Article by Mike Okada, Cannabis Life Network
On Jan. 25, CLN spoke with Don Briere, the owner of WEEDS Glass and Gifts.
His Surrey store was recently raided by the RCMP, and he told us how having stores across BC gave him first hand experience of the difference between the Vancouver Police and RCMP.
Don also tells us his biggest issue with the Robson Square cannabis market, why he’s filed a constitutional challenge against the City, and how dispensaries help fight organized crime.
CLN: Hi Don, thanks for calling. Can you tell us about the raids in Surrey?
Don Briere: Yeah, our Surrey store on 108th and King George Blvd. was raided just a few days ago as we were trying to help the people affected by the opioid crisis, making this our fourth store that’s been raided in Surrey.
The first one, Da Kine Glass and Gifts, was raided about a year and a half ago and just recently, I’ve had charges laid against me on that case.
It’s a major waste of taxpayer resources in every way, shape, and form. People are dying and they’re stopping us from helping them.
How are you helping the employees that were caught in the raid?
We cover all legal fees. We have over half a million dollars in legal fees and climbing.
How was your staff affected by the raid?
They were okay, the police didn’t really terrorize them. But they did come in with full battle gear. The police had their helmets and balaclavas on with their guns and protective armour- everything!
WEEDS operates on RCMP territory in Maple Ridge, Kamloops, and the North Shore, among others, and the Surrey RCMP are the ones that are always raiding us, but that has to do with who’s giving the orders- and it’s the mayor of Surrey..
WEEDS pays all the same taxes as everybody else, and do you know the one thing dispensaries do that nobody else does?
Dispensaries take money away from organized crime- because where do the gangs get their money? They use grow-ops to trade cannabis for cocaine and guns and so on.
But the very worst thing about organized crime is that they steal children into a life of crime and human trafficking, where they addict them to drugs- I’ve seen drug addicted strays working in grow-ops for organized crime.
Do you think the media and general public sees the effect that dispensaries have?
A lot of people do and we’ve had a lot of positive coverage.
But then I see headlines like “Ex-cop cashing in on new pot laws” while they’re still upholding the old laws. We have Juliano [Fantino], a former top cop saying, “Anyone who smokes pot is the same as a murderer!” while collecting a huge government paycheck. And now, overnight, he says, “I’m running a pot store!”
What a hypocrite. We’ve known for a long time that cannabis is not dangerous. Now the evidence is so overwhelming. It’s a good medication and it’s good for recreation. Instead of having a beer or a drink, you can use cannabis.
There really are no downsides, but maybe I’m just biased because I’ve seen what tobacco and alcohol does.