VANCOUVER (CP) - Police raided a business run by the head of the B.C. Marijuana Party on Friday based on a search warrant that was requested by the U.S. government.
Marc Emery, the leader of the party, was not at the store when it was raided but Chris Bennett, who witnessed the raid and is an employee of Pot TV, said Emery had been arrested in Halifax.
Authorization to conduct the raid was made Thursday by Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm of the B.C. Supreme Court under the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act.
Several officers, some in plain clothes, some in uniform, raided the marijuana seed and paraphernalia store on West Hastings Street in downtown Vancouver owned by Emery, who the search warrant also described by his alias "The Prince of Pot."
The search warrant named Emery, Gregory Williams and Michelle Rainey-Fenkarek. Bennett said Williams was taken into police custody at the store on Friday while Rainey-Fenkarek was arrested at her home on Thursday night.
Police were not immediately available to comment on whether any arrests had been made.
The store, named Toker's Bowl, is adjacent to the New Amsterdam Cafe where people have been smoking marijuana openly for years.
Several people gathered outside the store to protest the raid, many holding anti-American signs.
Police sealed off the store and covered the windows with paper while they conducted their search.
The search warrant sets out a long list of requests made by the United States to the Vancouver police department.
In the warrant, the U.S. alleges that those named in it have conspired to manufacture marijuana, conspired to distribute marijuana seeds and conspired to engage in money laundering.
The warrant requests that police seize cash and receipts, client lists and other records identifying purchasers of goods from Emery, and employee records, including applications for employment.
It also asks for business and company incorporation documents, leases, rental agreements, computers, hard drives, diskettes and CD-ROMS.