HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Nelson Shop Owner Busted
Pubdate: Wed, 19 Jul 2006
Source: Province, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2006 The Province
Author: Matthew Ramsey


One of the owners of the Holy Smoke Culture Shop in Nelson is vowing
to fight on in his advocacy of marijuana despite new criminal charges
laid against him.

Paul DeFelice, 48, was busted Saturday on charges of possession and
trafficking of pot.

"We're going to persevere," DeFelice insisted yesterday. "The show
will go on. We're in it to the bitter end."

DeFelice, who describes himself as something of a cannabis crusader,
said he and the store will vigorously fight the latest charges --
likely arguing that the laws against marijuana are

"I figure I'm on the side of good. I have a full-on calling to defend
this plant," he said, extolling the nutritional benefits of cannabis
and the plant's ability to absorb carbon dioxide.

DeFelice said the 10-year-old store doesn't sell pot, but has a "bring
your own bud" area where adult users with photo identification can
smoke marijuana. Holy Smoke stopped selling seeds several months ago
when police arrested Marc Emery for selling seeds to U.S. customers.

Nelson Mayor John Dooley said he supported the police action over the
weekend, noting he has heard complaints from city residents and
businesses about the operation.

"To date, the sale of marijuana is illegal and the use of marijuana is
illegal," said the mayor. "The Nelson city police are doing their job."

But the shop with the gigantic pot pipe attached to the outside wall
was open for business yesterday and the smoke room was up and puffing.
DeFelice, however, was released from custody on condition he not go
within 50 metres of the 10-year-old business.

This isn't Holy Smoke's first run-in with the law. One year after it
opened, police raided the establishment. All charges against DeFelice
and partners Alan Middlemiss and Dustin Cantwell were later dropped
when the judge overseeing the case ruled that police conducted an
illegal search.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Derek