At around 1pm Thursday, May 27, the West Shore RCMP executed a warrant at the Vancouver Island Therapeutic Cannabis Research Institute (VITCRI), a medicinal cannabis research and cultivation facility. VITCRI was a lab-style production and research facility designed to ensure a safe and standardized source of organic medicine for the 390 members of the Vancouver Island Compassion Society, a long-standing Victoria non-profit compassion society.
“This is devastating,” stated Philippe Lucas, founder and Director of the VICS. “With Health Canada bumbling the production and distribution of cannabis, we’ve strived to ensure the safety and quality of the VICS product by testing it for cannabinoids, heavy metals, and biological impurities; with the execution of a single warrant all of our members have been thrown back into the vagaries and uncertainties of the black market.”
In a previous case involving the VICS, Lucas received an absolutely discharge and praise from the judge, who stated “Mr. Lucas enhanced other peoples lives at minimal or no risk to society… he provided that which the Government was unable to provide a safe and high quality supply of marijuana to those needing it for medicinal purposes.”
As a result of this police action against the VITCRI, that “safe and high quality supply” is no longer, and 2 men face serious charges for helping over 390 critically and chronically ill medicinal users.
Since 90% of Canadians support the medical use of cannabis, and with Health Canada clearly unable to meet it’s commitments to Canada’s medicinal users, why are taxpayer money, and police and court resources still wasted on the arrest and prosecution of medicinal cannabis users and producers?