Lisa Kirkman who wrote “Subscribing to Cannabis Culture changed my life!” after suscribing to Cannabis Culture magazine in the spring of 2000.
She was at the time she living in Calgary, Alberta, with her 2-year old son, working as a temp at a stuffy old insurance company and toking up in her car on lunch breaks. A few weeks later she had been chosen by CC editor Mr. Dana Larsen to be flown to Vancouver where she had a great time partying with the CC crowd. Lisa “saw Vancouver’s hemp highlights, smoked many different kinds of dank herb, ate spectacular ganja food, met many marijuana celebrities and had an amazing time.” (The party was covered in CC#28: Cannabis Culture Summer party hardy!)
After a few weeks Dana called her again, this time to offer her a job as his personal assistant. She helped Dana run both the Federal and Provincial election campaigns, as well as ran as a candidate for the BC Marijuana Party in the March 2001 elections, getting over 4% of the vote in her riding. Lisa met Foam, her soulmate, now her husband on the Cannabis Culture forums who she helped move from the states here to the Sunshine Coast.
Lisa and Renee Boje teamed up for a while to begin the Sunshine Coast compassion club and served the community well even delivering to elderly who were housebound and putting in extra time to roll for and keep them company. On Friday, August 23 2002 at about 4:20pm, the Sunshine Coast Compassion Club was raided by Gibsons RCMP officers. The club has never been a secret, operating openly for almost a year. Before opening, Kirkman attended local community policing meetings, informing RCMP and community leaders of her plans for a local Compassion Club. At those meetings, RCMP Staff Sergeant Ed Hill told Kirkman that police would “Give her a call” before launching any raids. But Sergeant Hill retired in the spring, and now the RCMP in Gibsons is headed by administration from the nearby city of Sechelt.
Police officers, acting on a warrant, took club founder Lisa Kirkman and her baby daughter to the local RCMP station where they were held for two hours. Police searched the club and seized about a quarter pound of medicinal marijuana. Kirkman is likely to be charged with possession for purposes of trafficking.
Lisa re-opened after the first raid, announcing on her website that she would continue to serve her 70 members on the coast and across Canada. “We’ve been busted, but we’re still open!” she proclaimed, continuing to offer med-pot for sale in person and via mail-order within Canada.
Constable Kim Hall, one of the arresting officers, returned to the club on August 30, brandishing a print-out of the club’s website. “We know about your website,” Hall told Kirkman.
“If you continue to conduct illegal activities from this location we will arrest you and put you in jail this time. We’ll hold you two months until your court date on October 22nd.”
“I’m a mother too,” added Officer Hall ominously, referring to Kirkman’s breast-feeding baby daughter, “and I wouldn’t want to be separated from my child like that.”
“I have no choice but to shut down the club,” said Kirkman. “If I didn’t have a two-month old baby I’d be more willing to risk a jail term.”
Luckily Lisa was never formally charged in the Compassion Club bust. However the local RCMP were not ready to let sleeping dogs lie. Lisa Kirkman, According to the Coast Reporter, said more than 10 officers entered her home with guns drawn and cut off her Hydro power, although they knew she had two young children and her husband depends on an electric-powered respirator because of a lung condition.
“They seriously endangered my husband’s life,” said Kirkman. Lisa Kirkman is sure police are targeting her because of her promotion of medical marijuana. “It’s a vendetta,” she asserts since it was she who founded the Sunshine Coast Compassion Club, which police shut down in 2002. Now she awaiting trial on charges of pot cultivation considers the RCMP bust of her home last year as harassment.
Flash was delighted to see his pal MomaKind and Foam in the BCMP reception area. She looked well having lost weight especially in her face since her pregnancy and had only lost some of her glow but brightened up when she greeted Flash. Foam had his cane and they were both travel-weary having had to come in on the 6:30 AM ferry to make their date in Supreme court. Lisa had acquired the services of the kindly Queens Council John Conroy and today his agent was meeting the couple in court to ask to fix a date. Lisa is depending on the generosity of the crown to foot the cost of her Constitutional Challenge based on such cases as Hertzig and Jim Wakeford.
Lisa and Foam went on ahead to the court house and Flash decided he might as well show his support. The BC Supreme House of the Justice Industry on Georgia and Howe was grandiose in design and thickly carpeted throughout. Yet there was nowhere near the amount of security Flash had endured going into the Main Street Court House. Flash first approached the information desks. There was a separate desk, nay, a whole legion of petty bureaucrats for each stage of proceedings through the BC supreme court systems. In the very back, across from the sheriffs desk was a sign marked ‘Fixings.’ Flash recalled they were ‘fixing a date’ and tried there for the roster, his luck prevailing.
High glass ceilings loomed above and finding your way to the upper levels in the elevator takes assistance as they will only let you travel so far until your told sequence of the maze. Flash became flustered reading the numbers of the court rooms but there was Lisa, foam was still finishing his bagel. She really didn’t know if she could share with Flash any of the details of her case. Not at least until she had spoken with her lawyer, John Conroy’s agent, in case the judge was to order a ban of publication or something. Nevertheless she was glad to have flash there and introduced him to her lawyer as ‘our supporter.’
Flash made him self scarce as they met before court with John Conroy’s agent by finding his way back down through elevator maze out front to have a puff or two.
There, walking past came none other than Bill Smalls, of the Too Tall Brothers reefer jazz band. It had been Bill Small’s that had supplied the BC Compassion Club and Hilary Black in the early days, even volunteering his time to administer free Reiki massage. He had beaten the charges on his grow on the basis it was being used exclusively for patients and he gained no great profit from it and was harming no one of course. It was a relief when he was presented with an Absolute Discharge.
Bill also had been the one to stand up for Renee Boje and be her bail bondsman taking responsibility if she were forced to flea the country or violate her bail conditions. There’s even tales of Bill standing up to police taking responsibility for found pot that was not his to liberate others.
“What are you doing here, have you come to help Momakind?” asked Flash.
“No. Is she here? I’m with my friend Gary. We want to get the court to accept certain legal facts about mushrooms like they did cannabis in the Caine/Levine case. We plan to bring in expert witnesses and set precedents.” Bill explained his presence. To do so they must raise 5000.00 by January 8th just as a retainer for the lawyer they have selected.
Turned out Bill and Gary had to be in same court as MomaKind and Foam with Flash so they all sat together, Flash nice and cozy next to Momakind. Bill Small’s was dressed in suit and bow tie and ran about amongst the lawyers milling about before the bench prior to the honorable judges arrival seeking their intervention.
Even before Lisa was called to the stand Bill Smalls was introduced as ‘a member of the bar’ Bill quickly explained that despite his attire he was merely a friend seeking to act as his friends Agent and explained the delay in having a lawyer present. Bill Smalls went on to explain that he wished to bring in many witnesses and have full jury and at least two weeks of court time and, like Lisa needed the crowns help with their constitutional challenge on the financial end of it but was personally determined to raise the money for his friend. The judge was insistent that next time they return they have a lawyer in tow and cared not to hear their council was on vacation. The prosecutor had made perfectly clear Gary had allegedly used UPS to ship 5 lbs of dried mushrooms.
“Mushrooms… sheeesh,” muttered the judge as he waived on the next case. Lisa’s brief moment before the court was rather anti-climatic and a waste of their travel court time as all was to be done was to set a date to set a date. Something that in the real world would be easier been done with telephones and timetables. Walking through the elaborate gardens and masonry from Georgia to Robson with Bill Smalls and his buddy, Flash remembered as a kid of 16 they found the Courtyards around the BC Supreme Courthouse the perfect place to hide out and toke and drink beer, at least until they began getting run out by security guards.
Little did they know that within these walls Lady Justice holds lives in the balance scales and her blindfold on tight.