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Police Swoop On Pot Cafe Ends With Six Arrests.

By admin | September 10, 2004

By Chris Johnson,
CanWest News Service.

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 cheering 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 Brittania secondary school, and the Grandview Woodland Community Policing Centre.

Bloor said police acted because Da Kine has “been very blantant” about selling marijuana over the counter.

“It was obvious thay 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 BC 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 protestors by da Kine supporters, Bloor said: “There’s overwhelming support by other neighbours” 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 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.

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