Cannabis Culture publisher and POT TV owner Marc Emery will lead a smoke-out at the Vancouver Police Headquarters (Cambie and 5th Ave) at 4:00 PM this Thursday to protest an announcement by Vancouver police that they will continue enforcing BC’s pot possession laws regardless of BC Judge Chen’s September 4 ruling that “there is no offence known to law at this time for simple possession of marihuana” in British Columbia.
Shortly after related stories appeared on the Cannabis Culture and POT TV websites, the US Consul Luis Arreaga visited Vancouver Police to pressure for a continued war on buds.
“I think it encourages organized crime,” he intimated. “Our customs officials aren’t going to just sit. They are going to pay more attention to the people travelling, to the patterns. It could mean more border waits.”
Dancing to the pull of American strings, Vancouver Police Spokesperson Sarah Bloor told CTV television news that BC Provincial Court Judge Chen’s ruling “isn’t a binding decision.”
“As far as we’re concerned, under the Criminal Code of Canada, it is still illegal to possess marijuana,” clacked Bloor, who also said it would be “up to the discretion of police officers to lay charges.”
Emery criticized high-level pressure to continue possession prohibition in BC.
“It will be up to a police officer to interpret the laws instead of a skilled and scholarly judge who has considered dozens of cases and thought about it for months on end,” he said. “Somehow Judge Chen isn’t worthy of respect. Somehow the police in the street will be the barometer of the law. The police are being poiticized instead of showing respect for the law they are supposed to uphold. Perhaps they consider themselves superior to Provincial Court Judges.”
BC Judge Chen’s decision was largely based on an Ontario Court of Appeals ruling earlier this year that invalidated possession laws. The Ontario ruling led to similar decisions in PEI and Nova Scotia. With Judge Chen’s decision, BC has become the most recent province to follow in the wake of these decisions. PEI, Ontario and Nova Scotia have stayed all charges under 30 grams.
“Judge Chen said in his ruling that the Ontario Court of Appeal’s striking down of pot possession laws ‘was clear, unequivocal, unqualified, unconditional and unrestricted in its application to all citizens,'” Emery elucidated. “What part of ‘clear, unequivocal, unqualified, unconditional, and unrestricted’ don’t the police understand? What part of ‘in its application to all citizens’ does Police Chief Jamie Graham not get?”
Contact: Marc Emery, cell 604-612-8785, home 604-685-8260