Cannabis Day in Vancouver sees arrests, pepper spraying

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      The annual Cannabis Day pot gathering at the Vancouver Art Gallery has seen some attendees pepper sprayed and four men arrested today (July 1).

      The yearly event is billed as a protest in favour of marijuana legalization, although it includes vendors, tents, stages, and live music.

      Despite a cease and desist order from the City of Vancouver on June 9, Cannabis Day organizers refused to file permits for the event. The city attempted to relocate the event due to several other events taking place at the art gallery this year, but organizers again refused to cooperate, stating that the event is a protest and not subject to permitting.

      Prior to the event, the Vancouver Police Department warned individuals that illegal vendors would face consequences.

      The arrests occured after some protesters became angry that police officers were filming them buying and selling marijuana.

      Protesters blockaded Howe Street between West Georgia and Robson streets early today.

      According to a VPD news release, one man faces trafficking charges after being arrested for selling marijuana. The second man faces a charge of obstruction.

      The smoke-show will continue until at least 4:20 p.m. today.

      UPDATE: The article intially noted that the Vancouver Police Department has arrested two people; however, the department confirmed four people were taken into custody and are now facing charges.

      Comments

      27 Comments

      Hah

      Jul 1, 2015 at 12:46pm

      Thank God all people who love to smoke Mary Jane aren't as stupid as this lot. Go Cops Go!!

      I love Cops

      Jul 1, 2015 at 1:21pm

      Yaaaay for pepper spray!!

      Just eat it

      Jul 1, 2015 at 2:08pm

      Sick of smelling that shit.
      Consume it all you want, but eat it instead.
      Why recoil at cigarette smoke and then rush to celebrate the smell of rancid skunk farts?
      Y'all should have a brownie bake off and just lay around stoned all day at the art gallery.
      Your method of protest is a passive aggressive display of high douchery.

      Dee Chardain

      Jul 1, 2015 at 2:35pm

      Everything has an upside & a downside. The med. marijuana hype ain't all its glamorized to be. The weed is a powerful plant medicine but need be prescribed appropriately in its proper form & dosage.

      For example, analgesics were first synthesized from the bark of the willow tree; but if aspirin is abused it will soon blow a hole in your gut. Likewise, if weed is abused (especially the skunk breeds) it will soon blow a hole in your judgement.

      Suggest avoid the follow-fashion-monkey herd mentality ... use your brain ... think & discern for yourself what is truly in the best interest of your own health & well-being.

      For example; take the history of E. India where marijuana has been smoked by a % of the population since time immemorial ... those in the know will tell you this has led to confusion, lazy indolence & crime.

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      BongHalfFull

      Jul 1, 2015 at 2:35pm

      Block the road for critical mass protest?
      Cops help block traffic.

      Block the road for missing native women protest?
      Cops help block traffic.

      Block the road for pipelines protest?
      Cops help block traffic.

      Block the road for cannabis protest?
      Cops go nuts and attack peaceful people.

      RoorSucks

      Jul 1, 2015 at 2:48pm

      Excellent job by the city and VPD dealing with Emery's Cash for Clowns Cult. I'd say they've demonstrated a high level of skill, professionalism and restraint, redundant as those should seem. The circus is no venue for politics.

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      Jim Swaby

      Jul 1, 2015 at 3:33pm

      The jails should be full of the criminals that make and enforce laws against drugs ... they cause, by far, the most harm to other souls ... and they know it! Enjoy the lake of fire you evil greedy people ... surely you know that's your destination.

      Reasonable Head

      Jul 1, 2015 at 7:26pm

      "The arrests occured after some protesters became angry that police officers were filming them buying and selling marijuana."

      Were you there, Miranda? Because that is simply not what happened from my view. Protesters are well accustomed to being photographed; nobody cares about that, and at most they will trade gentle barbs with the gestapo.

      The VPD simply lost its marbles. It isn't shown in the posted video, but I was observing from in in front of the police vehicle that took the prisoners away, and the female officer driving that vehicle nearly accelerated over someone---a constable pushed him out of the way, then told him that he "saved him from being run over." This is insane. On the one hand, I wouldn't want anyone to get run over by a car, but the VPD is the one creating the safety risk here, especially if they are not willing to follow proper procedures. You're not allowed to run over people with a police vehicle even if they're sitting in front of it in protest. You can arrest them for obstruction. You are not allowed to simply drive over them, no matter how much of a scared little girl with a gun you are. The fear in her eyes was palpable. It is clear that some of these "constables" are in over their heads.

      Diggy

      Jul 1, 2015 at 9:55pm

      I smoked it for 20 years strong, every fucking day. Turned a doer into a dreamer no doubt about it. Now that I'm off it entirely I am getting shit done that I always dreamed of doing. All drugs suck, legal and illegal

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      Ronnie

      Jul 1, 2015 at 10:00pm

      Of course it happened.

      First you have the city regulating-through-tolerance illegal marijuana dispensaries. Then, the city wants to officially regulate the dispensaries, but charge them a hefty licensing fee to do their business. This is all done with the cooperation of the Vancouver Police Department, which has shifted its focus under Chu to policing violence to good effect.

      And now, what? How can the city charge these storefronts thousands of dollars for licensing fees yet let some dude set up a table and sell shit at a "protest?"

      With what Vancouver has done, the stage is set for marijuana to be decriminalized after the federal election, given an NDP or maybe Liberal win. Vancouver is showing that pot can be sold and it isn't a big deal. This is huge. We might see this stupid issue, which has gone on for way too long at the behest of the Americans and local conservatives, finally taken off the public agenda. It will be legal and no one will care. But the city has to keep control of the process, or else everything Harper and his bitches say will appear to be true.

      Those idiots were told not to protest. The construction and other events at the Art Gallery were the organizers' chance to bow out gracefully. And, after all, pot is being sold in the city with city approval, so wouldn't some cooperation be warranted. A united front might strengthen the cause of legalization after the federal election, no?

      But no... they had to push it and the city had to assert control. The very same city at the forefront of making legalization a very real possibility soon had to keep the so-called protesters against our pot laws from fucking up the legalization they purport to desire.

      Ironic, or just stupid?