Arrests mar pot protest

UPDATED: 6:02 P.M.

The Vancouver Police Department confirmed today four people were arrested at the protest and investigators are expected to recommend charges against all four of them


A Cannabis Day event in Vancouver has been marred by scuffles with police and a couple of arrests.

Bystanders say they witnessed officers descend on the gathering of about 100 people outside the Vancouver Art Gallery around noon before leading at least one man away in handcuffs.

Angry crowds followed the officers around the street corner where the man was loaded into a police van.

Vancouver police released a statement saying the man was overtly selling marijuana to young people and that he failed to stop after repeated warnings.

Police say officers were immediately confronted and swarmed and had to use pepper spray to complete the arrest.

They say one man faces a possible trafficking charge while the other faces a charge of obstruction.

Both men are in police custody.

Cannabis Day has taken place peacefully in downtown Vancouver for the past 20 years.

Longtime organizer and marijuana activist Jodie Emery says this is the first year the event has experienced any confrontation with police.

The city sent Emery a cease-and-desist letter in late June asking that the protest be abandoned but organizers dismissed the warning and insisted the event would go ahead as planned.

Emery's husband and co-organizer, Marc Emery, took to Twitter after the incident, calling on others to come to the protest in support of those who were pepper-sprayed. 


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