CANNABIS CULTURE – Protesters arrested during Cannabis Day 2015 at the Vancouver Art Gallery showed up for court on July 8 just to be told their cases would be delayed while The Crown does paperwork.
Marijuana activists Neil Magnuson, David Malmo-Levine, Cameron McDonald, and Bert Easterbrook were all arrested by Vancouver Police during the annual marijuana protest on July 1 and charged with obstruction of justice. Magnuson was also charged with marijuana trafficking.
Magnuson was told to return to court on July 15 and the rest on July 20.
Though marijuana activists have sold marijuana openly at protest rallies for years without intervention from police – as the City and cops helped organize and patrol the events – this year authorities decided to wage an aggressive takedown.
Over a dozen police officers dived-on and arrested Magnuson when he refused to stop selling pot – though he says he didn’t actually sell any more marijuana after being asked to stop by police. Police pepper-sprayed the crowd and arrested the other men for hugging Magnuson during the skirmish.
Pot protesters say the cannabis famers market plays an important role in their activism as a peaceful form of civil disobedience – one that provides an example of what a safe, legal marijuana marketplace might look like as an alternative to our current booze-soaked city.
In the past, Cannabis Day organizers worked directly with city officials to alleviate safety concerns and help divert traffic.
This year, officials at the City Manager’s office went to newspapers just three weeks before Cannabis Day, telling reporters construction fences would be set-up to block the rally.
Fences were up on July 1, so pot activists used the South side of the Art Gallery instead. Protesters afterwards noticed that no construction was actually done to the Art Gallery before the fences were taken down just two days later.
Follow Cannabis Culture for more information on the crackdown on Cannabis Day in Vancouver.