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By Team Pure Hemp 10/27/2016 11:15 AM Comments

Today is Sunday, journal day, snowy day, this time it's here to stay. On the ground and all around, the snow can be found. We're doing laundry in the Granola belt of Winnipeg. It's a quaint neighbourhood with a consciousness about it. Organic Planet, Humboldt's Legacy, and the Prairie Grass Bakery amongst others hold together this community of artists, activists, students, and generally aware. Dave and I slept in the van last night, just around the corner from here. Sleeping in the van in temperatures below zero is really not that bad. We generate some body heat, being two of us, and once you're in the bag, with blankets over top, it's quite cozy. Unless of course, you consider the feet. My feet get cold at night. It might be just because they're so far from my heart, or maybe because they are closer to the open space of the rest of the van, or because I move a lot, the extra blankets fall off. But what ever it is, it's consistent. In fact they're cold right now! They were cold the first frigid night that we slept in the van. That was in Sault Ste. Marie, a week ago, when we slept right beside the river. I woke up with cold feet and near-bursting bowels. Thankfully, we were next to the Sault Ste. Marie Art Gallery. They had an awesome bathroom, one which Dave termed a "blessing". There was lots of room and even a sink in the stall! That's one thing we're finding out, to park the van near a good bathroom for morning is a good idea. The Sooo is nice. There's a good little shop there called Planetary Pride, and they took some papers off of us. Some how, I managed to lock the keys in the van, which was a hindrance. The CAA guy came and Jimmied it open in a couple of minutes. Whew! We split Sault Ste Marie after visiting Dave's Aunt, which was good for him, and his Aunt. Dave's cousin was there as well, so it went well. Soon we were on the road, with Thunder Bay in our sights. It's a long drive, with lots of Moose and even snow now. We drove through the night, which is a total shame, because the scenery is so breath-taking, but it was a full moon, so we could see the shapes of the forms which we were hurtling past. Hemphry hasn't been running so swell, and I think it's from the cold weather. There's definitely a correlation between engine temperature and performance. It's been cold inside the van as well. We've been told to close the bellows and adjust the carburetor jets, the problem is, we don't know how, and no one we meet knows how. We have books, but they show a different carb than we have, and in both, we don't see bellows. So we still go, just a little more slow. As we were traversing the land North of Superior, well aware of the remoteness of our location, in the middle of the night, we came up on a vehicle whose brake lights went on, then off, then on, then off, on, off, on..I think we should stop. I pulled over and as I ran back, there was the figure of someone running toward me. Dave had reminded me to be careful, so I was wondering what might happen. As we met up, I realized that she was shivering. The car was out of gas, and she'd been there for several hours. The crazy thing was that I'd just filled our spare gas can at the last gas station for the first time. I just knew it was desolate out there past Wawa, and it's better safe than sorry. Well this time, it sure came in handy. Yay for listening to that little inner voice! The woman's daughter was asleep in the back and we tried not to wake her as we emptied the gas into the car. No one knew how far it was to the next town or even if there was an open gas station there. We told her we'd follow her just in case she ran out again. It was really cold at that point and I know I was shivering. We followed her into the town of Nipigon, but all the gas stations were closed. Dave and I had been talking and it seemed that the best thing she could do would be to wait until they opened before continuing onward. We tried to get her attention by signalling and flashing our high beams. Then as we were nearing the end of town, she pulled into an Esso gas station; we followed her. So we get out of the van to discuss strategy. Just as I had gotten around the front of the van to the shotgun side: Cops rolled up! Bling, bling, bling! Two cars from the rear and an other closing off the front. Holy Smokes! Three Cops and three cruisers in the middle of the night, freezing cold in the middle of no where "where's the drugs?" was the jist of what they were saying."What seems to be the problem?" That's me, Eh? "License and Registration." "Why, what's the reason?" That pissed them off, and they wouldn't answer the question. One cop just started going off about how I could be charged with two counts of something or other, while an other officer was spouting off about how an officer has the right to see the license and registration of any driver in Ontario da da da dada., while the third was giving us five seconds. Ok, ok, I'm getting my license. Jeeezz. So I pulled out the stuff while Dave was getting his. They had asked the out of gas woman for hers, but now, Dave and I can't be sure if they even ran her I.D. Regardless, she was outta there lickity split. So now its just me, Dave, three "peace" Officers and the great wide open. Outnumbered, clearly the police had the upper hand. Soon into the interrogation, Dave was ordered into the back of a cruiser while I was left in the company of the remaining officer outside the van. He had walked by the open window of the Drivers side and said he could smell Marijuana. I said impossible! I've got gas all over my hands, if you're gonna smell anything it would be that. This is a company vehicle with a strict policy of not carrying anything illegal. So then he's like, "we could go wake up the drug dog and he could come down and smell all around the vehicle." I was like "you could, but I wouldn't consent to that. And I also do not consent to a search of this van." Once I said the words "Not Consent", things with that cop and I lightened up. I told him about bicycling from Calgary to Michigan, about going to the rainbow there. He was curious about what it was like and I told him how nice it was and that really the main problem was the DLNR (Department of Land and Natural Resources). I told him how one guy got charged for bringing 400 gallons of drinking water, then the township called an emergency meeting and got the DLNR to back off. He told me that they tried to have one up here, but it didn't quite happen. "Ya", I said, "I heard that they wouldn't let the rainbows across the border" and he agreed. At this point the young cop that was working Dave over, came and tried to get me to consent to the search. He told me, that since Dave and I work for the same company, and since Dave consents to a search of the van, then they could. I more or less told him that was a crock, and that I'm the driver and I'm not consenting to a search! The rookie went back to the cruiser where they had Dave. Dave in the mean time had been taken into a cruiser and double teamed by what seemed to be an eager-beaver rookie, and the skilled older cop. He consciously left the door open so as not to lock himself in. While in there, they pressured him to consent to search the van. Dave stood firm and would not budge. The cops told Dave that I consented to a search of the van. Dave knew me, and said that I was politically active and he found it very hard to believe that I would just give up on our rights that easily. Dave was right, he stuck to his guns, even when the cops were playing me against him. Always remember that the cops will lie about what your friend said. Just imagine your friend in a similar predicament, and you can even laugh at the lies they're likely telling your friend about you. Stick to what you know to be true, and don't let the cops railroad your basic rights. We need to uphold our rights when given the opportunity.I learned that bit of advice after this last run in. At the time, I didn't expect the cops to lie to my face about what Dave was saying. I found it hard to believe, in fact I didn't know what to believe. The Rookie came back and said Dave was consenting to a search of his stuff. I over-ruled that decision, again saying: "I do not consent to a search of the vehicle." Eventually we all ended up at the side of Hemphry. The one cop was talking about calling the K9 unit and spending the next several hours out here freezing cold. I was like, What are you looking for? Then my cop said Cocaine, quantities of dope. If it's no big deal, it's no big deal. So then I caught his eye and said "if it's no big deal, it's no big deal?" and he agreed. So then I dug deep into my Spirit Stream Bush pants pocket, while saying "I can't believe I'm actually doing this. This is the first time I've ever done this. You want me to be straight with you? Fine I'll be straight with you. Here it is, this is what we have. And I pulled out the final third of a cone'r. Here. Here's what we got. That's it. The cop smiled... and said no big deal. At that moment we all started to split back to the warmth of our respective cars. I chased after my cop with some Hemp seeds, but he wouldn't take them. Then the cops all left, and we were in the quiet stillness of a Nipigon 4:20. I debated picking up the broken halves..., but then thought not. Maybe one of the cops had similar ideas, and it's pretty dry up around these parts. Thunder Bay is a great place. It's cold in the winter, but there's plenty of warm hearts to keep you toasty. Brad, a brother who I met there in May was totally hospitable, welcomed us into his home and into his life (social life, parties, room mates who were also cool, friends and fridge). Immediately, we looked for a VeeDub specialist. A man or woman who could help to heal Hemphry's internal heat situation. We got told to adjust the carburetor and close the bellows. We have a different carb than in the book, and we can't find the bellows...Dave and I tabled at Lakehead for a day, and we received a very positive response from both students and staff alike. We gave out hemp seeds, and information and did papers for donation. It turned out that our timing was good because only a few days before, 5 undercover police raided a student's dorm room, spent an hour searching it, finding only .5g which he had submitted at the beginning of the search. He was charged with possession. Other students were also targeted. Luckily none were home to open their door when the cops came a'rap tap tappin at their door. The Apollo is the place to be on a Wednesday night for their open stage. All the Outdoor Rec kids come down to rage. Along side some Townies and the local Sage. The people play the music while the people dance and sing and drink and play. So, we'll stay, but only until Thursday, but then Hemphry's muffler decided we'd stay again in Thunder Bay. Chris Colepaugh was the band that played in Apollo on Thursday. Good music and good times, and we finally split on Friday. We picked up a hitch-hiking woman and took her home, and then were on our way to Kenora to stay for the night. We drummed up a good haul and had a good time hanging with the locals. We got invited to a party and went, because it was damn cold. There turned out to be a weird night, and I didn't really get much sleep. We ended up having a good stay and met some really kind locals who tried to help us with the van. Still no we roll on to Winnipeg.

~ Johannes Chapman, Pure Hemp Caravaner 1.0

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