife in her bedroom. They took all the money they could find in his home as well as his
wife’s jewellery, claiming it was “drug money.” Jain’s wife was planning a trip
to her native India over Christmas, but police seized her passport and tickets.
??? Hi Times is still open, although financially devastated by the police
seizures. Mike Jain’s trial hearings begin April 28.
? Contact Mike Jain
at (519) 858-1533.
??? In Surrey, Randy Caine has decided to close down The Joint after 15
months of being in business. He claims that he is the victim of “a very well
organized campaign to drive The Joint out of the community.”
??? Randy has been steadily harassed by Surrey City Hall since he opened
his business. He was consistently denied a business license, and slandered by Council
members who claimed that he was running a disreputable business that would give Surrey a
“bad name.” At one point the City Council suggested that his store, which sells
hemp clothing, pipes, and coffee with snacks, should fall under the category of a massage
parlor or escort service, and therefore pay $3000 or more for a business license.
??? Randy explained that he wanted The Joint to have a “friendly
atmosphere”, but that the harassment from City Council made his customers afraid they
were under scrutiny, and scared away his business. Randy says he wants to reopen, but
first he is taking the City of Surrey to court, suing the City Council for damages.
? Contact Randy Caine
at (604) 534-9971.
? Contact Surrey City Council
at (604) 591-4126.
??? In Peterborough, Ontario, Tony Rizzo had his store Radical Riz raided
and his inventory seized twice during August 1996, and then he spent 45 days in jail when
he violated the conditions of his bail by returning briefly to his own store on September
??? Tony and his lawyer Glen Jennings launched a constitutional challenge
against the ban on pipes and bongs, which falls under section 462.2 of the Criminal Code.
On February 28 the court rejected the constitutional challenge, and so Tony will face
??? The decision in Peterborough doesn’t bode well for Thunder Bay’s Ken
Venema, who was charged under section 462.2 on December 14, 1995, for the sale of pipes
and bongs at his store Kaiyun. Although Ken has changed Kaiyun’s location, he continues to
sell some of the banned products, and begins his constitutional challenge hearing on March
? Contact Tony Rizzo at (705) 749-0496.
? Contact Ken Venema at (807) 345-1149.