Pubdate: Fri, 21 May 2010
Source: Now, The (Surrey, CN BC)
Copyright: 2010 Canwest Publishing Inc.
Author: Tom Zytaruk


Pot Supporters Light Up, Lay Siege To Surrey MP Dona Cadman's Office

SURREY - Supporters of Vancouver pot activist Marc Emery laid siege 
to Tory MP Dona Cadman's office in Surrey North Thursday afternoon to 
protest the "Prince of Pot's" extradition to the U.S. earlier that day.

Emery, 52, is accused of shipping marijuana seeds to Americans and 
faces five years in a U.S. prison as part of a plea agreement. 
Protesters here noted that such a conviction amounts to a $200 fine in Canada.

The five protesters occupied the lobby of Cadman's Whalley office for 
several hours as part of a concerted effort targeting Conservative MPs.

"They're just going to all MPs offices and protesting," Cadman said. 
"I told them they're welcome to stay as long as they behave 
themselves and they don't cause trouble with anybody coming in or 
disturb the office.

"They were getting very boisterous there for a little while until we 
told them that they had to calm it down. They're pretty civil right now."

Cadman's office assistant Meaghan Weise called the Surrey RCMP.

"They have been rolling marijuana joints," Weise said. She noted one 
of them, 17-year-old Vancouver resident Hayley Rose, has a medical 
permit to possess marijuana.

"They said they're going to be playing music and coming through any 
doors that are unlocked. They asked for tape and thumb tacks to hang 
stuff on the wall, and they're video-recording everything."

Two Surrey Mounties showed up and spoke to the protestors and advised 
them to "remain at peace." Nobody was arrested.

"We have been very loud about the fact that this will not stop until 
Marc Emery is back in Canada," said protester William Austin, of Burnaby.

"If this turns out not to be effective then we will find other ways 
to draw attention to it."

As for the RCMP, Austin said, "they asked us to leave but they didn't 
make us leave - they can't make us leave. They continually tried to 
tactfully convince us that going outside the office would be in 
everybody's best interest but that impedes on our right to protest so 
we let them know they couldn't do that. A short time later they 
agreed, so they must have found out."

Austin said protesters are not occupying Liberal or NDP MPs offices 
because "they've gone on record saying they would not allow the 
extradition to go through if it was up to them."

On Wednesday, protestors invaded Prime Minister Stephen Harper's 
office in Calgary Southwest. "They rolled a massive amount of 
marijuana on Stephen Harper's desk," Austin said. "Stephen Harper 
said to remove them and the police came in and said they weren't 
going to remove them because they had a right to be there. In that 
case they were actually smoking in Stephen Harper's office because 
there's no anti-smoking laws in Alberta."

Nobody sparked a joint at Cadman's office, though. "Even a medical 
user can't smoke indoors because of the smoke laws in B.C.," Austin said.

Rose, who has used marijuana legally since she was 15 to treat a rare 
form of epilepsy, stepped outside of the office for a few hits off of 
a hand-held medical contraption. This generated a polite debate with 
police concerning whether she was exhaling vapour or marijuana smoke 
too close to the office.
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MAP posted-by: Keith Brilhart