The Bloc Pot rallies in Montreal

Could it be? The cops went home halfway through thesmoke-in!


On September 28 there was a Smoke-In in Montreal’s Berri Square. This yearly event is to give local smokers an opportunity to show their colours by rolling, twisting, sparking and ordering pizzas in public, surrounded by their “fans”, the Montreal police.

Five’s a Charm

This year’s Montreal Smoke-In was the fifth of its kind, and about 1000 people attended. For the last four years, the Smoke-Ins had ended with 15 to 20 arrests each, after the cops had annoyed us enough to make us blow smoke in their faces. They usually got the final word.

The police don’t usually do anything too bad: they just stand around the crowd with their arms crossed, staring at us, filming us with camcorders and having little cop-huddles. It’s the feeling of being totally surrounded that really got on our nerves in the past.

The Cops Went Home!

This year’s event was no exception, the police were in full force until three-and-a-half hours had gone by and all the cameras were gone. However, with two hours left to go into the event, the cops left. It’s true the crowd had gotten slightly smaller, but the day was far from over. I remember looking around at one point to see that there wasn’t a single cop in sight!

In previous years all the arrests occurred toward the end of the Smoke-In. I don’t know why the cops left, but the result was that no one was dragged downtown for the first time in five years!

It almost seems as though the cops made… a good decision? Is that possible? Did they just leave because the cameras were gone? I can’t figure it out for the life of me.

The Bloc Pot

Montreal band Grim Skunk was in attendance, and Boris their lead singer got most of the media cameras pointed at him, seeing as he’s started a new political party: the Antiprohibitionist Party, also known as the “Bloc Pot”.

Although I searched vigorously, the only TV news coverage I saw that evening was on a french station, which mentioned that there had been “about 300 marijuana smokers” downtown.

By Zac Harris