Protesting City Hall’s new pot shop regulations
It’s old news now but way back on Monday (August 10), I saw a small group of people on the north-side of the 400 block of 12th Avenue, in front of City Hall, setting up a sidewalk protest in favour of free and unfettered access to marijuana.
Specifically, the group was protesting against the restrictive aspects of the City of Vancouver’s new regulations around the licensing of marijuana dispensaries, including the staggeringly high (in the wrong way) $30,000 annual operating permit.
Legalization, not a cash grab wrapped in red tape
It was about 1 p.m. and the last of three small canvas-topped pavilions was being set up on the sidewalk outside the south entrance of City Hall.
Inside the building somewhere, the city was holding an information session to explain the new regulations to marijuana dispensaries.
Two very long, black-on-white canvas banners were already stretched out behind the demonstrators and a woman was waving back-to-back flags so that as she waved to one side I saw a Canadian flag with red marijuana leaves substituted for the maple leaf and when she waved in the other direction I saw the blue and white Quebec Fleurdelisé.
One of the large banners read: “Equal rights for pot people”, with something else underneath that I couldn’t see for all the cars and people and the other banner read: “End cannabis prohibition” with a smaller URL underneath: WorldCannabis.net.
There were an assortment of placard signs in evidence; a few being waved but most waiting their turn, including:
Stop the arrests : Decriminalize : Legalize
“Don’t force me to buy corporate pot!
Epilepsy has no age limit
Equal rights for cannabis users
No dispensary left behind
Stop politicians in favour of prohibition
Stop wasting tax dollars!
There wasn’t all that much going on when I rode by; very little sign waving and no shouting or slogan-chanting and I only heard the honk of one car horn from the steady traffic in the westbound lane of 12th Avenue.
But if the demonstration against was slow to get up steam, I could see that some of the participants were already busy demonstrating how by happily smoking up a storm.
So what, I thought, is a pro-marijuana gathering without at least some delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol floating through the festive air? Click the images to enlarge them.