phil mocek05.jpg
With Gov. Chris Gregoire's irrational neutering of medical-marijuana reform bill SB 5073, pot activists have every right to be mad. In fact, a group of

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Medical-Marijuana Activists Arrested by Federal Agents in Seattle (VIDEO)

phil mocek05.jpg
With Gov. Chris Gregoire's irrational neutering of medical-marijuana reform bill SB 5073, pot activists have every right to be mad. In fact, a group of them were in Seattle yesterday shouting through megaphones about just how pissed they were. Among them was Phil Mocek--a man whose love for marijuana rights is dwarfed only by his hate of TSA agents. Also among them were several Paragon Security guards who apparently still think it's a crime to take photos of a federal building (news flash: it's not).

At any rate, the relationship between these two parties quickly degraded and Mocek, along with another activist who hasn't been named, soon found themselves wearing a new pair of silver bracelets.

Steve Elliott reports at Toke of the Town:

Medical cannabis activists had staged a protest at the federal building in downtown Seattle Monday afternoon. Private security guards indicated that it was a crime to take photographs near the federal building. Phil Mocek, a board member with the Cannabis Defense Coalition, asked for clarification of the policy, and was arrested by federal building security guards, who contacted Homeland Security agents for backup.

Eventually Mocek and the other activist were handed over to agents with the federal Department of Homeland Security who charged them with disobeying posted signs.

Apparently Mocek and Co. had been attempting to deliver a "cease and desist order" to the U.S. Department of Justice and Drug Enforcement Administration over the recent raids of cannabis dispensaries in Washington State. It's a common--though purely symbolic--protest tactic that, it would seem, hardly qualifies as "obstructing justice."

But that's what they're calling it.

UPDATE: Phil Mocek just called in. He says that he had been asking a security guard about the photography policy when he was told that taking any photos of the building's security features is prohibited. Mocek says he told the security guard that that rule was absurd as anyone who takes a photo of the building is likely to get part of the security features in the frame and that he, in fact, had probably taken such photos already.

"You shouldn't have told me that" is what Mocek says the security guard told him, then proceeded to grab a hold of him and eventually push him to the ground and handcuff him.

In the tussle Mocek says he had a digital voice recorder that he handed to a friend of his. The recorder eventually ended up in the hands of Cannabis Defense Coalition member Greg West, who was tackled and arrested on the street shortly after.

Mocek was apparently detained for about an hour inside the federal building, then released with a citation for "conformity with officers and other authorized individuals."

He says he feel the security guards were misusing their power.

"These people are private contractors, they're not police officers," he says. "They detained me, they tackled Greg in the middle of the street. It seems like a significant abuse of their power. "

Here's video of Mocek's arrest taken by protestors.

 
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