Thursday, April 02, 2009


Oldtown News
Vancouver, BC


The City of Vancouver appears to be attempting to shut down another business based on morality concerns. As my readers know, last week City Council held a quasi-judicial court to shut down the soft porn Fox theatre. This hearing re-convenes on May 13, 2009.

Now the City is going after Marc Emery's marijuana business on West Hastings Street and another quasi-judicial court has been set for April 9, 2009, at City Hall, where Council will attempt to revoke the business license of Marc Emery's businesses.

The City informs us that they act when there are complaints and I suspect any complaints will have come from the Vancouver Police Department.

I wonder if the Police observed someone smoking pot in Mr Emery's business and perhaps this might be the impetus of why Council has now embarked on this silly show cause hearing?

If this is the case and if there is criminal activity occurring why haven't the police arrested anyone? Same as at the Fox, where the Police state they observed fellatio being performed and the question is this. If performing oral sex is a criminal offence and if the Police truly observed what they claimed to have seen--than why didn't they make an arrest?

Mr Emery like the Fox theatre operates legally and both have legitimate city-issued business licences.

Any complaints coming before the City at least regarding the Fox seems to have come from one business operator and according to City documents only one complaint was ever received by them. Yet they want to shut down this business.

It seems really bizarre with the number of gang shootings happening in the City, yet the City and Vancouver Police are using scarce resources to target businesses which they deem to be corrupting public morals.

With the Olympics right around the corner, this does raise alarms since it appears the City is embarking on some sort of clean-up campaign and other businesses which operate legitimately could be next. Especially if those businesses are judged by the City to be immoral. These could include adult bookstores, steambaths and massage services.

It is interesting that these clean-ups are happening under the watch of the New Vision Party which came into power in November, 2008.

Vision will need to tread carefully since many of their core supporters are young and consider themselves progressive. If the Party they chose to support appears bent on infringing on human rights or on a public morals campaign, there could in a very short time be a major political backlash.

Stay tuned.

Jamie Lee Hamilton


At 3:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How'd your court case go?

At 4:32 PM, Blogger Jamie Lee Hamilton said...

The Plantiffs did not proceed. So no trial.

Thanks for asking.

At 12:52 PM, Blogger Jodie Emery said...

Here's some info about Marc's businesses...

Marc Emery is the leader of the British Columbia Marijuana Party, which has operated from 307 West Hastings since 2001. In addition to the BC Marijuana Party, the building also houses Cannabis Culture Magazine, Pot-TV studios, and the Cannabis Culture Headquarters retail store.

From 2001 to 2007, the ground-level store operated as the BC Marijuana Party Headquarters & Bookstore. In May 2008, the ground-level store was renamed “Marc Emery’s Cannabis Culture Headquarters” and the second and third (top) levels of the building were leased from the landlord. After $140,000 of extensive renovations and upgrades, the second and third floors have been transformed from dark, filthy, unsafe spaces into the clean, modern, comfortable BC Marijuana Party Headquarters office and Vapour Lounges.

At the same time, Marc Emery invested $55,000 to renovate the old, ugly and shutting-down “Neighbourhood Food Stop” convenience store at 316 W. Hastings, opening it as a well-stocked, clean, attractive convenience store called “420 Convenience”. The local community needs a variety store for the students, workers and residents, so “420 Convenience” is a welcome business on the block.

Considering the economic benefits: Marc Emery contributes large amounts of money to the government and local economy. In 2008, his businesses collected and remitted $124,000 in PST to the Province of British Columbia. Marc employs 28 people, with annual payroll taxes exceeding $112,000 paid to the Governments of Canada and BC. In addition, $1.2 million was spent in 2008 buying legal goods and foods from legitimate businesses in the Lower Mainland. Marc also pays $11,000 in property taxes for the buildings he occupies.

In light of Marc Emery’s significant contributions to Vancouver and BC, City Council should wholeheartedly support his application for business licenses.

At 8:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But whats above 316 West Hastings?
Seen some shady characters sneaking up those stairs.
Check it out.
There is a door that is very unassuming with posters plastering the glass part of the door. Part of those posters are cut out on the glassa stair so whoever is upstairs can allow certain people inside.


Also, how come Marc Emery himself has been seen a number of times inside the Money Mart on the corner cashing stacks of cheques. I'm talking 2-3 inch high stacks.

At 9:24 PM, Blogger Jamie Lee Hamilton said...

Well I'll ask Marc if he also rents out the top floor of 316 Hastings but it could be an artist-work-live space or perhaps a gallery. It may be in fact totally separate from Mr Emery's business.

All Marc's businesses though have legitimate city issued licenses and just bacause the City isn't comfortable with issues around pot should not give way to a public morals campaign.

In regard to Money Mart I've seen Marc there too but it is a financial institution which is close to his business so I don't think there is anything odd about him doing his banking at the neighborhood institution closest to him.

At 10:04 PM, Anonymous Solomon Grundy said...

Jamie Lee, with all due sooner do I think you've upped your game on this blog, when you let us down, again...

"Well I think drug traffickers are hurting people for greed and that is wrong. If this thought makes me uneducated so be it..."

That's a direct quote from YOU. You wrote this as a response to a question from another reader in your Wendy Pedersen post.

Just because Marc Emery has been supportive of you, doesn't mean he is any different from the pushers you deplore.

So it's okay to be wrong as long as one is supportive of you?

Sorry, but you do this to yourself...

At 11:25 PM, Blogger Jamie Lee Hamilton said...

Hi Solomon Grundy

Sorry I do not think of pot as one of those harmful drugs. In fact in all the research I've seen I do not believe it to be a gateway drug. I think marijuana is safer than alcohol. Many terminally ill people use it including many people suffering with AIDS, cancer and diabetes.

Sorry I'm not defending Marc but I've never known him to sell drugs in his stores. If he was wouldn't the VPD have chgarged him?

Marc Emery has a legitmate business licence and so I support his right to operate his legal businesses.

Just so you know I also support Compassion clubs and do not believe they are peddling harmful drugs.

But since you want to go there Solomon what is your position on the government selling alcohol?

And no I do not smoke pot and neither do I drink.


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