'Smoke-in' marks death of marijuana activist
BY ROBERT KOOPMANS, DAILY NEWS STAFF REPORTER
Local medical marijuana users staged a "smoke-in" in Kamloops Saturday to mark the death of a B.C. marijuana activist who died following a hunger strike.
Carl Anderson said about 50 people gathered at Spirit Square at 4:20 p.m. to pay tribute to Istvan Marton, 69, who died Nov. 20 after suffering a heart attack following a month-long hunger strike.
Marton was fighting for changes to Canada's medical marijuana laws. His hunger strike divided his home village on Malcolm Island, off the northeast coast of Vancouver Island, where he was also known as Steve, the local fair-deal marijuana seller.
Anderson said those who showed up for the Kamloops event sparked up marijuana and "smoked the square out" as they remembered Marton's fight.
"The police never showed up," he said, adding the event lasted about an hour.
Meanwhile, Anderson said he continues to try to supply local people who need marijuana medicinally, even though his store remains closed.
The Tranquille office and storefront of the Canadian Safe Cannabis Society was raided by the Kamloops RCMP on Nov. 2, after drug investigators obtained a search warrant. Police seized computers, equipment, 50 growing marijuana plants and about two kilograms of dried marijuana.
Shortly after, the City issued closed the business citing health and safety concerns and the need for an environmental assessment.
Anderson said he paid $10,000 to have a City-required environmental assessment, and expects to hear the results shortly. He hopes to be able to reopen his shop soon.
In the meantime, he has not heard anything about possible charges stemming from the Nov. 2 raid, although he welcomes the opportunity to take his case to court and have a judge rule on the issues.
Anderson said he offered to sign a confession earlier this year detailing what he was doing, in order to be charged and have the matter brought to court.
- With files from The Vancouver Sun