The owner of a Kamloops compassion club raided by the RCMP promises he will keep selling marijuana to those with medical need — part of a fight for the “rights of the sick and dying.”
Carl Anderson left the Kamloops RCMP detachment early Wednesday in the company of his wife and nine-month-old son. He had been arrested for obstruction Tuesday after members of the city’s drug squad executed search warrants at his Tranquille Road storefront.
The man could have left custody the day before, said Staff Sgt. Grant Learned, but he refused to leave the jail cell. Around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, Anderson was carried out of the detachment by officers and put on the sidewalk.
Anderson told The Daily News after he was removed the first time, he returned to the detachment’s lobby to call 911 and register a complaint about the treatment he experienced. He said he was choked to unconsciousness and carried to the sidewalk a second time.
One more time he returned to the lobby, where he took a seat and waited quietly. Around 9:15 a.m., Anderson told The Daily News he would stay “as long as it takes.” He sat there quietly, wearing the clothes he was arrested in the day before, as his wife, holding their infant, urged him to reconsider.
Kamloops Supt. Yves Lacasse also visited Anderson in the lobby a few minutes later.
Lacasse later said he urged Anderson to reconsider his plans to use the RCMP detachment as a base for his protest, informing him such an approach would not be tolerated.
“I told Carl that he, like any other citizen, is entitled to voice his opinion on different matters but it has to be done outside the building,” he said.
“I asked him what he was trying to achieve, and he was not quite able to articulate that. I told him to think about what he was trying to achieve and develop a strategy to fight for his cause.
“I told him he was going about it in entirely the wrong way.”
It’s unclear whether it was his wife’s pleas or Lacasse’s suggestions that convinced Anderson to leave the RCMP lobby, but he was gone by 10 a.m.
Lacasse said he does not believe Anderson was “choked unconscious.”
“He was physically removed but I am told it was with a minimum amount of force,” Lacasse said.
Anderson maintained his claim he was physically assaulted and harassed through his stay in the RCMP jail cells.
“They were banging on the (cell) door every five minutes to wake me up, coming in and poking me, laughing and having a big ha-ha. All night, nonstop. And when they realized it was not going to work, they got violent.
“They came in as a gang and they grabbed me. They grabbed me by the neck and choked me unconscious, and dumped me on the sidewalk,” he said. “They are the ones acting like criminals.”
Anderson’s store was open for business Wednesday although he was not present. Those inside did not want to speak with the media.
Anderson told The Daily News he will continue his efforts to have marijuana made easily available to those with a medical need.
He said judges in other provinces have ruled that the medical marijuana program as it is being implemented now violates citizens’ constitutional rights.
“Everybody knows this is the right thing. I can’t think of anybody who thinks what I am doing is wrong.”
Anderson is also a medical marijuana user. A lawsuit filed by Anderson following a different RCMP raid at his house more than two years ago indicates he is allowed by Health Canada to grow and possess marijuana because of a medical condition he suffered after a car accident.
He is allowed by his permit to grow 49 plants for his own use.
– Article originally from Kamloops Daily News.