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Victoria compassion club under attack

By Hempology | June 25, 2002

From Cannabis Culture Magazine, Issue #38 (August 2002)

By Reverend Damuzi

[There is one inaccuracy to be noted in this article: In april, the thieves showed up
before the police did. The police were in fact responding to a 911 call that
a neighbour made when he observed the CBCoC being broken into.]

Founder Ted Smith raided three times and thrown in jail,
yet applauded by city council.

After being arrested several times for selling cannabis to patients from his
Cannabis Buyers’ Club of Canada (CBCoC) in Victoria, BC, Ted Smith appeared
before Victoria’s city council and helped convince them that the laws against
pot should be loosened.

The CBCoC was first raided in January 2002, after a black-listed former member
brought police to the door (CC#36, Med-pot news). Then police began a
campaign of arrests and intimidation to destroy the CBCoC and put smith behind

Smith wasn’t backing down. He continued to hol dpublic cannaibs-education
meetings, including a med-pot info session in January, a public convention
of west-coast activities in March, and his weekly Hempology 101 – a cannabis
history and culture class. Smith also helped open two more clubs, one to service
Northern Vancouver Island, and another across the country in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The police came again on March 21 and took about $12,000 worth of med-pot. Smith
was thrown in jail, onloy released on bail a few hours later.

“I realized that we had to get the support of politicans or they were going to
keep coming,” Smith said. “On March 28, nine of us went to City Council and
filled them in on who we are and where we are going. We told them that we know the
police were going to go after our business license, the Mayor was forced to admit
that a meeting with police was scheduled, and the CBCoC was the topic of discussion.
After the meeting became public knowledge, everyone wanted to attend, and it
had to be moved to [a public forum].”

At the April 2 meeting between City Council and the police, Ted Smith and friends
were triumphant. The police application to remove Smith’s business license was rejected.
The city decided to contact Health Canada and ask them how sick people were supposed
to get cannabis medicine.

A week later, Victoria city councilors spoke strongly in favor of decriminalization.
They drafted a letter to the Federal Council of Municipalities asking them to
put pressure on the federal government to stop enforcing laws against med-pot users
and clubs.

Yet the good wishes of local politicians wasn’t enough to stop the club from being
raided again. On April 22, officers stormed into the club and seized another
quarter-pound of pot. Later that same night, thieves broke in and took $500 from
the club’s legal self-defense fund.

Ted Smith credits the club’s continued survival to public support. Donations
and offers of assistance are welcome.

Cannabis Buyers Club of Canada: tel: 250-381-4220;;

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