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“Bookstore” owner likely to be busted

By Hempology | January 11, 2002

By Don Descoteau

From the VICTORIA NEWS, Friday January 11, 2002

Victoria police stand firm on medical pot issue

The fate of Victoria-based medical marijuana advocate Ted Smith is up
in the air once again, as Crown Counsel determines whether to lay
charges after pot was seized last week at the shop known as Ted’s

Smith, coordinator for the Cannabis Buyers’ Clubs of
Canada and president of the Victoria Hempology 101 Society, claims
that since his and other compassionate marijuana supply clubs are
still awaiting the results of legal challenges to The Constitution,
the courts have given his operation freedom to sell products to people
with permanent medical problems.

But Sgt. Darren Laur, who heads up the targeted policing
division for the Victoria police, says no such loophole exists for the
pot buyers’ club.

“I think it’s really important to understand that there is
no understanding between ourselves and Ted’s Books to allow him to do
what he’s doing,” he says. “The key point here is he is breaking the

Laur says the police fully expect charges to be laid
against Smith and two other individuals on the scene Jan. 3 at Ted’s
Books when officers, acting on a tip, seized seven pounds of marijuana
and other related products.

Victoria police are concerned that the marijuana being
sold through Ted’s Books, the Johnson Street shop used as a
headquarters for Smith’s two organizations, is being resold on the
street. And, Laur says, there are no checks and balances to ensure
that doesn’t happen.

Laur notes his department has arrested a number of people
for possession for the purpose of trafficking who have membership
cards for the pot buyers’ club.

Last week’s incident came about, according to Smith, when
a club member he alleges had been re-selling the pot became angry that
Smith had cancelled the man’s membership. It was allegedly that man
who called police and told them they could find a large amount of
marijuana being cut up “in plain view” on the premises.

Upon entering, Smith says, the officer asked if Smith had
a permit to sell the marijuana for medical purposes. Smith and the
club do not, and he was forced to relinquish the pot, a supply of
marijuana baked goods, and the membership list of the club.

The club has about 800 members, says Smith, with
afflictions ranging from hepatitis C and AIDS to chronic physical pain
from work or car accidents. It has been supplying pot to members for
six years.

Laur says Smith is not licensed through the federal
government’s medical marijuana program to distribute pot in any form.
At present there is no licensed distributor in Greater Victoria, only
one in Manitoba, says Laur.

However, he says THC, the chemical in marijuana that
produces the desired effect, has been available through doctors’
prescriptions for years.

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