Cafe ’openly Flouting’ Drug Laws Raided B

Discussion in 'Coffeeshops' started by Alfa, Sep 7, 2004.

  1. Alfa

    Alfa Productive Insomniac Staff Member Administrator

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    POT CAFE'S LICENCE COULD BE REVOKED

    The owner of a Vancouver cafe that sells pot over the counter will
    appear at a hearing where her city-issued business licence might be
    revoked.

    Barb Windsor, Vancouver's deputy chief licensing inspector, said
    yesterday a panel of three city councillors will hear evidence Sept.
    15 relating to the operation of the Da Kine Smoke & Beverage Shop
    before making a recommendation to city council.

    Owned by Carol Gwilt, the Da Kine cafe is permitted to sell
    pre-packaged food - no food preparation is allowed on-site- along with
    publications, gifts and clothing.

    Vancouver police spokesperson Sarah Bloor said earlier the police
    force "had concerns" when the cafe first applied for licensing in
    January. But despite those unspecified concerns, which police raised
    with city staff, a business licence was issued May 4.

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

    Alfa Productive Insomniac Staff Member Administrator

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    POT CAFE ENJOYS BRISK BUSINESS, LOYAL CUSTOMERS

    Buyers Feel Safer Purchasing Over The Counter Than On The
    Street

    VANCOUVER - At 5 p.m. on a Friday, Da Kine cafe is one of the busiest
    shops in the city.

    About 30 buyers line up to spend $30 on an eighth of an ounce of
    marijuana in little plastic bags stashed under the counter.

    Over the course of an hour, staff serve about 100 customers, mostly
    young, white, working-class males, who a decade ago would have crammed
    a bar on a Friday night for an after-work beer.

    Owner Carol Gwilt, whose business could face closure after a city
    council hearing Sept. 15, says recent media attention is helping to
    draw customers. "It's been good today. And it was really busy, too,
    before the media attention."

    Justin Cholewa says he recently moved here from Chicago because of
    shops like this around Commercial Drive. "I've never seen anything
    like it. It actually attracted me to come up here to study. Compared
    to America, [which is] almost in a fascist governing time, it reflects
    on the whole city because nobody has to be scared of what they're
    doing. Nobody has to hide."

    Except journalists, that is. Staff asked a Vancouver Sun photographer
    to respect customers' privacy and stay outside. Gwilt allowed a writer
    inside, but said she was too busy to talk to media.

    Inside, potential customers find Egyptian decor and an array of
    pro-pot propaganda.

    A poster of Allen Ginsburg says "Pot is a reality kick."

    Another notes that Mark Twain, Van Gogh and Rembrandt all worked with
    hemp paper.

    A chalkboard quotes Jim Morrison as saying, "No eternal reward will
    forgive us now for wasting the dawn."

    A clerk wears a T-shirt (selling for $30) with a mock Vancouver
    Canucks logo in which a spliff replaces the hockey stick.

    Shelves are stocked with growing paraphernalia, rolling papers,
    lighters and glass pipes -- including a monstrous saxophone-sized bong.

    "You can't get any marijuana until you register," calls out a clerk.

    Buyers must fill out an "application for registration," with a sworn
    declaration that "ingesting cannabis has therapeutic benefits to my
    medical condition and my general state of well-being that outweigh any
    health risks
    associated with it."

    (Possession of a one-month supply of medicinal marijuana is legal in
    Canada for people who are terminally or chronically ill and who apply
    to Health Canada for approval.)

    After that, a sign at the counter warns customers must be 19 or older.
    "If you cannot produce ID when requested to do so, you will be ejected
    onto the street."

    "The Menu," displayed on the counter, is on plain white paper with
    handwritten items including "Chuckleberry," "Grand Jam" and "Citrus
    Indica," different types of pot priced at $10 a gram or $30 for an
    eighth of an ounce.

    Staff dispense "the herb" as fast as the shop next door dispenses
    pizza slices -- and it clearly does a roaring trade of customers with
    the munchies.

    Some buyers immediately roll joints at the few tables inside the cafe,
    or buy pop from a fridge, while most prefer the take-out option. No
    food appears to be sold on the premises. No one was smoking inside
    during The Sun's brief visit.

    Outside, a man passes out pamphlets for a "Drug War History Tour" set
    for Wednesday afternoon at the Vancouver public library. Convinced
    U.S. drug enforcement agents are monitoring the area, he says Da Kine
    isn't the only business on the block selling pot -- it's just the most open.

    Some buyers maintain that marijuana is safer than alcohol, despite
    reports linking it to paranoia, memory loss, disjointed speech,
    impaired driving and anxiety disorders.

    Many say they believe it's safer to buy it in a cafe instead of from
    dealers who hang around after Da Kine closes at 10 p.m.

    "The fact you don't have to get it off the streets makes it safer,"
    says Cholewa. "There's nothing else mixed in ... you never know."

    The city's legal department is scheduled to present a report on the
    licensing of Da Kine on Sept. 15.
     
  3. Alfa

    Alfa Productive Insomniac Staff Member Administrator

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    CITY CONSIDERS OPTIONS AS STORE SELLS POT AGAIN

    The future of Vancouver's newest pot store will likely be determined at a
    city licensing hearing on Sept. 15.

    Barb Windsor, the city's deputy chief licensing inspector, yesterday
    confirmed the hearing date, adding a recommendation can be made to council
    to suspend or revoke the licence of the Da Kine Smoke and Beverage Shops
    Inc., which has been selling marijuana and hashish for the past four months.

    "They have a business licence to operate as a limited-service food
    [vendor], sell packaged food, sell smoking paraphernalia and other goods,"
    Windsor said, adding the shop is allegedly violating its licence by selling
    marijuana and violating a health-department bylaw by allowing dope smoking.

    Vancouver police spokeswoman Const. Sarah Bloor said although the shop in
    1000-block Commercial Drive is on police "radar," they'd prefer to see it
    dealt with as a licensing issue rather than a criminal one.

    "We are working with the city and we are going to be looking at the
    licence," Bloor said. "We'll take our approach from dealing with the city
    and determine what our next course of action will be."

    Da Kine owner Carol Gwilt spent yesterday monitoring police officers
    patrolling near her store as she returned to selling marijuana after
    shutting down the Canadian Sanctuary Society, which sells the pot, on
    Wednesday.

    "It been quiet [police-wise] all day, and we are open for business and it's
    busy with people," Gwilt said, adding only registered society members were
    sold cannabis. "Other than that, we don't have marijuana [for the general
    public], but we are getting a lot of support."

    Gwilt has begun compiling names for a petition to take to city hall showing
    residents want a place where they can buy marijuana and hash safely.

    "I got hundreds today," Gwilt said. "People just want to be counted."

    She contended the store is not violating its licence because Da Kine
    donates space to the non-profit society that sells the pot and the smoking
    room has recently installed a commercial-grade ventilation system.

    The Commercial Drive Business Improvement Association has complained about
    Da Kine, arguing it is just a block away from secondary and elementary
    schools and a community cen
    tre.

    But Gwilt argued crime has gone down in that block of Commercial Drive
    since her store arrived. She added pot smokers aren't as big a problem as
    the crack addicts and heroin users who frequent the area.

    Gwilt said Vancouver's "biggest pot rally ever" -- the Drug War History
    Tour organized by pot activist David Malmo-Levine -- has been scheduled for
    Wednesday.
     
  4. Alfa

    Alfa Productive Insomniac Staff Member Administrator

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    POLICE, CITY IGNORED STORE SELLING POT

    Vancouver police and city officials knew that a Commercial Drive cafe had
    been openly selling marijuana for months before closing Wednesday, but
    didn't act because of a lack of resources.

    "We were aware of what the situation was, but we have to prioritize our
    responsibilities and the way our resources are deployed," police
    spokeswoman Const. Sarah Bloor said.

    "When you don't have enough resources, it's hard to take action. We hadn't
    received any complaints."

    Da Kine Smoke and Beverage Shop at 1018 Commercial Drive, which has sold
    marijuana over the counter since opening four months ago, stopped the
    practice Wednesday, spooked by the sudden media attention.

    Owner Carol Gwilt told reporters she hopes the city and police will allow
    her to stay in business and resume selling the drug.

    City Councillor Tim Stevenson said late Wednesday the city's legal
    department is preparing a report that city council may discuss next week.

    He said he knew about the cafe earlier, but it will be up to council to
    deal with the matter after seeing the legal department's report.

    He said he favours decriminalizing marijuana, but "unfortunately the
    federal government has chosen not to act on this. You can't just have
    places breaking the law wherever they choose to."

    As to whether it's safer that pot be sold in a shop instead of a back
    alley, he said: "There's a lot to be said for this, but that's not the law
    of the land."

    Earlier in the day, explaining her decision to post signs advising
    customers that marijuana sales would not be available Wednesday, Gwilt said:

    "I'm just being pre-emptive. I'm protecting my assets. I'm closed for my
    own protection. There's nothing to bust people for today."

    Asked what goods or services her business licence permits her to provide,
    Gwilt refused to comment.

    However, Pia Tofini Johnson, of the 225-member Commercial Drive Business
    Improvement Association, said she is "absolutely livid" that neither police
    nor the city have done anything so far to curtail the Da Kine operation.

    Johnson said minutes from a July 8 business improvement association meeting
    show that two
    police constables were in attendance when Da Kine's
    marijuana-selling activities were discussed.

    "Whether they told anybody, who knows," Johnson said.

    "The BIA is totally against that place," said Johnson, long-time owner of
    Turistano International Travel. "They should never have been allowed to
    open in the first place. What they're doing is against the law and it
    should be stopped. You can't have selective enforcement of the law."

    BIA president Carmen D'Onofrio Jr., an area wine merchant and shoe store
    operator, said he remains baffled that Da Kine managed to get its licence
    approved, especially since the cafe is located a block away from an
    elementary school, a high school and a community centre.

    "We're not trying to be exclusive," D'Onofrio said. "All we're asking is
    for businesses to be responsible and viable members of the community. This
    is a family-oriented neighbourhood."

    Bloor said the police force "had concerns" when the cafe first applied to
    the city for a business licence in January.

    She declined to say what those concerns were, but said they were raised
    with city staff, who approved the licence in May.

    Now that Gwilt has acknowledged selling marijuana over the counter, Bloor
    said police will decide with city officials on a course of action.

    "The Vancouver police department is working with city licensing to find a
    solution to this," Bloor said in an interview. "Hopefully, the business
    licence will be lifted."

    Da Kine was also discussed at another business improvement association
    meeting on July 15 that was attended by Stevenson, along with staff members
    from the city's licensing, engineering, sanitation and parking departments,
    Johnson said.

    "We brought [Da Kine's activities] to their attention, that people were
    selling and smoking on the premises."

    Johnson said the merchants were told by a licensing inspector -- whom she
    did not identify -- that the licensing department was short-staffed in the
    summer, but the matter would be investigated in September.

    Barb Windsor, the city's deputy chief licensing inspector, was not
    available for comment Wednesday.

    Gwilt told reporters she considers her cafe to be a vital part of
    Vancouver's overall harm reduction plan when it comes to dealing with drug use.

    The marijuana is not on display inside her premises, but is brought out
    from a back room -- much as it is in the cannabis cafes in Amsterdam -- and
    sales are limited to one ounce a customer. Customers must be at least 19
    years old.

    While the pot is hidden, a large well-lit showcase containing hashish pipes
    and other drug paraphernalia is prominently visible.

    On the building's exterior are signs saying tobacco smoking and alcohol
    consumption are prohibited inside, while loitering, drug dealing and
    "toking" are not allowed out on the street.

    "I don't consider what I'm doing to be illegal," Gwilt said. "Cannabis
    needs to be removed from the Criminal Code. I'm willing to work with the
    police to figure this out."
     
  5. Alfa

    Alfa Productive Insomniac Staff Member Administrator

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    COLEMAN SLAMS OPEN POT SALES

    Solicitor-General Condemns City Politicians for Not Taking Marijuana
    Shops Seriously Enough

    VICTORIA -- Solicitor-General Rich Coleman says it is unacceptable for
    marijuana to be openly sold in Vancouver stores while city politicians
    take a "ho-hum attitude" to the illegal activity.

    "You can't take a soft attitude towards the fact that somebody wants
    to sell an illegal drug in a store under a business licence in that
    city," Coleman said Wednesday, denouncing the city's weak response to
    the illegal activity.

    Coleman does not direct police operations or investigations, but said
    he is confident the law will be enforced.

    However, Vancouver police media liaison officer Const. Sarah Bloor
    simply repeated the position the department has taken since the issue
    exploded last week, after the proprietor of Da Kine Smoke & Beverage
    Shop on Commercial Drive admitted marijuana was being sold on the premises:

    "We're aware of Rich Coleman's comments and the chief has already
    indicated he does not support criminal behaviour from business," Bloor
    said Wednesday. "There will be an investigation, and we are in the
    process of investigating those businesses that conduct themselves in
    an illegal manner."

    Bloor would not say whether any other businesses are under
    investigation for selling marijuana.

    "We're aware of them, and we prioritize them as to how we can get to
    them in relation to other investigations that we have ongoing," she
    said.

    "We're aware of public concerns and we're addressing
    those."

    Several city councillors appeared unconcerned that stores on
    Commercial Drive have been selling marijuana over the counter,
    including Da Kine and The Spirit Within.

    "I don't think we need a ho-hum attitude to anything [dealing] with
    drugs," Coleman said. "You've got people driving into a neighbourhood,
    buying marijuana, smoking it and driving away in their cars. . .That,
    to me, is unacceptable.

    "It is still against the law in this country [for marijuana] to be
    sold and we have to deal with it. It's not something we want popping
    up on every corner because somebody thinks they can break the law."

    Three members of city council will conduct a hearing Sept. 15 to
    determine wheth
    er the shop's business licence will be revoked. The
    hearing will be chaired by Coun. Anne Roberts, assisted by councillors
    Fred Bass and Tim Louis.

    City lawyers will be present, and Da Kine is expected to bring its own
    legal counsel. The VPD may also make a presentation.

    Paul Teichroeb, Vancouver's chief licence inspector, says there was no
    suggestion marijuana might be sold in the shop when Da Kine was
    granted a business licence May 4.

    "We were somewhat concerned, so we were very careful to ask them about
    exactly their type of business and what they were going to sell," he
    said Wednesday.

    "We were assured it was going to be publications and some food, and
    that everything would conform to the by-law, and on that basis we
    issued a licence.

    "We were very specific about whether there was going to be any illegal
    activity or sale of marijuana or other products, and we were assured
    that that wasn't going to occur on the premise."

    Da Kine proprietor Carol Gwilt said the marijuana is sold not by Da
    Kine, but by the Canadian Cannabis Sanctuary Society, a non-profit
    society to which Da Kine donates operating space.

    Purchasers are asked to fill out an "application for registration"
    with a declaration that "ingesting cannabis has therapeutic benefits
    to my medical condition and my general state of well-being that
    outweigh any health risks associated with it."

    Possession of a one-month supply of medicinal marijuana is legal in
    Canada for people who are terminally or chronically ill and who apply
    to Health Canada for approval. About 900 people across Canada have
    been approved, but a legal source of medicinal marijuana remains a
    problem.

    The model has similarities to that of the B.C. Compassion Club, an
    eight-year-old organization that focuses on distributing cannabis to
    those who need it to treat symptoms of a medical condition, such as
    nausea and appetite loss caused by cancer treatment.

    Compassion Club founder Hilary Black said the club does not simply
    sell to anyone who asks.

    "I would say we have more stringent requirements, and the other thing
    that makes us very different is that we provide health care," she said
    Wednesday. "We have a complete wellness centre where we're providing a
    whole range of holistic health care to our clients."

    She said the Compassion Club is able to exist largely because of
    long-standing relationships with officials and lawmakers, and adds the
    organization is sufficiently well-established to differentiate itself
    from businesses like Da Kine.

    However, she added that she understands what Da Kine is
    doing.

    "I think it's really important for people to be able to access
    recreational cannabis in an above-board, clean environment. I do
    believe that what Da Kine is doing is part of a greater harm-reduction
    program for this city."

    Coleman said it's ironic that the city of Vancouver won't allow
    spirits or hard liquor to be sold in beer and wine stores, and yet is
    willing to turn a blind eye to the open sale of marijuana from stores.

    "There are some people who actually think it's okay to mollycoddle
    with regard to drugs. I don't buy that," Coleman said. "I don't know
    whether the city councillors or people in Vancouver are not going down
    to the downtown east side and seeing the impact of these types of
    things on people in that community, but the fact of the matter is that
    if someone is breaking the law, my expectation is that the law will be
    enforced."

    Gwilt took issue with remarks made Tuesday by tourism officials and
    the Vancouver Board of Trade, who said the open sale of marijuana is
    hurting the city's tourism business.

    "If you came in here on any given day, there would be a number of
    tourists here," she said. "We get calls from all over North America
    because for the past four months, we've been in Cannabis Culture and
    on POT-TV, so people that are looking for cannabis when they're
    thinking of coming to Vancouver find us, and that seals their trip for
    them.

    "There are so many people that used to go to Amsterdam, and now
    they're coming to Vancouver for this. People are moving to the area
    because they think it's just fabulous and so progressive."
     
  6. Alfa

    Alfa Productive Insomniac Staff Member Administrator

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    POT CAFE TO BE STOPPED: B.C.

    Police to investigate marijuana on menu

    VANCOUVER - Police will stop ignoring the illegal marijuana menu-offerings
    at a local cafe, B.C. Solicitor General Rich Coleman predicted yesterday.
    The Da Kine Cafe, located in the city's funky Commercial Drive area, has
    been the subject of blazing headlines lately for allegedly selling pot over
    the counter.

    "It shouldn't be happening. It's illegal. And frankly, my expectation is
    that over the next number of days an investigation will allow us to deal
    with this thing," Coleman said.

    "I don't think we need a ho-hum attitude on anything to do with drugs.
    You've got people driving in to a neighbourhood, buying marijuana, smoking
    it and driving away in their cars. That's people who are now under the
    influence of something. That, to me, is unacceptable."

    Vancouver police spokeswoman Sarah Bloor said the department is against any
    business operating in a criminal manner.

    She said the cafe is known to police and they will be investigating. "We
    will be taking a look at this cafe," Bloor said.

    "It's something that's on our radar. But we also have to go through a
    methodical process in which to collect and gather evidence that may be
    sufficient for any court proceedings."

    Another city shop owner is peddling equipment to help people do drugs,
    selling "bubble bags" that refine hashish for $600.

    The owner of The Spirit Within, Bryan Hamilton, boasted to a Vancouver
    newspaper this week that his business is "liquid cash."

    While not wanting to speak specifically about the Vancouver situation,
    Justice Minister Irwin Cotler told Sun Media that some people are confusing
    decriminalization and legalization. "I think the message on this issue of
    decriminalization ... allowed people to infer from that that we're
    legalizing marijuana," he said.

    Marijuana can only be sold legally in Canada to those who can prove they
    have a medicinal need for it.

    Prime Minister Paul Martin told reporters in Kelowna yesterday that he has
    no intention of legalizing pot. He said legislation to decriminalize
    possession of small amounts of marijuana "should be resurrected ... but
    we're not prepared to go further."
     
  7. Alfa

    Alfa Productive Insomniac Staff Member Administrator

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    CAFE 'OPENLY FLOUTING' DRUG LAWS RAIDED BY DOZENS OF CITY POLICE

    Da Kine Cafe, a Vancouver head shop that had allegedly been openly
    selling marijuana for the past four months, was raided last night by
    dozens of police officers.

    Const. Sarah Bloor said police executed a search warrant at the cafe
    in the 1000-block Commercial Drive at about 6 p.m. Six people were
    arrested in the raid that saw undercover police in masks, including
    one wearing a T-shirt with "Legalize It" on the front, and other
    officers shut down the store.

    Bloor said police began investigating the store because owner Carol
    Gwilt was "openly flouting" drug laws. Information about evidence and
    other possible charges will be announced today.

    "It was obvious that these individuals had made this a very public
    event," Bloor said. "We felt it was necessary to act . . . this is an
    illegal act. We will uphold the law."

    And act they did.

    A one-block stretch of the Drive was shut down between Parker and
    Napier, obstructing rush-hour traffic and forcing business owners to
    close. Crews filming Fantastic Four on Napier, complete with set
    pieces designed to make the street look like Brooklyn, shut down the
    shoot for the night.

    A crowd of about 100 quickly gathered at police roadblocks at each end
    of the block to heckle officers, at times turning their attention to
    the media, also hemmed in by barricades.

    Shouts of "Go home," "Legalize Marijuana" and "We support Da Kine
    Cafe" sounded from behind the barricades, along with creative strings
    of profanity and assorted verbal abuse. Several protesters smoked
    joints in front of police.

    Pot activist David Malmo-Levine vowed to continue the resistance today
    with a marijuana smokeout in front of the store at 11 a.m., followed
    by a news conference by Da Kine management at 1 p.m.

    "We are not going to let this go down. This place is going to open
    again," Malmo-Levine said to cheers.

    "I think it's a sad thing," said 32-year-old Shiraz Dindar of the raid.

    "I feel empathy for the police because they are human beings. But as
    human beings, your responsibility is to be true and do what is right.
    What is happening here today is wrong."


    The raid came one day after Solicitor-General Rich Coleman, a former
    Mountie, said the open sale of drugs at the cafe was unacceptable and
    that something would be done. He was not available for comment last
    night.

    Bloor insisted the raid had nothing to do with political pressure.

    "We are here today to uphold the rule of law," she said, adding that
    police enjoyed the "overwhelming support" of neighbours.

    A second establishment less than 40 metres from Da Kine is also
    allegedly selling marijuana, but that business was not raided.

    "That's not to say it isn't on our radar," Bloor noted.

    Earl Sunshine, 36, said he had bought pot from Da Kine dozens of times
    for a medical need he did not disclose. Although the cafe was selling
    marijuana over the counter, it actually deterred dealers, Sunshine
    said. "It cleans up the community," he said.

    "When they opened, [street dealers] all closed down."

    A city hall business licence hearing originally scheduled for Sept. 15 has
    been postponed to Oct. 6. after Da Kine hired a lawyer. The panel of three
    city councillors will decide what to do with the cafe's business licence,
    which allows it to offer limited food service and sell books, gifts and
    clothing. It had been selling an array of pipes and rolling paper, as well
    as marijuana for $10 a gram.
     
  8. Alfa

    Alfa Productive Insomniac Staff Member Administrator

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    MEDICAL POT SHOP SHUT DOWN

    Federal agents Friday raided a Roseville medical marijuana dispensary
    and the owner's Newcastle farm, seizing hundreds of plants that had
    been the root of a neighborhood uproar.

    Drug Enforcement Agency officers simultaneously served federal search
    warrants at Richard Marino's business and home. Marino, who opened the
    Capitol Compassionate Care dispensary in January, said the raids were
    a complete surprise.

    No arrests have been made.

    "I thought I was doing everything above board," Marino said during a
    phone interview from an undisclosed location. "I still think I'm doing
    everything aboveboard."

    Employees at Marino's store on Lincoln Way in Old Roseville were
    shaken by the DEA raid. Alan Archuleta, a shift manager, said agents
    stormed in at 9:30 a.m., guns drawn, and yelling for everyone inside
    to get on the ground.

    Archuleta said he was in a back room, and when he stuck his head into
    the hallway he was met with a gun in the face.

    "Initially I was very shocked," he said. "I thought we were being
    robbed until I saw the badge. For a split second, it was very
    traumatizing."

    Archuleta said Marino's son - who works at the store and shares his
    father's name - was handcuffed after agents gathered employees'
    identification but was later released.

    DEA officials, who shut down the store, said they had no knowledge of
    anyone being handcuffed when the warrants were served, and declined
    further comment.

    Marino and his business - the subject of multiple news stories after
    it opened - have been the subject of an ongoing DEA investigation,
    officials said during a news conference Friday.

    Because the investigation is continuing, agents provided little
    information on the case.

    "We will collect all the evidence and present the case to the U.S.
    attorney's office," said Gordon Taylor, agent-in-charge of the DEA's
    Sacramento office.

    The decision to issue arrest warrants would be up to the U.S.
    attorney, he said.

    While Marino is breaking federal law, which holds that possessing and
    cultivating marijuana is illegal, he is not breaking state law.

    California voters in 1996 passed Proposition 215, which allows
    qualified patients to use medical marijuana.

    And last year, the Legislature passed a law that enabled the growing
    and selling of medicinal marijuana. The law broadened the definition
    of a medical marijuana caregiv
    er and allows for the drug's collective
    cultivation.

    The conflict between state and federal law regarding medical marijuana
    deepened recently after two rulings by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of
    Appeals held that federal authorities do not have the power to go
    after noncommercial medical marijuana operations confined within the
    state.

    The U.S. Department of Justice is appealing the cases to the U.S.
    Supreme Court.

    Richard Meyer, special agent in the DEA's San Francisco division, said
    dispensaries operating elsewhere in the state also are in violation of
    the law.

    "They should know that they are breaking the law," Meyer said. "They
    should get out of the business of selling drugs."

    Since early July, Marino has been growing hundreds of marijuana plants
    on the 5 acres he recently purchased in Newcastle. The plants were
    surrounded by barbed-wire fencing, and security guards patrolled the
    property 24 hours a day.

    A Bee article last month explained how his move to the rural community
    angered some neighbors.

    Residents had taken their fears of increasing crime and decreasing
    property values to Placer County officials, who told them nothing
    could be done because of the state law and the property's
    residential-agricultural zoning.

    On Friday, several neighbors watched as federal agents dug up the
    marijuana plants and carried them to a U-Haul truck.

    Agents said the marijuana will be destroyed, but declined to say how
    many plants were seized or what their value was.

    "This is wonderful," said Mike Ford, who lives next to Marino. "It's
    long overdue. It should have been done the day after he got here."

    Ben and Gloria Padilla, along with Ford and several other neighbors,
    had written lawmakers about their frustration over the county's
    inability to take action. Ben Padilla said the raid was a welcome surprise.

    "I'm glad. In fact, all the neighbors are," he said.

    Medical marijuana dispensaries are not uncommon in the Bay Area, but
    Marino's store was the only one of its kind in the Sacramento area
    when it opened last winter.

    A few months later, a dispensary opened in Colfax. That store remains
    open, and its owner couldn't be reached for comment Friday.
     
  9. 32785

    32785 Newbie

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    That's bullshit that Da Kine got raided, this is one of my stomping grounds and it sucks. FirstI had to see Blunt bros. burn down, and now this. Soon, very soon, these laws are going to change.
     
  10. Alfa

    Alfa Productive Insomniac Staff Member Administrator

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    POT CAFE REOPENS DAY AFTER RAID

    VANCOUVER -- Less than one day after a police raid on Vancouver's
    controversial pot cafe, a new load of marijuana was delivered and
    business was brisk as customers lined up to buy, roll and smoke B. C.
    bud.

    Joint-smoking tourists hammed outside Da Kine Cafe on Commercial
    Drive, shooting photos of themselves exhaling clouds of pungent smoke.

    As afternoon sales continued, a number of cafe staff members arrested
    in the police raid the night before appeared in provincial court on
    drug charges.

    Vancouver police seized 20 pounds of marijuana, a pound of hashish and
    $63,000 cash during the raid on Da Kine, which senior police officials
    characterized as a significant drug house.

    Investigators counted more than 230 visitors to the business within an
    hour and a half during their surveillance, said Insp. Dave Nelmes,
    head of the Vancouver police drug section, and the store did some
    $30,000 of business a day.

    He said the store's cash register indicated Da Kine had made $27,000
    in sales on the day of the raid.

    Drug squad investigators arrested seven cafe staff members and Nelmes
    said police have recommended to Crown prosecutors that they be charged
    with drug trafficking and possession of marijuana for the purpose of
    trafficking.

    Of the 33 customers in the store, Nelmes said some were 18 years old
    and younger though he said he did not know how many were teenagers.

    "This was not a small, insignificant passion club," said Acting Deputy
    Chief Bob Rolls. "This was a drug house and a very significant operation."

    Nelmes said an Aug. 26 tip to the Crime Stoppers line alerted police
    that Da Kine was selling pot, several days before cafe owner Carol
    Gwilt went public about the store's marijuana sales and the plea that
    the four-month-old business be allowed to stay open.

    Rolls added that police had received a complaint about Da Kine through
    its Grandview Woodlands community policing office and another
    complaint from a citizen.

    He said Da Kine's "flaunting their criminal activity and demonstrating
    their contempt for the laws of Canada" elevated it as a priority for
    police.

    "We're concerned about enforcing the rule of law," Rolls said. "We're
    also concerned about the message it sends not to go out and take care
    of these places. So, it was in fro
    nt of the public, and we took action."

    Nelmes added that the drug squad decided last week that it could go
    ahead with the raid based on its available resources and plans for
    other investigations.

    "(Thursday) seemed like the best day to do it," he
    said.

    Nelmes added that his unit's investigation "covered a lot of premises
    on Commercial Drive," and that they have obtained evidence for
    possible future actions.

    Rolls repeated that B.C. Solicitor General Rich Coleman's statement
    Wednesday that open pot sales were unacceptable while city politicians
    took "ho hum attitude" had no bearing on the police action.
     
  11. Alfa

    Alfa Productive Insomniac Staff Member Administrator

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    POLICE SWOOP ON POT CAFE ENDS WITH SIX ARRESTS

    VANCOUVER -- Two dozen Vancouver police officers arrested six people
    Thursday afternoon in a raid on a busy Commercial Drive cafe that openly
    sold marijuana.

    Vancouver police spokeswoman Const. Sarah Bloor said the six arrested inside
    Da Kine cafe face charges of trafficking a controlled substance.

    Outside, some in a crowd of over 200 people taunted police officers who
    blocked Commercial between Parker and Napier streets about 6 p.m., stopping
    business at about 20 shops.

    The crowd cheered as Peg General Store played Bob Marley's songs Get Up,
    Stand Up, and I Shot the Sheriff, while others smoked marijuana.

    Police said they executed a search warrant at Da Kine in response to
    complaints by community residents, including Britannia secondary school and
    the Grandview Woodland Community Policing Centre.

    Bloor said police acted because Da Kine has "been very blatant" about
    selling marijuana over the counter.

    "It was obvious they made this a public event by flaunting their activity,"
    Bloor said.

    She said the police action was "not to react to politicians. This is a
    criminal activity."

    Thursday's raid came the day after B.C. Solicitor General Rich Coleman said
    it was unacceptable for marijuana to be openly sold in Vancouver stores
    while city politicians take a "ho-hum attitude" to the illegal activity.
    Coleman does not direct police operations or investigations, but said
    Wednesday he was confident the law would be enforced.

    When asked about the protests by Da Kine supporters, Bloor said: "There's
    overwhelming support by other neighbourhoods" for the police action.

    Bloor said police were still gathering evidence in the cafe Thursday night.
    She did not say whether police would raid other shops on Commercial Drive
    and Hastings Street that are also believed to be selling marijuana. Across
    the street from Da Kine, The Spirit Within shop was closed.

    People in the crowd chanted: "We support Da Kine." Others mocked the police,
    yelling: "It only took four months to figure it out," referring to Da
    Kine's' spring opening.
     
  12. Alfa

    Alfa Productive Insomniac Staff Member Administrator

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    POT CAFE RESUMES BUSINESS ONE DAY AFTER POLICE RAID

    Acted On Two Complaints

    VANCOUVER - Less than one day after a police raid on Vancouver's
    controversial pot cafe, a new load of marijuana was delivered and
    business was brisk.

    Joint-smoking tourists gathered outside Da Kine Cafe, shooting photos
    of themselves exhaling clouds of pungent smoke.

    As afternoon sales continued, a number of staff members arrested in
    the police raid the night before appeared in provincial court on drug
    charges.

    Vancouver police seized 20 pounds of marijuana, a pound of hashish and
    $63,000 cash during the raid on Da Kine, which senior police officials
    characterized as a significant drug house.

    Investigators counted more than 230 visitors to the business within an
    hour and a half during their surveillance, said Inspector Dave Nelmes,
    head of the Vancouver police drug section, and the store did some
    $30,000 of business a day.

    He said the store's cash register indicated Da Kine had made $27,000
    in sales on the day of the raid.

    Drug squad investigators arrested seven cafe staff members and Insp.
    Nelmes said police have recommended to Crown prosecutors they be
    charged with drug trafficking and possession of marijuana for the
    purpose of trafficking.

    "This was not a small, insignificant compassion club," said Acting
    Deputy Chief Bob Rolls. "This was a drug house and a very significant
    operation."

    Insp. Nelmes said an Aug. 26 tip to the Crime Stoppers line alerted
    police that Da Kine was selling pot, several days before cafe owner
    Carol Gwilt went public about the store's marijuana sales and the plea
    that the four-month-old business be allowed to stay open.

    Deputy Chief Rolls added police had received a complaint about Da Kine
    through a community policing office and another complaint from a citizen.

    He said Da Kine's "flaunting their criminal activity and demonstrating
    their contempt for the laws of Canada" elevated it as a priority for
    police.

    Insp. Nelmes said the drug squad decided last week that it could go
    ahead with the raid based on its available resources and plans for
    other investigations.

    Dozens of officers, some wearing balaclavas, descended on Da Kine at
    5:40 p.m. on Thursday to serve a search warrant on the cafe.

    Police cordoned off a block of Commercial Drive during the raid.
    Deputy Chief Ro
    lls said the size of the force was unusually large for
    a drug-search warrant, but investigators based it on expectations that
    there would be a crowd of 200 to 300 people on hand, which there was.

    "We had enough [officers] there to discourage activities or
    confrontations," he added.

    No customers were arrested, but they were all questioned and Insp.
    Nelmes said they were all asked whether they had Health Canada
    authorization to possess marijuana for medicinal purposes. None could
    produce the required certificate.
     
  13. Alfa

    Alfa Productive Insomniac Staff Member Administrator

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    VANCOUVER POT SHOP BUSY AGAIN

    VANCOUVER - The Da Kine cafe is once again open for business on Commercial
    Drive, despite Thursday's police raid that temporarily shut it down.

    The cafe has openly sold marijuana over the counter for the past four
    months, and its owners say it's business as usual.

    In fact, business was brisk on Friday, and by 1 p.m the staff said they had
    run out of marijuana.

    Police have said they seized nine kilograms of marijuana in Thursday's raid,
    plus half a kilogram of hash and 300 baked goods containing marijuana.

    One of the Da Kine's owners and seven staff were jailed overnight, with
    charges pending.

    Police also said the store was taking nearly $30,000 a day. But store
    spokesperson Lorne McLeod says Da Kine earns nowhere near that amount.

    Staff member serves customer

    He also accuses police of being needlessly heavy-handed during Thursday
    night's raid.

    "If two officers had walked in with a search warrant, and said, 'we're here
    to search,' we would have communicated and co-operated completely," he says.

    "But that's not what happened. We were treated as if we are criminals."

    McLeod says the cafe is a registered non-profit society distributing
    marijuana primarily for medicinal purposes.

    Customers were being asked to fill in a form on Friday entitled "The
    Canadian Sanctuary Society" -- detailing their illness and their doctor's
    name.

    Staff say they have thousands of completed forms on file -- which will be
    used to show Vancouver city hall how many people smoke marijuana.

    Monica Towery, who came up from Dallas to buy pot, says she doesn't mind
    filling in a form. She also thinks Vancouver police are wasting their time
    going after marijuana sales.

    "It doesn't hurt anybody. Why don't they spend time going out and busting
    people shooting heroin, bringing cocaine into the country. There's nothing
    wrong with smoking pot."
     
  14. Alfa

    Alfa Productive Insomniac Staff Member Administrator

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    BUSTED POT CAFE REMAINS DEFIANT

    A cafe that had been selling marijuana off its menu for about four
    months was doing a booming business before media attention and then a
    police raid shut it down briefly, police said Friday.

    But even as police were releasing details of the raid the night
    before, Da Kine Smoke and Beverage Shop was doing a roaring trade.

    "We're not going away," said store spokesman Lorne McLeod. "We've paid
    our business taxes, our business licence is still valid so why can't
    we operate? They've done the raid, here we are again. If they raid us
    again, we'll open again."

    Dozens of people filled the store buying grams of pot over the
    counter. In the back room, gram bags were filled from football-sized
    bags of marijuana. A large box filled with marijuana cookies sat to
    one side.

    During the raid, officers seized $63,000, another $1,700 US, nine
    kilograms of marijuana, some hashish and 300 cookies baked with hash
    or marijuana, Acting Deputy Chief Bob Rolls told a news conference.
     
  15. Alfa

    Alfa Productive Insomniac Staff Member Administrator

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    SIX DETAINED IN CAFE RAID

    VANCOUVER -- Officers in a convoy of about 30 cruisers surrounded a
    cafe accused of selling marijuana, securing surrounding alley ways and
    erecting barricades to keep back angry crowds. Six people were
    detained in the raid, which comes a day after B.C.'s Solicitor General
    encouraged police to crack down on the Da Kine Cafe.

    Officers have been letting it conduct business as usual despite
    glaring media reports that it openly sells marijuana over the counter.

    Spokeswoman Sarah Bloor said police have been aware of the cafe, that
    it has been on their radar but that it takes time to methodically
    build a case.

    Police were executing a search warrant last night that Bloor said had
    been thoroughly investigated.

    "If people are blatantly drug trafficking, they can expect a visit.
    The Vancouver Police Department has to uphold the law," she said.

    "We don't respond to political or public opinion. We have not received
    any complaints with regard to this particular cafe. When they openly
    flaunted their activity, we felt it necessary to act."
     
  16. Alfa

    Alfa Productive Insomniac Staff Member Administrator

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    POT CAFE A HIGH-VOLUME DEALER, SAY POLICE

    VANCOUVER - Police say the Da Kine pot cafe on Commercial Drive was
    not a small compassion club, but a major drug house that sold more
    than $30,000 worth of marijuana every day.

    Vancouver police raided the cafe late Thursday afternoon and arrested
    all seven staff, who now face drug trafficking charges.

    No charges were laid against 33 customers found in the shop by
    police.

    Drug Squad Insp. Dave Nelmes says police found nine kilograms of
    marijuana, much of it packaged for sale -- as well as half a kilogram
    of hash and 300 baked goods containing marijuana.

    Nelmes says it's obvious business was booming, with $27,000 in sales
    on Friday up until the time of the raid. He says police found $63,000
    in cash, as well as $1,700 in U.S. currency.

    When police first learned of the cafe nearly two weeks ago, they said
    it was not high on their list of priorities.

    But acting deputy chief Bob Rolls says the store became a priority
    after its owner went public.

    "They decided to flaunt their criminal activity and demonstrate their
    contempt for the laws of Canada," he says.

    "And what they in fact did was they elevated the priority of this
    issue for the Vancouver Police Department. And we responded
    accordingly."

    That response involved more than 30 police officers, some of them
    wearing balaclavas. Police say the balaclavas were necessary to
    protect the identities of drug squad members.

    Rolls says the timing of the raid had nothing to do with statements
    earlier this week by Solicitor General Rich Coleman and Premier Gordon
    Campbell.

    Both had criticized the City of Vancouver for not moving quickly
    enough to shut down the cafe.
     
  17. Alfa

    Alfa Productive Insomniac Staff Member Administrator

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    POT SHOP OPEN DAY AFTER RAID

    Vancouver's Da Kine Marijuana Store Sells $30,000 A Day, Police Say

    VANCOUVER - Less than one day after a police raid on Vancouver's
    controversial pot cafe, a new load of marijuana was delivered and
    business was brisk as customers lined up to buy, roll and smoke B.C.
    bud.

    Joint-smoking tourists hammed outside Da Kine Cafe on Commercial
    Drive, shooting photos of themselves exhaling clouds of pungent smoke.

    As afternoon sales continued, a number of cafe staff members arrested
    in the police raid the night before appeared in provincial court on
    drug charges.

    Vancouver police seized 20 pounds of marijuana, a pound of hashish and
    $63,000 cash during the raid on Da Kine, which senior police officials
    characterized as a significant drug house.

    Investigators counted more than 230 visitors to the business within an
    hour and a half during their surveillance, said Insp. Dave Nelmes,
    head of the Vancouver police drug section, and the store did some
    $30,000 of business a day.

    He said the store's cash register indicated Da Kine had made $27,000
    in sales on the day of the raid.

    Drug squad investigators arrested seven cafe staff members, and Nelmes
    said police have recommended to Crown prosecutors that they be charged
    with drug trafficking and possession of marijuana for the purpose of
    trafficking.

    Of the 33 customers in the store, Nelmes said some were 18 years old
    and younger, though he said he did not know how many were teenagers.

    "This was not a small, insignificant compassion club," said Acting
    Deputy Chief Bob Rolls. "This was a drug house and a very significant
    operation."

    Nelmes said an Aug. 26 tip to the Crime Stoppers line alerted police
    that Da Kine was selling pot, several days before cafe owner Carol
    Gwilt went public about the store's marijuana sales and the plea that
    the four-month-old business be allowed to stay open.

    Rolls added that police had received a complaint about Da Kine through
    its Grandview Woodlands community policing office and another
    complaint from a citizen.

    He said Da Kine's contempt for the laws of Canada elevated it as a
    priority for police. "We're concerned about enforcing the
    rule of
    law," Rolls said. "We're also concerned about the message it sends not
    to go out and take care of these places. So, it was in front of the
    public, and we took action."

    Nelmes added that the drug squad decided last week that it could go
    ahead with the raid based on its available resources and plans for
    other investigations. Dozens of officers, some wearing balaclavas,
    descended on Da Kine at 5:40 p.m. Thursday to serve a search warrant
    on the cafe.

    Nelmes said there were 41 people in the cafe when police entered, 33
    were identified as customers.

    No customers were arrested but they were all questioned and Nelmes
    said they were asked whether they had Health Canada authorization to
    possess marijuana for medicinal purposes. None could produce the
    required certificate.
     
  18. Alfa

    Alfa Productive Insomniac Staff Member Administrator

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    MARIJUANA CAFE RESTOCKS, REOPENS AFTER POLICE SEIZE STASH

    VANCOUVER - The business of selling marijuana buds at a Vancouver cafe
    remained brisk yesterday, three days after the store was raided and
    its hefty stash confiscated by police.

    The Da Kine Cafe was able to restock after the Thursday raid, but ran
    out of marijuana to sell late Friday night. Staff promised the weed
    sales would resume today. Defiant management has vowed the
    controversial shop will not bow to police pressure and cease marijuana
    sales, despite advice to the contrary from their lawyer.

    "We're not going away. We plan to stay open," manager Lorne McLeod
    said outside Da Kine. "We are not doing anything wrong here."

    He said the cafe is contemplating legal action against police for
    damages to the premises during the raid. Dozens of officers, some
    wearing balaclavas to conceal their identities, stormed the cafe.

    During the raid, police seized $63,000 in cash, 9.5 kilograms of
    marijuana and 450 grams of hashish. Officers also carted away boxes
    containing 300 edible marijuana products.

    Marijuana sales at Da Kine are co-ordinated by the Canadian Sanctuary
    Society, Mr. McLeod said. Buyers must be over 18 and must either
    present a federal exemption or register with the society and fill out
    an exemption application.

    Mr. McLeod said approximately 10,000 such applications have been
    filled out in the four months since Da Kine opened.
     
  19. Alfa

    Alfa Productive Insomniac Staff Member Administrator

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    POT CAFE HAS RESTOCKED AND SOLD OUT AGAIN IN DAYS SINCE POLICE RAID

    Police Recommending Drug-Trafficking Charges Against Da Kine Staff

    The business of selling marijuana buds at the Da Kine cafe on
    Commercial Drive remains brisk three days after the store was raided
    and its hefty stash confiscated by Vancouver police.

    Da Kine was able to restock after the Thursday raid, but ran out of
    marijuana to sell late Friday. Staff promised sales would resume
    today. A defiant management has vowed the controversial shop will not
    bow to police pressure and cease pot sales, despite legal advice to do
    so.

    Management team member Lorne McLeod said the cafe is also
    contemplating legal action against police for damages to the premises
    during the raid. Dozens of officers, some wearing balaclavas to
    conceal their identities, stormed the cafe Thursday night.

    "We're not going away. We plan to stay open," McLeod said Friday
    outside Da Kine. "We are not doing anything wrong here."

    Police beg to differ.

    "This was not a small, insignificant compassion club. This was a drug
    house and a very significant operation," acting Deputy Chief Const.
    Bob Rolls said, adding that the store averaged $30,000 a day in sales
    and had plans to establish different locations.

    Police seized $63,000 in cash from the store ($27,000 of it in the
    till), $1,700 US, 9.5 kilograms of marijuana and 450 grams of hashish
    in the raid. Officers also carted away boxes containing 300 edible
    marijuana products.

    Forty-one people were in the store at the time of the raid, said drug
    squad Insp. Dave Nelmes, eight of them staff members. A majority of
    the customers were young and none was able to present police with
    federal exemptions that would allow them to possess and consume
    marijuana legally, Nelmes said.

    Seven staff members are charged with trafficking and possession for
    the purpose of trafficking. Owner Carol Gwilt is also charged with
    possessing proceeds of a crime.

    Nelmes said Da Kine, Hawaiian slang for "the best," first came to the
    attention of police after someone called in a tip to CrimeStoppers
    Aug. 26.

    McLeod denied that the store took in $30,000 a day.

    "I wish," he said. "We're doing vast business, but not on a profit
    basis."

    Pot sold at Da Kine is purchased from the Canadian Sanctuary Society,
    McLeod said. Buyers at Da Kine must be over 18 and must either present
    a federal exemption (allowing them to
    possess and consume marijauna)
    or register with the society and fill out an exemption application.
    The applicant, and some 10,000 have applied through Da Kine, must
    swear the marijuana is to alleviate some symptom, condition or disease.

    Since 1999, Health Canada has been granting exemptions to the
    Controlled Drug and Substance Act to allow sick and dying people to
    possess and cultivate marijuana for medicinal use. Applicants need
    approval from Health Canada before their marijuana possession is legal.

    Monica Towery's stated reason Friday as she plunked down $40 for four
    grams of marijuana was "stress."

    "I have kids. I have lots of stress," said the 34-year-old Dallas,
    Tex., resident.

    Police came under heavy criticism for the scope of the Thursday raid
    that saw a full block shut down for several hours, a movie production
    halted and hundreds of people put behind barricades hurling abuse and
    profanities at officers.

    Vancouver police spokeswoman Const. Sarah Bloor would not say how many
    officers were involved in Thursday's raid, only that "several dozen"
    took part. Rolls and Nelmes insisted the raid had nothing to do with
    statements made last week by B.C. Solicitor-General Rich Coleman, who
    said he believed something should be done about Da Kine.

    "We made a decision to do this [the week before]," Nelmes
    said.

    Coleman declined to comment on the deployment of police resources, but
    said the province expects federal laws and provincial laws to be enforced.

    However, NDP MP Libby Davies said Prime Minister Paul Martin needs to
    act quickly to re-introduce marijuana reforms when Parliament convenes
    next month.

    Pointing to the raid, Davies, who represents Vancouver East, said in a
    statement: "These sorts of situations are going to continue if Paul
    Martin and the federal government refuse to face the issue, and as [a]
    result lives are ruined because of criminal convictions."

    Grandview-Woodland Community Policing office president Eileen Mosca
    said she's looking to city hall for some kind of leadership on the
    issue of marijuana sales from businesses and she wants Mayor Larry
    Campbell and councillors to "have the jam" to take a stand.

    "This city deserves better governance than turning a blind eye," Mosca
    said. "Come to grips with this as a council. Make a statement as to
    whether retail premises are allowed to sell marijuana or not."
     
  20. Alfa

    Alfa Productive Insomniac Staff Member Administrator

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    POT CAFES A SIGN OF THE FUTURE

    Vancouver Cops Raid Da Kine Cafe

    On Thursday, Vancouver police in a convoy of 30 cruisers surrounded the Da
    Kine Cafe, erected barricades to hold back angry crowds and detained six
    people.

    The raid came a day after B.C.'s solicitor general encouraged police to
    crack down on the cafe, which is accused of selling marijuana over the counter.

    Spokeswoman Sarah Bloor said police -- aware of the cafe through media
    reports -- needed time to methodically build a case.

    In articles all over the Net, I have been reading about Da Kine, a coffee
    shop in Vancouver that has been selling cannabis over the counter for more
    than four months.

    I think it is wonderful, and hope to see shops like these in every city and
    town in Canada.

    It can't happen under the Liberal's phony "decriminalization" bill, though.

    The fact that Da Kine can exist in Vancouver, and crime and hard drug
    activities actually go down in the area, added to the fact that, for more
    than 30 years, the same thing has been occurring in Amsterdam, just proves
    that prohibition is a colossal failure.

    Looking at worldwide statistics, it would almost lead one to believe
    prohibition was specifically designed to increase crime and hard drug
    activity, not deter it.

    Da Kine proves it is beneficial for all of society to end prohibition, and
    regulate cannabis sales to adults through shops such as these.

    The sky didn't fall, the world didn't end, no kids got any and a few people
    had a slightly better day because they had somebody safe to buy their
    cannabis from.

    That is my kind of Canada.

    Of course, continuing to spend billions on failed policies is old news with
    our government.

    The sponsorship scandal, the gun registry and prohibition are just a few
    examples of more than a decade of mismanagement.

    As they did with gay marriage and abortion, the government likely just
    wants to wait for the courts to decide the law for it.

    Judging by its misguided, phony "decrim" bill, it might be for the best,
    actually. But, in the meantime, I hope to see shops such as Da Kine open in
    my city.

    A year
    from now, we will see them all over Canada, and it won't be long
    before Revenue Canada starts taking its cut.

    And that could eventually mean several billion dollars every year we could
    spend on health care, education or affordable housing.

    Imagine the irony of paying for our military and law-enforcement from
    Cannabis Tax Revenues.

    Wouldn't we all like to read the headline "Cannabis legalized, taxed,"
    rather than read the headline "Taxes raised to fund more marijuana prohibition."
    __________________________________________________________________________


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