HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Pot Cafe A High-Volume Dealer, Say Police
Pubdate: Fri, 10 Sep 2004
Source: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (Canada Web)
Copyright: 2004 CBC
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)
Bookmark: (Drug Raids)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


VANCOUVER - Police say the Da Kine pot cafe on Commercial Drive was
not a small compassion club, but a major drug house that sold more
than $30,000 worth of marijuana every day.

Vancouver police raided the cafe late Thursday afternoon and arrested
all seven staff, who now face drug trafficking charges.

No charges were laid against 33 customers found in the shop by

Drug Squad Insp. Dave Nelmes says police found nine kilograms of
marijuana, much of it packaged for sale -- as well as half a kilogram
of hash and 300 baked goods containing marijuana.

Nelmes says it's obvious business was booming, with $27,000 in sales
on Friday up until the time of the raid. He says police found $63,000
in cash, as well as $1,700 in U.S. currency.

When police first learned of the cafe nearly two weeks ago, they said
it was not high on their list of priorities.

But acting deputy chief Bob Rolls says the store became a priority
after its owner went public.

"They decided to flaunt their criminal activity and demonstrate their
contempt for the laws of Canada," he says.

"And what they in fact did was they elevated the priority of this
issue for the Vancouver Police Department. And we responded

That response involved more than 30 police officers, some of them
wearing balaclavas. Police say the balaclavas were necessary to
protect the identities of drug squad members.

Rolls says the timing of the raid had nothing to do with statements
earlier this week by Solicitor General Rich Coleman and Premier Gordon

Both had criticized the City of Vancouver for not moving quickly
enough to shut down the cafe.
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