Situation on the Drive

Nosey reporters went as far as to infiltrate Da Kine Cafe and both of Ken Hayes’ shops downtown and on The Drive with spy cams and hidden microphones trying to sensationalize the issue of responsible adults aquiring quality cannabis from a safe secure places without a whole load of bereaucratic red tape and agreement from Doctors. Doctors, who didn’t ask to be gatekeepers in the first place, are reluctant to ‘get political’ or ‘risk higher insurance costs’ or ‘ridicule of other doctors’ nor wish to prescribe an ‘unseen product of unknown quality and dosage,’ whether they believe their patient’s ‘anecdotal evidence’ or not.
Constable Sarah Bloor says Vancouver police hadn’t acted against Da Kine because of other priorities. She notes no one had complained about the store selling marijuana.

Bloor reiterated Thursday that while police were aware of the situation at the cafe, no investigation was undertaken because of a lack of resources.

“We can only do so much with what we have,” she said, adding the department is more interested in cracking down on serious criminals, and large crime organizations. “Our priority is to investigate grow-ops and organized crime,” said Bloor, pointing to the recent seizure of about 450 kilograms of pot –with a street value exceeding $1 million –from three Vancouver residences.

As for the Da Kine cafe, Bloor said: “[Police] can’t just go in to arrest and seize. You have to get search warrants. You just can’t walk in and shut down an operation.

“If we can work with the city to have their licence pulled, we’ll do that.”

Several Vancouver city councillors appeared relatively unconcerned Thursday about reports of a cafe on Commercial Drive openly selling pot.

“I think as a city, we have much more important issues that need our immediate attention,” said Councillor Tim Louis.

“I don’t know that it’s one of the most important issues,” said Councillor Anne Roberts. “I’m more concerned about single-resident occupancy hotels that violate our bylaws, or places that fence stolen goods — that concerns me much, much more.”

David Malmo Levine said it best on Global New’s that Vancouver was responsible and mature enough to handle an ‘Amsterdam style’ cafe. See:

A Vancouver Sun newspaper article by Chris Johnson featured Bryan Hamilton posing with a bong at The Melting Point Gallery owned by Mark Richardson (Bubbleman), They described it as ideal place to enjoy the herb bought at Da Kine on their back patio.

Mark pointed out he paid enough taxes to surport four policeman and has sold in the last year and a half around $100,000 worth of volcano vaporisors at roughly $900.00 each and bubble bags for $600.00 and De Kine must be making like $100,000 a month over past four months and generating another $100,000 for buisnesses like the cafes and cosmopolitan stores on the drive. But it’s not all about money or even taxes

The sun paper cover article also fingered the Spirit Within on Commercial Drive, owned by drug war refugee from San Fran who is here seeking asylum as refugee of US lead Drug War and to defect to Canada Ken Hayes’ Smart Entheobotanical Shop as a source of good bud for those in the know amoung ‘the down and in ‘as well. He has been persecuted in the U.S.A. for pioneering a Medical buyers club for mostly A.I.D.S. patients there.

Carol Gwilt of the Canadian Sanctuary society running Da Kine cafe got in contact with Barb Windsor, Vancouver’s deputy chief licensing inspector, who said Thursday a panel of three city councillors will hear evidence relating to the operation of Da Kine before making a recommendation to city council.

Carol will have to go before the panel on the fifteenth and a good turn out is expected and required.

On Wednesday, Gwilt admitted to the media her shop has been selling marijuana over the counter since it opened four months ago, although no drugs are displayed.

She told reporters she considers her cafe to be a vital part of Vancouver’s harm reduction plan when it comes to dealing with drug use, and hopes the city and police allow her to stay in business.

“I don’t consider what I’m doing to be illegal,” Gwilt said. “Cannabis needs to be removed from the criminal code.”

Since Wednesday the society has insisted everyone who comes in signs a statement of their ‘medical need’ giving Dr’s name and Number and having it signed and witnessed before they may be served. In the last few days at rate of one a minute practically they already have well over 1000 members of the Canadian Sanctuary Society (A registered B.C. Society) signed up already and a petition with and equal number of names is being circulated. They have also canvassed neighbourhood and over 80% of the businesses on the drive have given them the nod .

“The panel will determine if any action should be taken against the business license,” Windsor said. If the decision by council is to revoke the license, Carol G. could be told to close immediately, or be given a time line.

Jim Green has been great right from the beginning when story broke on CTV he put the issue of cafe into the “four pillar perspective” as acting Mayor.

He said the current complaint process should be adequate for handling such matters. He even joked on the news “How do you know if a person is from Vancouver? They don’t know if marijuana is legal or not.”

Green told the Sun: “I checked throughout the city and with other councilors and there have been absolutely no complaints about this store. We get complaints about everything — I’ve got five or six e-mails today about a guy parking a truck by a construction site. I would assume that Councilor Stevenson thought our staff will report to us if there’s an issue here, and that’s the normal way we deal with things.”

Tim Stevenson said he had just received minutes from a July 15 meeting he attended with about a dozen Commercial Drive entrepreneurs, and said there was no mention of illegal drug sales in the neighbourhood.

“There was one section on what they call problem premises, residential and business, and it doesn’t even mention the word ‘marijuana,’ let alone a mention of that particular business [Da Kine],” he said.

According to a Sun article by Wyng Chow and Maurice Bridge Friday, Councilor Anne Roberts said she also heard about the Da Kine cafe through the media.

She went on to say the issue needed to be looked into, adding that council doesn’t support people violating bylaws. However, she said such places were not her top priority.

The only person giving interviews in the neighborhood complaining about Da Kine claiming it is too close to the elementary school (as if you see elementary students going it there) is Eileen Mosca who makes her living ‘painting murals,’ (no doubt over others graffiti), who got herself elected or appointed “President” of the little hut in Britannia park across the way “Grandview Woodland Community Policing Centre.”

I spoke to her “secretary” Pam and brought with me a copy of my rebuttal to her comments in in the province letters section as well as in the Vancouver Sun article and left them there as they had no copies. Mosca had appeared on the major TV networks as well berating Da Kine.

Pam said: “We believe there is less petty dealers in park because of our policing, because of our ‘Enforcement.’ “Enforcement is only ONE of the four pillars.” Flash asked: “What about Harm Reduction?”

I also asked Pam what Ms. Mosca was implying when she said; “It’s very hard to get a cold beer and wine license. It appears anyone can open a marijuana retail in the city without residents having anything to say about it.”

In the same breath the other night on TV Eileen stated she complained had “Eight months ago” against the city granting Da Kine’s Business license. So therefore her complaint was heard …

It’s like the expression: “God always answers prayers just sometimes He answers ‘No.'”

The President of the neighbourhood police station and public washroom building in the park is OK with the public drunkenness, nudity and alcohol induced mob mentality on the drive come World Cup Soccer and other events on the drive, where you can sip wine on most restaurant patio’s?

Eileen does not mind sharing the neighbourhood with drunks or worry about children’s exposure to them but serves up reefer madness stereo types for ganja lovers while denying in her hippy garb she is ‘anti marijuana.’ There is one word for this type person NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard).

Not wanting to share parking spaces with people who are populating The Drive with peace and joy and prosperity?

She insinuates people are driving stoned or high with “car keys in their hands” ready too wreck havoc on the roads whereas every study so far has shown people on cannabis drive more cautiously and certainly are better natured, less apt to express ‘road rage,’ then those on alcohol or even coffee.

Pam declined to comment further as she had not read the article and was not authorized to speak.

Vancouver Mayor Larry Campbell, back from vacation says he’s in favor of legalizing marijuana, but doesn’t condone the over-the-counter sale of pot at a cafe on Commercial Drive.

According to CBC Vancouver Mayor Larry Campbell, who introduced Safe injection sites for intravenous users and is pushing for a “safe inhalation site” for Crack users, says he’s “amazed” that the Da Kine Smoke and Beverage Shop has been selling marijuana for the past four months – and by how open the owner has been about the fact. He says while the cafe owner has clearly broken the law, no one seems to be complaining. The former Vancouver coroner now Mayor went on to point out:

“I think it says something that it could be open for four months and no body knows about it,” he said. “Where’s the impact? What’s the big deal about it?”

Police have said the cafe was on their radar – but not high on their list of priorities. But Campbell says he doesn’t think the police even knew about it.

He says he wonders how long the cafe could have continued to operate quietly, if the media hadn’t picked up on the story.

“If I was running that cafe, there never would have been media getting in there,” he says. “I mean I watched the news. I was amazed at how open everybody was.”

The street corner crack dealers and pot rip off dealers, dirt beneath their nails, might as well have to scurry off elsewhere.

No one ‘in need’ lest go with out the sacred, healing, useful herb again in Vancouver. The shops are open!