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My Life in a Holding Cell

By Hemp | March 25, 2002

more by Lee Morrison

Director, Victoria’s Hempology 101 Society.

On Thursday, Mar 21, shortly after 2 p.m., 4 officers entered the store
armed with a warrant. Sgt. Darren Laur pointed me out immediately as an employee
of the club. I called for Ted at the back. I know they were really serious
this time; there was none of the friendly banter that the officers had
displayed the first time. I wateched as one by one members and employees
were searched and released, even keeping their pipes. It was obvious
that their agenda was Ted + myself. They even released Colby who had actually
been in the distribution room. Laurs stated to me that “I was going to be
charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking as well.” I asked
how could I be charged when I’m not in possession… In fact, when they
came in I was behind a compute desk doing research on the new changes to
the welfare act! Not exactly a threat to national security. His explination
was that I was fully aware of the illegal operations within the store. My
answer that that was that my purpose here is client support in the form
of counselling and medical research.

Ted was the last one to be taken out. I couldn’t believe that Ted was
handcuffed as if he was dangerous or a flight risk. I was still in the
store waiting for my “personal police escort”. I found it rather
ironic that Laurs began talking aobut how he was not opposed to what
Ted was doing and that he actually admired him! All I could think was
that “you find an odd way to express it.” I could hear our members
outside yelling and booing their displeasure.

Inside the store I was searched twice. I suppose they were surprised
that I was not carrying any medicine on my person. I did have
in my briefcase a small amount of personal medicine and two pipes.
I gave them up willingly so I would be able to keep my case (sentimental
value from University days).

I was also searched once more before getting into the back of the
police car and twice at the station. In fact at the police station,
a female officer watched me take off my pants and underwear and urinate.
I guess they still thought I was concealing evidence somewhere. I was
placed in a holding cell for two and a half hours. I was also denied
access to a phone to contact our lawyer. Luckily Ted was in the
cell next to me and he had a phone. Ted contacted the lawyer
for me about the violation of my constitutional rights. I was released
shortly after this.

I must say that this has provided me with a different perspective. I have
never been arrested for anything ever. Nor have I ever been in a holding
cell. Yes, they are filthy places that would make your skin crawl. And although
I have no desire to see the inside of a jail cell again, having done so doesn’t
dampen my belief in this cause. Sometimes on ehas to stand up for what is right.
This marijuana law is unconstitional. It denies our Canadian right to medicine
and to be free from pain.

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