Toronto Compassion Club Raid Raises Questions

As the smoke clears from the aggressive police raid on Toronto’s C.A.L.M. Compassion Club, some important questions remain unanswered.

The most pressing question, of course, is why did police decide to raid one of the largest dispensaries in Canada after 14 years of operation with few problems or complains?

C.A.L.M.’s hard-working lawyer, Ron Marzel, sent me this analysis of the video footage of the raid, which raises more questions:

Based on my review of the footage it seems fairly obvious that the use of force in the 51 Division raid was completely planned and pre-meditated.

In particular the Officers planned to forcefully take down the doorman and likely also the patient they planned to follow inside.

For convenience, I’ll make reference in my comments to the 3 minute and 30 second compilation of the CALM raid (called CALM edit) at http://www.youtube.com/user/calmtoronto (video below). Although you can also see the same timing issues in reviewing the raw footage too. It also helps to see some of the sequence in slow-motion which you can do by intermittently clicking pause/play while simultaneously keeping an eye on the second counter to see how little time goes by during key sequences.

The police plan was simple:
1) use the element of suprise,
2) follow a patient in,
3) have the first officer distract the doorman with fake medical ID, while
4) a second officer flanks the doorman, so that
5) both officers can quickly and forcefully bring the doorman down.

Suprise, Distract, Obtain the Tactical Advantage and Ambush Forcefully. That was their plan.

Watch the video. The first person to walk up to the door is a legitimate medical patient (“CannaPatient1”) who has a legitimate CALM issued medical ID card.

As soon as he gets to the door though, the short Asian undercover officer in the khaki pants and maroon hoodie (“AgentAsianGuy”) pulls up behind him.

His intention is to slip in with Cannapatient1, distract the Doorman with his fake medical ID long enough for his partner behind him (dude with the ripped jeans and baseball cap in reverse aka “AgentRippedJeans”) to assist in taking down the doorman. If you slow the footage down (click pause/play multiple times) you can clearly tell that AgentAsianGuy and AgentRipped Jeans begin taking Doorman down immediately – within a second after AgentAsianGuy has gotten inside and just as Agent RippedJeans is almost fully through the doorway – precisely when they are both flanking doorman from different sides (see seconds 1:31 to 1:32 and 0:51 to 0:53). Doorman was never even given a chance at peacefully letting the officers in. He was targeted for a take-down from the outset.

This footage is conclusive evidence that before the raid began the officers had planned to suprise, distract and forcefully ambush their way in to CALM rather than simply knocking on the door and showing their warrant.

What I find even more shocking is that they did this knowing full well that CALM services the seriously ill and disabled – even while a wheelchair-bound patient was inside the premises (note the empty wheelchair outside before the raid begins).

What’s also telling is the sequence of officers going in.

The plan to have AgentAsianGuy and AgentRippedJeans take down Doorman was staged so that the Officer in charge, Detective Browns, could be the first one fully into CALM, followed and backed up by AgentAsianGuy who (having effectively tackled Doorman outside to his several colleagues) is now free to get back up and follow and back-up Det. Browns.

But before this happens watch closely as Detective Browns rushes in – he also unnecessarily and forcefully throws down CannaPatient1! Unbelievable!! Did he not know there was a desk by the doorway necessitating tackling Cannapatient1 to expand the bottleneck?!??

Can’t wait to get this footage before a judge.

Another important question, long unanswered: what exactly is the legal status of dispensaries in Canada? Selling cannabis, for medical use or otherwise, is against the law for Canadians. But due to the lack of a quality supply from Health Canada and a working model to supply sick people with their medicine, authorities have been looking the other way – until now.

More questions are raised when one considers that CALM owner Neev Tapiero was planning to start a large-scale commercial growing operation in Port Hope that has Mayor Linda Thompson throwing a shit-fit. Does this fit into the CALM puzzle some where?

The raid comes at a time when the marijuana legalization issue is heating up again in Canada, with Stephen Harper being forced to answer a few questions from Canadians about pot, and activist Marc Emery making national news with support from government officials from every party including the Conservatives. Is it possible ol’ Steve is launching a Canadian medical marijuana crack-down in response?

Still no answers from authorities, despite daily phone calls to Toronto Police, but I’ll keep you posted.

Jeremiah Vandermeer
Jeremiah Vandermeer

Jeremiah Vandermeer is Cannabis Culture Chief of Operations and Editor of Cannabis Culture Magazine & Pot TV.

Comments

17 Comments

  1. PJ on

    I am a disabled Canadian with a license for Medical Marijuana and have had a doctor’s prescription for 4 years.

    Due to the police raids in Montreal Thursday I cannot buy my medicine today. I have none. Medical marijuana is MY ONLY PRESCRIBED MEDICATION.

    I would get my medicine from a “Designated Grower”, but it has been SIX MONTHS since my application was sent to Health Canada.

    Now I am sick, in pain, and cannot get my medicine – ANYWHERE >> EXCEPT FROM “CRIMINALS” ON THE STREET!

    This is very, very wrong. WE HAVE TO PROMOTE CHANGE! I AM STARTING THE UN-COMMON SENSE EVOLUTION!

    PROTEST RALLY ON PARLIAMENT HILL!! 12:00 NOON on Monday, June 7, 2010

  2. cosplay costumes on

    It needs to be solved!

  3. Anonymous on

    Being a cop is very boring. Beating people up is how they break up the monotony of writing tickets. Real criminals are usually smart enough that the cops never even cross their paths, so they have to take the easy targets instead. You don’t get a much easier target than a compassion club. You know there’s going to be Cannabis in there and you know there will be little resistance to a gang of lowlifes barging in and assaulting and robbing them. Apparently, CALM’s name got drawn out of the Chief’s hat that week and the old folks home was safe.

  4. Anonymouse on

    I forgot to mention…. this was for a FIRST OFFENSE!

  5. Anonymouse on

    What are you all whining about? Back in my day (the ’60s) the cops, four or more at a time, would plant weed on you, strip you naked and beat the shit out of you for a half-hour, lie their asses off in court and the judges would give significant time (six months – two years) for a simple posession charge of a few ounces. That’s in Toronto, the SAME Toronto police force, and its a true story. It all happened to ME!

    People today, as a a rule unless they’ve “been there done that” themselves, find this unbelievable but if called upon I could gather together a half-dozen guys I know who can tell you similar stories of what went on in Toronto in those days – and pass a lie detector test on it.

  6. Kristen on

    In Britain the cops are educated. They go to University and are really more like social scientists than thugs with guns. Come on Canada, we should be doing a much better job.

  7. pipess on

    POL-COA defence ccdlr.net

  8. Anonymous on

    RIGHT HERE PAL,

    RIGHT HERE.

    I grew up constantly thinking about policework – the REAL kind, not these stupid thought police that we have now. When we are children, that line of work is glorified to us with images of bravery and heroic deeds. None of it is true. As soon as becoming a police officer is respectable again, I’ll be willing to wear the badge, and I’ll show you exactly what I want police officers to be – calm, collected, willing to use discretion, capable of kicking ass and/or taking names but not bent on it.

    But I won’t be one of those ‘good cops’ any time soon; in case you haven’t noticed, they don’t get a lot of opportunity to do much good, unless they’re anonymous and on the internet. -_-;
    Even “good cops” put up with the bad ones. They seldom fight back against them, as the shittiest ones tend to rise through the ranks while nice ones are used as “face” cops on the street to trick us into thinking they are generally nice or even normal people. NEWS FLASH.

    THEY’RE NOT! And until they are, I’m not going to give my friends/family/neighbors any good reasons not to trust me, to lie to me, disown me, or attack me

  9. Ronz on

    I heard that tomorrow the police are going to the Children’s Hospital to slap around some sick kids. Then they are going up to the cancer ward and taking all the morphine away.

  10. Anonymous on

    Not all cops are bad..I’ve had dealt and know couple of very respectable cops that are just trying to do their jobs as fair as they can. I support those kind of cops. But this whole bullshit taking down C.A.L.M. c’mon. This isn’t much different from the Polish person incident in Vancouver Airport or the many noticed law suites to RCMP officers everywhere in Canada. We need new kind of breed of officers. Alot of the people wanting to become police officers have the wrong reason of joining the force. “Oh I want to have a gun, and wanna bust some motherfuckers.” Or the simple degenerates that managed to keep clean record till 18, to fucking stupid to contribute to society, so they don’t want to hold a job anywhere, so PD or the Canadian Forces are the only “fun” options. Government has realllly fucked this up.

  11. Anonymous on

    Showing their quick response to crime, Toronto police cracked down on a compassion club after only 14 years. The case file finally came across the Chief’s desk after Granny Jones complained 13 years ago. Then they all got on the case so fast that they didn’t even have time to put their uniforms on. They got the call at Tim Horton’s and immediately all walked casually down the street and kicked some sick folk ass at the ol’ town Cannabis dispensary. Nobody’s gonna make medicine available in this town for 14 years, not on Chief William Blair’s watch.

  12. Brian Kerr on

    Mommy why did you slap that poor sick man in the face ?

    Daddy why did you put that sick man on the floor. ?

    Would you do that to me someday ?

    ==========================================================

    What? I don’t see any Mr. Anonymous (cops) making any comments. What? Not supporting you brothers and sisters ?

    ==========================================

    If you are in Toronto on Sunday April 11. Be at 40 College St. at 1:00 pm.
    Bring your outrage and bring a sign.

  13. Found Terrorist In Toronto on

    This video shows crime after crime taking place on behalf of OUR VERY OWN TORONTO’S FINEST. IS THIS PROTECTING AND SERVING? Why has that officer that BITCHSLAPPED MY SON ARRESTED!!!!!!! Assault is a VIOLENT Crime…..Why are there VILOENT CRIMINALS Protecting and serving? Why is there no search warrant at door? Why throw and slam random people to the ground?

    This is POLICE IGNORANCE and CORRUPTION and its FINEST. Canadian Citizens should NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES( rational or not) be EXPECTED to the point it becomes a “DUTY” to “OBEY” Corrupt Laws. IF THE POLICE LIKE THE LAWS, GOOD YOU OBEY THEM CAUSE US CITIZENS ARE FED UP WITH POLICE CORRUPTION AND VIOLENCE!

    I FOUND THE TERRORIST IN TORONTO!!!!!!!
    SPENDING VALUABLE TAX DOLLARS, JUST TO COMMIT MORE CRIME.
    IS THAT TERRORISM OR POLICE POLICY?

  14. SupportingCorruptLaws on

    Bitchslapping is a 100% safe, technical tactic, that all police agency use to corrupt laws a little further in order to ensure the safety and dependency of there employment. As we can tell its ALWAYS LEGAL TO SHOW MEDICAL MARIJUANA ID INSTEAD OF SEARCH WARRANT TO GAIN ENTRANCE ONTO PRIVATE COMMERCIAL PROPERTY.

    OR Wait….

    They are all just fed up sick police men needing their medicine too right? I mean cant we all tell they look like the typical dope phen looking for the next fix. Right. DO POLICE EXPECT CITIZEN TO OBEY CORRUPT LAWS THE POLICE CAN NOT FOLLOW THEM SELVES. JUSTICE IS FUCKED! ALWAYS HAS BEEN ALWAYS WILL BE.

  15. Anonymous on

    What a bunch of goons. I bet afterward they laughed about it while quaffing ethanol to get a cheap high, like the cavemen they are. Who’s training these clowns, Stephen Harper? They looked like they were after a terrorist squad. Very brave of those 20 guys to take on a few stoners like that. I guess they didn’t want to take any chances so they made everybody, including the Sarge, stop playing poker for a while and join in on the big tactical assault on the deadly stoner cell. Colonel Hochstedder gave special instructions to assault anyone they encountered, and not to bother asking questions first. If it’s the janitor, oh well, he’ll be alright in a month or two, bones heal. Just get in there and get bludgeoning some citizens, preferably disabled ones, that’s what you’re paid for. Then he said “meeting adjourned, heil Hitler”, and drank some schnapps. That had gone well, he thought to himself. Man, I love this job (him thinking).

  16. happy stoner on

    i think everyone of those so called police officers should lose there jobs…i think fucking cops take to much power,,i think its about time we tried to stop this shit,,fucking cops can all rot in fuckin hell