Monday, December 1, 2003
Police arrested two people on Saturday as dozens of people celebrated the opening of a pot cafe by passing around joints and breathing in air thick with marijuana smoke.
Several police officers from a station less than a block away squeezed into Chez Marijane and arrested two men who were holding joints, said Hugo St-Onge, president of the Bloc Pot party.
"To tell you the truth, I'm surprised," St-Onge said when reached on his cell phone at the police station where he was helping the two men, aged 26 and 51.
"It's a waste of their time, a waste of money. But it's simple possession and it's illegal."
One of the men arrested has multiple sclerosis, he added.
The cafe does not sell pot but people can bring their own to smoke, said St-Onge, who called the day a success despite the arrests.
"Only about two or three people left because of the police, the rest are still there."
Before police arrived, customers and cafe volunteers sipped coffee, passed joints and revelled in having a place they could congregate to smoke dope.
Police had the cafe under suveillence all afternoon. A police spokesperson would not say why they decided to go in when they did or if they would return on Sunday.
"I can't comment on that but the cafe will be visited in a regular fashion
in order to enforce the law," Const. Michel Kriaa said.
Copyright © 2003, The StarPhoenix (Saskatoon)