HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Pot Lovers Fight For Their B.C. Sea Weed
Pubdate: Fri, 09 Aug 2002
Source: Globe and Mail (Canada)
Copyright: 2002, The Globe and Mail Company
Page: A7
Author: Brent Jang
Bookmark: (Emery, Marc)


VICTORIA -- Armed with homegrown, scented spray, the B.C. Marijuana Party 
is retaliating against police who board West Coast ferries with their 
drug-sniffing dogs.

For two days this week, activists sprayed ferry decks with THC, the active 
ingredient in marijuana, party president Marc Emery said yesterday.

The action came a week after undercover police officers with Labrador 
retrievers netted seven kilograms of marijuana on the ferry run between 
Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver and Nanaimo on Vancouver Island.

In an effort to thwart the next police search on ferries, several party 
members used a special solution that left THC oil residue on the car decks 
located below the passenger levels, Mr. Emery said.

As well, volunteers sprinkled marijuana-laced cayenne pepper around. "The 
heartbreaking part was grinding up an ounce of pot and mixing it with 
cayenne pepper and realizing that it will never get smoked."

The intent of the two-pronged counterattack against police is to thwart 
their searches by confusing sniffer dogs that are trained to sit down when 
they detect hidden pot.

"We sacrificed some good pot for the cause," said Mr. Emery, who garnered 
905 votes in the Vancouver-Burrard riding in an unsuccessful bid to win a 
seat in the B.C. Legislature last year. He is seeking to become Vancouver's 
mayor in the civic election scheduled for fall.

Corporal Tim Dean of West Vancouver police played down the party's tactics, 
saying that neither the spray nor pepper stymied any dogs because no drug 
searches were conducted on any of the sailings boarded by the B.C. 
Marijuana Party.

Police certainly won't be tipping their hand as to when they will do 
searches under a program dubbed Operation High Seas, he said.

He defended the July 30 searches that led to eight arrests. Three people 
face trafficking charges, but five others caught smoking marijuana 
cigarettes were released.

"We didn't search any vehicles on board. All we were doing was walking 
police dogs up and down the car decks."

It was only after police seized two cars and obtained search warrants that 
the trunks were opened on police property, he added.

Deborah Dykes, a spokeswoman for the ferry fleet owned by the B.C. 
government, said her main concern was that the party distributed political 
pamphlets that urged people to join for $10. "We've asked them to cease and 

Ferry staff won't be taking special measures to prevent future spraying 
campaigns, but car decks will be patrolled and cleaned as a matter of 
routine, Ms. Dykes said. "If we had the need to phone the police, we would. 
We haven't felt the need."

Police said they have no plans to launch an investigation since the party 
didn't obstruct any officers and the amount of THC involved wouldn't be 
enough to trigger possession charges.

Mr. Emery said party members plan to carry out their "pot protest" many 
more times over the next two weeks on three ferries used between West 
Vancouver and Nanaimo's Departure Bay.
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