Several years ago the compassion club Section 56 was raided three times. Over a period of serveral months beginning on THE day of the Supreme Court hearings on cannabis May 3, 2003 with David Malmo-Levine, Chris Clay & Randy White. David represented himself which proved something to me.
Interesting co-incidence, eh? This chain of events was a serious disaster. Arrested my people, snagged the cannabis, ripped off money, trashed the place, stole things.... all without a valid warrant. Hmmm? Our approach was 'damn the torpedos, full speed ahead'. We re-opened three days later; right about the time the CBC dropped by for an interview. They were interested in filming a segment for a documentary they were doing on my friend Alan Young, Professor of Law. (You've probably heard about him by now.) He was one of the lawyers we knew who would help us out of the sheer goodness of his heart.
By the time they got around to arresting me (instead of just everybody else) Alan & his friends suggested that I represent myself. Okay. Let's dance. We attended the Global Marijuana March event that year and the next while under charges. After several rounds in court, news reporters were showing up along with friends like Terry Parker Jr. and others. They called us the "Toronto Trio" in the media. I stood my ground. After all, the second raid in July was far, far worse. By the time they came back a third time, CityTV showed up to film them raiding a compassion club. This time they didn't even have a warrant at all. Had uniformed police on video, inside our place. Another film asking the cops for the warrant and a segment of one cop jamming a patient into the brick wall. Now things were getting deadly serious. Best of all, they had taken a particular set of documents. I knew it. They knew it. There was no way in hell they were ever going to bring those documents into court before a judge. I was facing 12 charges x 3 raids including proceeds of crime... not to mention selling cookies without a license. Ha ha ha. Time to stroll into the lions den and show no fear. Long story short: they withdrew all cannabis charges against me and everyone else. I turned around and filed a motion in court to get all of our stuff back. Oh, how they hated that. Especially when CityTV came along to film the news for prime time. Getting some of the money back (what the cops didn't steal) from the Feds took another full year. OMG
What amazes me the most is that, to this day, to my knowledge, none of the cannabis organizations, websites, activists or magazines out there have ever reviewed the book. We've given away thousands of copies. We sent copies in the mail. Bookstores wouldn't carry it - even when Ed changed the cover. God, rest his soul. It was revised ©2012 and re-published on Amazon in print and issued on Kindle. Today, it's being distributed free on the net to as many people as we can reach. We know that the Con's will arrest another 57,000 people this year.... and next. There are probably 50,000 citizens under cannabis charges right now. If each and every soul simply refused to plead guilty under any circumstances, the machine would jam. It would threaten to grind to a halt. The entire "justice" department would completely freak out. That would be fun. Justice served.
This is not an idle threat. I'm not just blowing smoke here with some kind of stoner theory. I can speak from direct experience. Over and over again. NO ONE that I know personally, who has taken this advice to heart, has ever been convicted on cannabis charges. A couple of friends have broken under the torture and were fooled by "diversion"; where they give you a criminal record & divert you back to the streets. The very last time it came down to my final offer to the federal Crown: "Let's go all the way to the Supreme Court. On one hand, for me, it's a 'medical' right and on the left hand, it's according to my deeply held spiritual beliefs. I will not plead guilty." Clasp hands together & do a very small bow to the court. Pissed that Crown lawyer off pretty badly. Oh well. Final result: they withdrew all cannabis charges, again. Third time is a charm. This time they've irritated me no end. Time to get up - stand up. Stand up for your rights, as the song goes.
PS. Many years earlier, when I first met the good professor, we did some work on starting the "Herbal Aid Society" ~ a rotating team of lawyers helping clients to NEVER PLEAD GUILTY. The costs were totally outrageous and Legal Aid sure didn't want any part of it - so the idea of publishing a book evolved slowly. Certainly love the internet. What a long & winding road. My CSIS file must be huge by now. (grin).
Hit that tool button above and email a copy to a friend of yours. A friend of theirs just might need it tomorrow.