Pubdate: Wed, 04 Mar 2015
Source: Northern News (CN ON)
Copyright: 2015 Northern News
Author: Rick Owen
Page: A1


KIRKLAND LAKE - The protest against the law that allows police to
confiscate merchandise that could be used for the consumption of
illicit substances attracted about 30 people Monday evening.

The protest was being held to support the Tripping Daisy and its owner
Darren Delaney after The OPP Organized Crime Unit executed a search
warrant on the business Feb. 5, 2015 and according to the owner
confiscated about $25,000 worth of merchandise. The OPP have since
laid a charge against Delaney.

As the group gathered prior to the protest march at the Tripping Daisy
on Lebel Avenue there was much discussion about the 'science'
supporting marijuana's benefits in terms of a person's health and how
the law was unreasonable and people needed to access bongs and
vaporizers to use their medical marijuana in a safer way.

In the 30 people that took part there was people from as far north as
Cochrane and far south as North Bay, as well as local people, and at
least one person from Larder Lake that had her paper work to show she
could use marijuana for medical reasons.

The protest march started at the Tipping Daisy, went along Government
Road to Duncan Avenue and then on to the front doors of the Kirkland
Lake OPP Detachment. After a rallying talk by Dana Larsen, of Sensible
B.C. The march continued back down Duncan Avenue to Government Road
and then east to the Kirkland Lake Inn.

While the march was taking place the Kirkland Lake OPP monitored it
from one of their marked vehicles, but did not get out of the vehicle
and did not in any way interfere.

Larsen got the protester motivated by giving a speech about the
unfairness of the law, how they were standing up for Delaney and the
Tripping Daisy. He also told the protesters that they had brought
"joints" (marijuana cigarettes) with them and instructed another
organizer to hand them out, which she did. He also instructed people
to stay in the middle of the march while they smoked pot and not to
blow smoke in the face of the police.

By the time the marchers got to the OPP Detachment there was the smell
of burning marijuana in the air and as they stood in front of the OPP
Detachment a number of people were passing what appeared to joints.

During his speech prior to hitting the streets Larsen said he thinks
the only person convicted of promoting vaporizers in Canada is Marc
Emery, a Canadian marijuana activist, and he said promoting vaporizers
is promoting a safer better way to consume your 'bud.'

While the section of the law concerning printed material about
marijuana was overturned by a judge, Larsen said, quite a while ago
when Emery was in Timmins they said his Cannabis Culture Magazine was
a crime cartoon because it had pictures of people growing marijuana.
He continued, "Marc actually flew out and gave away Cannabis Culture
Magazines in front of the police station and dared the cops to charge
him. And they backed down and eventually apologized. So it shows what
you can do when you stand up for this stuff. But no one has ever been
willing to stand up against the bong law properly enough to get it
really overturned."

He said what the police do is take you stuff but don't charge you and
they don't want to charge you because know it's a weak law. They take
you stuff and put you out of business. "For a lot of stores one raid
puts you out of business."

"I think here, we've got a fellow Darren who wants to stay open, who
wants to fight this law, we have a community that is rallying around
and I think we can make history," said Larsen.

"It's no fun getting raided by the police, having them come and take
your stuff and take you away. It's a very traumatizing experience and
it's something nobody should have to go through and it takes a certain
amount of character to want to stay open, and fight back and keep
coming back. That's what we need."

He said by and large they have chased this law out of the legal arena,
the police don't bother and when they do it's actually an opportunity
for us, said Larsen.

Larsen said there is an exemption for medical devices and when the law
was made they weren't thinking of bongs, but now with thousands of
Canadian using medical marijuana they are a medical device.

"But even if you aren't using it with a doctor's recommendations,...
these are harm reduction devices that make marijuana safer to
consume," said Larsen.

The marijuana activist said they are going to fundraise across Canada,
and put his lawyers in contact with Delaney's lawyer and hopefully
defeat this law and overturn it so no one ever has to worry about it

"But for today, for right now our goal is to show the people of
Kirkland Lake and the police, the city council and everyone else that
we don't want to stand for this any more, that the people of this
community and surrounding communities stand behind the Tripping Daisy,
and want the store to be open in their community and they want it to
be there. They don't want the police to waste taxpayers time and money
going after these stores. Has every other crime in town been solved?
Is there nothing else for them to do, that the last thing at the
bottom of their list - we might as well go after that bong shop. Like
clearly there has to be some higher priorities for the police," stated

Commenting online Tuesday, Delaney said he was pleased with the
event's success.

"Thank you to everyone who came out to support and rally against the
ancient and out-of-touch law 462.2," he wrote. :Each of you
represented tens of thousands of Canadians and I can't tell you how
many hundreds of messages of support that we've received! In a smaller
community like Kirkland Lake it was impressive to see the numbers that
came out to support... so thank you thank you thank you.You made your
voices heard."
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MAP posted-by: Matt