VANCOUVER (CP) - All the cliches of a pot protest were there: the hackey-sac games, tie-dye T-shirts and small clouds of smoke floating above the crowd of about 200 people.
What wasn't to be expected at Saturday's rally to protest the arrest of three B.C. Marijuana Party members was the support it received from visiting Americans.
Party leader Marc Emery, Michelle Rainey-Fenkarek, financial agent for the party and Greg Williams, an employee of Pot-TV, all face American charges of conspiracy to manufacture marijuana, distribute seeds and engage in money laundering.
Friday's arrests came at the request of the U.S., which wants the three extradited for trial. A conviction carries a sentence ranging from 10 years to life in prison.
Emery was arrested by RCMP on Friday in central Nova Scotia and was to spend the weekend in a Halifax-area jail before being returned to Vancouver.
Rainey-Fenkarek was released on bail Friday while Williams remained in custody in Vancouver.
Nick Frey, who was visiting from Los Angeles stumbled across the protest while walking through the "pot block," a city street that houses mostly marijuana-themed stores.
"I resent my (Drug Enforcement Administration) for infringing on Canadian policy," he said.
"It's not my problem because I don't smoke pot but people should be alarmed. People should be able to do what they want to do."
Nebraskan Scott Tanner echoed the sentiment.
"Our government has overstepped its bounds (by requesting the arrests of the Canadians)," he said. "Whatever happens on this side of the border, it's none of our business."
He said he would never expect to see such a protest in his hometown.
"In the mid-70s, they had 'Marijuana is Fun Day.' Now whatever happened to that, I don't know."
The uplifting psychedelic music blaring from the party headquarters didn't reflect the mood inside.
Signs at the entrance to the storefront, which doubles as a bookstore and sells marijuana paraphernalia, told the U.S., politely and not so politely, where to go.
A donation box was set up inside asking for help for Emery, Rainey-Fenkarek and Williams.
"All of them have been outspoken advocates for changing our marijuana policies, both domestically and throughout the world," said Kirk Tousaw, the party's campaign manager. "We believe that's why they've been targeted by the U.S. government."
Donation boxes aside, there were few indications inside the store that it had been raided less than a day earlier.
"We put these all in storage, this was in the bottom of my drawer," said Jodie Giesz-Ramsay, assistant editor of Cannabis Culture magazine, pointing to her T-shirt.
"We never thought we'd have to dig 'em out again. Today seems like a good day to do it."
The shirts feature a fist gripping a marijuana leaf and the caption Free Marc Emery.
Giesz-Ramsay said they were made last year after Emery was sentenced to three months in jail for passing a joint at a pot rally in Saskatoon.
It was his eleventh drug-related conviction but the first time he was sentenced to jail.
"This is an attack on not just a business or it's not just the drug war, it's that they want this person, who refuses to stand down to the United States," said Giesz-Ramsay.
Emery was in Lawrencetown, N.S., where he was scheduled to speak at a music festival that raises funds for the organization, Maritimers Unite for Medical Marijuana.
Officials in Seattle said Friday the three were indicted by a U.S. federal grand jury in May following an 18-month investigation by American police into the sale of marijuana seeds on the Internet and by mail.