Grenade-Shaped Marijuana Grinder Closes Airport


Photo: Dan MacLennan/Postmedia News
RCMP Const. Alexa Blacklock with the replica grenade, which is actually a cannabis grinder

​​A marijuana grinder made to look like a real hand grenade caused the closure of an entire airport on Vancouver Island Wednesday morning.

The replica grenade, used to grind cannabis for vaporization or smoking, was found inside a passenger’s checked luggage at Campbell River Airport, reports Paul Rudan at the Campbell River Mirror.
“This just shows how a lapse in judgment can have tremendous consequences,” said Royal Canadian Mounted Police Constable Alexa Blacklock. “The airport was closed for almost four hours, inconveniencing over 40 travelers and personnel getting to connecting flights and destinations.”
“It forced an enormous unnecessary use of resources, including specialized units, fire, police, and security staff,” Blacklock said.
Two men were held and questioned by police. Both were released later than day with no charges expected.

Photo: CTV News
A replica hand grenade found inside a passenger’s checked luggage triggered the evacuation of Campbell River Airport on October 13, 2010.

​The airport, in Canada’s British Columbia province, was shut down about 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday, after the metal replica grenade was located in a checked bag.
The RCMP’s explosive disposal unit was called to the scene, and had completed its investigation of the grenade-shaped pot grinder by around 9:30 a.m. Airport operations resumed about an hour later.
There was a length line-up to get through security when they noticed a green duffel bag going back and forth through the security x-ray scanner, according to Lois McNestry and her daughter, Krista Livingston-Clark of Campbell River, who were at the airport shortly after 6 a.m. to catch a flight to Vancouver.
Then, around 6:20 a.m., one of the security guards left, made a cell phone call, and told everyone there would be a roll call for Central Mountain Air and Pacific Coastal Airlines passengers.
“They called out for one guy and then the police stepped forward and handcuffed him,” Livingston-Clark said. “He was wearing a black jacket and black ball hat, and he looked like a normal guy.”

Photo: Dan MacLennan/Postmedia News
Airport staff, flight crews and passengers returned to the Campbell River Airport terminal building on Wednesday after receiving the “all clear” from RCMP officers. They had been evacuated to the nearby fire department building when an apparent hand grenade, later found to be a marijuana grinder, was discovered in checked luggage.

​Moments later, the passengers were ordered to clear out of the terminal and to go to the back parking lot.
“We heard something about the potential for shattering glass,” Livingston-Clark said. “They chose their words carefully, but they talked about a threat and later we were told the bomb squad was coming in.”
The frightened passengers left the terminal and briskly walked to the back of the parking lot as instructed. A little later, a city buss arrived to take the passengers to the airport fire hall.
McNestry and Livingston-Clark said they were pleased with the airport’s security measures.
“They just kept re-looking at the green duffel bag… People complain about security, but I think it’s awesome,” Livingston-Clark said.
Police also seemed pleased with themselves.
“Security personnel at the airport did an excellent job in identifying the suspicious item and acted appropriately and timely to ensure public safety,” self-congratulated Const. Blacklock.