Last month, for the first time in Vancouver’s history, police raided a medical marijuana dispensary within the city limits. During the raid, for reasons unknown, members of the VPD drug squad destroyed some expensive property.
When cops came busting through the door at iMedikate’s Renfrew St. location and arrested the 60-year-old manager, they didn’t ask her to open the non-profit group’s large, $2000 safe or the door to the office upstairs.
Though police confiscated the manager’s keys, they decided to kick down the locked office door and completely destroy the dispensary’s safe.
The manager told me she would have been happy to open the safe if police would have asked, but said they didn’t mention it at all.
Once the safe was open, police seized all the medicine inside, including buds, hash, and edibles.
I forwarded the picture of the obliterated safe (right) to Constable Lindsey Houghton of the VPD and asked him “why officers destroyed this expensive piece of property (that belongs to a non-profit organization) and also kicked in an office door upstairs instead of just asking the manger or other staff member to open them.”
Though I’d already interviewed Houghton at length for an article about the raid, he now told me he couldn’t explain things any further.
“As I mentioned last week,” Houghton wrote in an email to me, “as this is an ongoing investigation it would be improper of us to speak to specific details of the investigation. If someone has a concern or complaint regarding the service of the warrant or the actions of the officers during the service of the warrant we would encourage them to contact the Vancouver Police Department’s Professional Standards Section, the Office of the Police Complaints Commission, or any of the independent agencies that can assist with the complaint process.
I encourage readers to forward their concerns and complaints about the VPD’s needless destruction of private property in this case. Here’s the contact info:
Vancouver Police Department’s Professional Standards Section
Office of the Police Complaints Commission (in Victoria)
call: 250-356-7458 or 1-877-999-8707
iMedikate’s Renfrew location is still closed and picking up the pieces from the raid.
The move was the VPD’s first raid on a med-pot dispensary since the clubs began opening 15 years ago. No charges have been laid yet, but the cops say they are still conducting their investigation.
I guess we will find out soon enough if this is an isolated incident due “to complaints”, as the cops say, or if there are more raids in store on med-pot dispensaries in the City of Vancouver.