Garden Route Cannabis Festival organizer Leon Meyer endured two terrifying nights in a crowded Knysna police cell after being arrested for dealing in cannabis. He was detained at his Plettenberg Bay home on 25 July 2021 after the marijuana samples he sent to judges for the Garden Route Cannabis Cup were intercepted by police.
Arrested for weed, thrown in cell with knife-wielding mandrax-smokers!
Meyer was denied the right to make a phone call at either the Plettenberg Bay or Knysna police stations and he was threatened with a knife by one of the 12 other inmates in the holding cell. He said police ignored his pleas for them to search the cell and confiscate the knife. He said Tik and Mandrax were openly being smoked by the “hardened criminals’ around him and that his socks were stolen.
Meyer was interviewed after his ordeal by Insiders Eco Tour. See the full You Tube clip here!
He was released on 27 July 2021 without charges being laid against him and continued his work organizing the festival (see story here).
Meyer said that there were 22 entries for this year’s Cannabis Cup, and he packed 1 gram packets of dry flower for each of the six judges. He sent them off via a Knysna courier company that became suspicious and alerted the police.
“On the morning of the 25th I heard the noise of four vans coming over the hill; three police vans and a security company. When I saw them, I knew they wanted to speak to me”.
The 7 cops were polite and professional, said Meyer. “I played open book with them, telling them exactly what I was doing; it’s not hard to see what I am doing for the cannabis community here”.
Meyer released without charge; apologized to courier company
Meyer said that when he was taken to the Plettenberg Bay police station, attitudes changed: “There was a female police officer who told me that I’m a criminal, just like the rest of them, and that I will spend the night in jail”. He was then taken to Knysna and put in the holding cells for two days before being released.
Meyer afterwards apologized to the courier company for the inconvenience caused and appealed to the cannabis community not to use courier companies until such time as the law was changed.
“All this could have been avoided if the law was clear” said Meyer. “I don’t resent the police; we’re trying to educate everybody about cannabis, ncluding the police. There’s always an open invitation for them to come and learn about cannabis, especially how it can reduce dependence on hard drugs; never mind the economic benefits it can bring to small, poorer communities. I think everything happens for a reason though, and I hope something positive will come out of this”