Kamloops Compassion Club Closed as RCMP Raid Shop, Arrest Owner

Police arrest Carl Anderson, owner of the Canadian Safe Cannabis Society Tuesday morning.Police arrest Carl Anderson, owner of the Canadian Safe Cannabis Society Tuesday morning.An angry crowd hurled verbal abuse at the RCMP Tuesday as officers arrested the owner of the city’s only marijuana compassion club.

Carl Anderson was dragged away by two officers around 1:30 p.m., after he refused to move away from the door of his store at 405 Tranquille Rd. Anderson was sitting calmly on the ground with his back against the door at the time.

As Anderson sat outside, members of the Kamloops RCMP’s drug section were inside the store, boxing up marijuana and other exhibits seized as part of the court-approved raid. Officers executed search warrants at the store around 10:30 a.m.

Anderson didn’t move when told by police he must move, and did nothing to aid or resist when put under arrest for obstruction. Two Mounties pulled the six-foot six-inch man by the scruff of his jacket — his arms were handcuffed behind him — to a waiting police car, dragging him all the way. He was taken to the RCMP cells.

As police pulled Anderson away, a crowd of about 20 people — most of them customers of Anderson’s store — yelled angry profanities denouncing the RCMP’s actions. Many filmed or photographed the scene with cell phones.

A second woman was arrested a few minutes after Anderson was arrested after she tried to block an RCMP vehicle as it approached the front of the store. The crowd yelled out that the woman had been hit by the police SUV. She showed no sign of injury and walked to a police vehicle.

Approached by The Daily News shortly before his arrest, Anderson refused to comment on the situation or the RCMP’s actions.

Police seized business records, computers, and drugs. The drugs included more than three pounds of dry marijuana, marijuana oil, hash, baked goods containing marijuana product and marijuana lemonade and ice tea in pre-packaged bottles, RCMP said in a press release.

Also on the premises, police found about 50 marijuana plants growing under fluorescent lighting in a sophisticated laboratory room used to process marijuana from a vegetative state into hash and hash oil. The plants were in an early growth stage and varied in size from seedlings to approximately four inches in height.

Earlier in the day, shortly after the RCMP arrived, several customers milled around the store’s front doors and questioned what was going on.

Wesley Jenkins became agitated as he faced the prospect of seeing the outlet where he buys his medical marijuana closed, even for a short while. He is licensed by Health Canada to possess marijuana.

“It means I have to go to the street and get my weed, I don’t want to buy (it) from the underworld. I remember getting marijuana laced with crystal meth,” he said. “We need our medication.”

Gary Ham also expressed concerns about the happenings inside the store, noting he needs marijuana for a variety of ailments.

“I am with Carl on this. We are all here for Carl,” he said.

Anderson opened the doors to his compassion club earlier this year. Inside the small storefront, Anderson sold a variety of strains of marijuana for about $175 an ounce, only to those with a Health Canada permit. Anderson also tested his products on site, to ensure THC levels and organic purity.

The RCMP have consistently maintained their view Anderson’s operation violates Canada’s drug laws, noting the man has no authority to sell drugs to others, despite his seemingly good intentions.

Supt. Yves Lacasse said police had little choice but to raid the shop, as Anderson openly did business in the centre of the North Shore’s business district.

“It was a gathering of intelligence over a period of time. We knew at some point actions would be taken,” he said. “We do believe what he is doing is wrong, is criminal, is trafficking drugs.”

Lacasse said the investigators will review the materials and exhibits seized Tuesday. Charges of possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking are pending against the owner.

“What we saw was a business operation. Maybe Carl was just trying to make a point. He might have been trying to push the issue and fight a cause. If that is what he is trying to do, he is going about it the wrong way.”

Lacasse said he has sympathy for those who have a medical permit to use marijuana, but urged them to find legal sources of the drug.

“I am sympathetic, some of these people do need this to live without pain,” he said. “We understand that here. But I think Carl is trying to use this as an avenue to advance his cause.”

Bob Hughes, the executive director of the nearby Ask Wellness Centre, said many of his centre’s clients were customers at the compassion club. He felt it provided necessary service.

“You have physicians who prescribe this, it is a given. It should be accepted that people use this for medical purposes. If the medical community endorses it, what’s the problem?” he said.

Hughes said the fact this afternoon’s search and arrest turned nasty is “a testament to the great divide between the laws of cannabis and the reality of it.”

“The whole concept of people being able to access pure medical grade marijuana . . . is something that should be endorsed.”

Meanwhile, Rod Harris, one of the shop’s regular customers, wonders where he will get his drugs now that Anderson’s shop is closed.

“I have nowhere to buy my medicine from,” he said. “It would be nice to have a (local) place to buy it.”

Anderson remained in police custody late in the day Tuesday. Staff Sgt. Grant Learned said police intended to release Anderson but it was unclear whether he would agree to conditions.

– Article from The Kamloops Daily News.

Comments

6 Comments

  1. Anonymous on

    I leave this comment anonymously, as I fear for my safety from arrest for expressing my views on this subject. I normally wouldn’t fear the police, but if they’re willing to make cancer patients suffer and deny them legitimate medicine, who is to say what sort of insanity they would pursue in the prosecution of anyone who disagrees with what they do?

    If this man was peddling to kids or people with no legal reason to be using cannabis then bravo, that is enforcing the law. Denying cancer patients thier basic human rights like safe and secure access to medicine that alleviates thier pain and suffering is so far beyond cruel and inhumane barbarism that I can’t think of a word that describes the monstrosity of this act. Shame on you RCMP, shame for not standing up for the ideals of justice and the spirit of the law, but to follow the letter instead. You’re an example to us all and you should put aside the words on paper and enforce the spirit in which they were written. Denying medicine to those who need it and have been legally told they can have it is… Unbelievable.

    I hope that those of you who understand what I’m talking about make a stand. Refuse to cave to the orders of your superiors. Stand up for justice, it obviously needs your help. For evil to thrive a good man has but to do nothing.

  2. Karey on

    By having toured a concentration camp, do you mean that you were there to liberate the camps along side my grandfather, or that as a tourist, you walked around in one? If that is the case, you are no closer to being an expert from your experience than I am through my studying. But I maintain my opinion that there is no comparison between Canada today and nazi Germany. Thank God. I do believe that medical use marijuana should be available to those with a prescription at the pharmacy just like other drugs. And I believe that people who fail to defend their position rationally hurt their causes instead of further them. That was my point before- my poor uneducated point.

  3. Anonymous on

    As a person who HAS toured a concentration camp in POLAND – you know not what you talk about “NAZI PIGS tools of the Government” is right – get off the History Channel, the bullshit history books and stop watching old reruns of Hogans Heros. The jews were used for medical experiments against their will testing all kinds of NEW pharmacueticals – sound familiar yet – the same type of pharamcueticals our government prefers us to use – NOT WHAT WE FIND WORKS FOR US. I could go on with the similarities but The Drug Companies own us all and the Government just creates laws that scratch thier backs and pocket books

  4. Karey on

    Nazi’s?! Really???
    While I personally do not smoke pot for either recreational or medicinal purposes, I can understand that having this store closed could be very frustrating for someone who needs it for pain control or appitite stimulation- however, I find the comparison to Nazi’s very offensive. Perhaps some studying of world war 2 history is in order before you make statements like that. It makes your cause seem to be supported by irrational people (or person) and makes your point far less likely to gain the support of people seeing the issue from the outside. If you want to be taken seriously- act like a serious person.

  5. Anonymous on

    Sophisticated lab … under florescent fixture.

    What a crock of shit. The media is a tool of police propaganda.

  6. Anonymous on

    This just shows that the RCMP dont give a shit about anyone, when the get away with murder time after time. all I can sy is FUCKING NAZI PIGS!!!!!