Bud the Oracle was positive he wouldn’t be arrested.
“The police will not arrest me,” he told Cannabis Culture on August 10, “and yes, I was advertising marijuana to the Council members and anyone on the Vancouver Police Department staff who might use this vegetable. That’s part of my activism, I’m just boldly being a marijuana seller out in the open, I have nothing to fear and they have no claim on me. I am not a person under their authority.”
Bud is Chief Justice of a group called The Unincorporated Deuteronomical Society and has claimed the sovereign right to sell marijuana as a Freeman – and he had been doing just that: openly selling marijuana on the streets of Vancouver while ringing a bell and shouting “Marijuana for sale!”
Bud and his cohorts believe that since they have declared themselves Freemen, the laws that govern Canadian citizens do not apply to them, and that somehow, the laws of Canada actually make allowances for these claims – though it is all kept secret by lawyers and the establishment. (Go to Bud Oracle’s blog, Sunshine Soup, to watch videos and find out more about being a Freeman.)
On the morning of August 10, Bud sent a letter to Vancouver’s Mayor, Police Chief, and City Council Members thanking them for their non-interference into his protest action, and declaring his intention to continue selling marijuana openly in the city streets:
Greetings and peace to all,
I am thankfull of your non interference with the Marijuana Guild’s assertion of our Claim of Right during it first Sale on the Art Gallery Commons, August 9, 2009.
As you can see by the Youtube videos Most people are happy with the news that they can purchase this pleasant and beneficial vegetable from non criminal sources without having to pretend to be sick enough to recieve permission for their diet from the federal Government. You will notice the quality and general happiness of the people who do purchase Cannabis many of whom are tourists to this City. These are the kind of people we need to come here in droves to keep our economy thriving.
In the future you will see me everywhere on the commons selling my wares peacefully. Again, I expect there to be peaceful discourse, rather than armed agression by your policy officers, if there are any specific considerations that you wish me to take into account. I am very ammenable to reasonable compromise and would rather enter into it than violent conflict over any issue which could be settled by communications.
Bud the Oracle
The Unincorporated Deuteronomical Society
Member Marijuana Guild
Later that day, Bud told Cannabis Culture by telephone that he had quit his job and intended to sell marijuana full time.
“My idea is to get a storefront somewhere and open a little smoking room and sell marijuana to anyone who comes through the door,” he said.
The next day, on August 11, Vancouver police arrested Bud in a park on Hastings Street after a skirmish with disgruntled locals who, it is rumored, called the authorities. During the arrest, Bud told police officers repeatedly that he was not a citizen of Canada, but was a “Freeman on the land”, and had a sovereign right to sell marijuana. The police listened politely, and then put Bud in the back of a police van.
Another member of the Unincorporated Deuteronomical Society who was using a videocamera to film the standoff was also arrested at the scene after refusing to give the police his name or date of birth, but was later released without charge after finally giving his name. Bud’s dog was also taken by police.
Bud the Oracle is an avid Podcaster and blogger whose style of activism and legal philosophy has been the subject of debate in the marijuana activist community (and in the Cannabis Culture Forums), with many critical of the legal logic used by the Freeman to arrive at their conclusions.
This is not the first time Bud’s has landed himself in hot water with police. In June, at a public playground in Vancouver, Bud was arrested after a run-in with bicycle police who eventually found a small amount of marijuana on the activist. The incident was even covered by the CBC (Click here to watch the video on Pot-TV).
When pressed by Cannabis Culture in our Monday interview, Bud finally admitted there was a chance he would be arrested.
“Should they arrest me,” he said, “here’s what I’ll do: After six hours, it is the law that I must have in my hand the instrument of my arrest – the warrant – all filled out. If after twelve hours I don’t have it in my hand, the law is that those people arresting me will have their commissions will be forfeited. They may arrest me, but they won’t be keeping me long and they won’t be charging me.”
CC contacted the Vancouver Police Department inquiring about the case, but did not received a call back by the time of posting this article.
Though Cannabis Culture wishes Bud and the Freemen the best of luck, we do not advise others activists to emulate their actions. Though you are undoubtedly Free to do what you please, selling marijuana openly (especially while in the streets, waving a bell) will probably get you arrested.