PoPo Tweets – Police negotiations, at 140 characters or less

Tweeting with the Police

From arrested and detested by Toronto Police Service to less than a week later having his Tweet favorited by Constable Tim Burrows (responsible for @TorontoPolice Twitter account), Pixel Dreams’ social media team member Matt Mernagh is melding online marketing and social justice in a manner never experienced before.

Social Media Case Study

An Ontario Superior court ruling (R v. Mernagh) allows Mernagh to legally possess and grow his own cannabis to treat a brain tumor, scolosis, and fibromyalgia. Mernagh and his lawyer are responsible for striking down Canada’s marijuana laws (pending appeal) and eliminating the government’s medical marijuana program because its a failure. Noted marketing results; frontpage Digg, Reddit, Google News Trend for keyword Matt Mernagh, Matthew Mernagh and Mernagh, media appearances in every major news media (print, television, radio) in Canada.

Update July 3/2012

Toronto Police Service wrongly arrested Mernagh for medicating with marijuana at Yonge and Dundas Square claiming the public square was private. His charges of cannabis possession (for which he has a court ordered exemption) and trespass were promptly withdrawn the next morning by prosecutors in bail court. A rarity prisoners refer to as Walking From The Box. The takedown between police and Mernagh was webcast via Livestream on the Pot TV Network (Mernagh hosts The Mernahuana Show and Mernagh Grows Marijuana) and captured by numerous people on portable devices and video cameras. Unedited video footage appeared within hours on YouTube and a three hour time difference allowed Cannabis Culture to immediately seize the story, Toronto news agencies NOW and Newstalk1010 published reports. Mernagh sent Tweets to his Followers (8500+ reach) and updated his FaceBook status (3400 people) as the encounter unfolded.

Friday July 6/2012 Facebook Phone Call Campaign

Toronto Police Service prepare to handover Mernagh’s autographed RooR bong which has an incredible sentimental value, but not the medicine Lilac Kush. With 315 Likes and 70 comments for the status update, “is out of jail,” Mernagh turns to FaceBook to encourage his friends to politely and peacefully phone 52 Division to ask Detective in charge to return the property. Activists from across Canada call in protest.

Friday July 6/2012 Twitter Campaign

Mernagh sends a Tweet about how #Toronto Police Service have not returned (all) his property. @TorontoPolice sends a generic Tweet asking if Mernagh has been advised about how to properly obtain his property. Mernagh tweets back about the challenge of getting a bong and legal medical marijuana back. Nothing happens.

Monday July 9/2012 Twitter Campaign

Turning to Twitter again Monday morning, Mernagh attempts to contact @TorontoPolice. The Tweet is unable to be sent, so Mernagh uses Toronto hashtag. @TorontoPolice respond asking why he would say he’s been blocked. Mernagh apologizes and adds he had a further inquiry about return of his property. He receives the same canned response. Mernagh responds about the challenge of getting a bong and medical marijuana back and requests Tweeting officer to intervene. A short time later Mernagh is informed via Twitter the prosecutor has been called by the Detective on how to proceed with the return of Mernagh’s medical marijuana. Mernagh thanks @TorontoPolice for their effort and in return his Tweet about working through their differences is favorited.

Final Analysis

By staying classy online, both @TorontoPolice and @Mernahuana benefit. Mernagh demonstrates his talented communication skills and how to go about peacefully advocating marijuana legalization. He anticipates the return of the RooR, probably a cheque for his cannabis. Mernagh looks forward to enjoying a pain-less night at the movies while medicating. Something that has been more than a luxury for him throughout the years. Toronto Police Service community relations benefit immensely by demonstrating they can work with people in the community, regardless of social, political, or cultural differences.

Pixel Dreams is proud to have their social media celebrity, Matt Mernagh champion the medical cannabis cause.


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