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Vancouver police say seizure of pot from DTES market was not a ‘raid’

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Vancouver police are responding today to criticism following a drug seizure from a market on the Downtown Eastside. As Nadia Stewart reports, the marijuana seizure involves a group that claims it's trying to help people trying to quit opioids – Sep 19, 2018

Vancouver Police are disputing that the seizure of cannabis from a pop-up kiosk in the Downtown Eastside was a raid.

The incident took place at the DTES street market at 62 East Hastings on Sept. 14, when a group of officers arrived and confiscated a number of marijuana products.

READ MORE: New study suggests cannabis could help in opioid crisis

The kiosk was operated by the High Hopes Foundation, an organization that aims to use cannabis products to help opioid addicts get off hard drugs.

Sgt. Jason Robillard said the market’s executive director did not want the stall there, and that the day before the seizure, officers had warned the kiosk’s operators.

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“Officers conducted routine patrols in the Downtown Eastside and located a display of cannabis products in plain view at a vendors table in the public market,” he said.

Robillard said a man took responsibility for the marijuana kiosk, and was asked to shut it down.

However, when officers returned the next day, the table had been set back up, he said.

WATCH: New questions about Downtown Eastside “street market”

Click to play video: 'New questions about Downtown Eastside “street market”' New questions about Downtown Eastside “street market”
New questions about Downtown Eastside “street market” – Mar 29, 2018

Robillard said videos of the seizure circulating online don’t tell the entire story.

“Unfortunately videos such as these show only a small portion of what occurred, and none of the previous attempts to resolve this issue. This was not a police raid, as some have characterized it.”

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Police said they seized about 100 pills containing cannabis products, several dozen joints THC vapour refills, and several grams each of hash and marijuana.

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