Toronto Police at 51 Division Should Stop Raiding Medicine Providers Over ‘Complaints’

C.A.L.M., one of Toronto’s oldest compassion clubs, was raided again yesterday for the second time in five months because of neighborhood complaints about smoke – at least, that’s what the cops are saying.

C.A.L.M.’s owner Neev Tapiero’s will have a bail hearing this afternoon at Old City Hall in Toronto – 60 Queen Street West, Court Room 102.

Ron Marzel, attorney for C.A.L.M., says he is working in an attempt to stop police from continuing their brazen raids on medical marijuana clubs.

He described his plan in a message he posted on my Facebook Wall today:

I am going to try to get his matter moved to be heard before a Judge (as opposed to a Justice of the Peace) so that I can obtain some measure of condemnation from the Court concerning this raid. I want to deter Toronto Police from further raids on Compassion Clubs. Toronto Police are not living up to their “serve and protect” slogan when they remain complicit with Health Canada’s dysfunctional medical marijuana program.

Health Canada’s program has been regularly and consistently condemned and criticized at every court level in Canada over the last ten years. The government’s disingenuous discussions over the last 2 months with stakeholders coupled with their continued inability and refusal to fix the dysfunctions inherent in their program is intolerable.

Without compassion clubs seriously ill Canadians would be unnecessarily suffering without access to medical cannabis. What kind of democracy allows this to happen? Is this a Canadian value: Not only are we going to restrict you from accessing your medication; but we are going to perpetually attack, arrest and detain anyone who attempts to supply you your medicine.

Canada WAKE UP! The status quo cannot and must not be allowed to continue! Call your MP and voice your outrage today!

I called Toronto’s 51 Division yesterday and today and left several messages for Detective Jim Brons, the guy in charge of both raids, but he refused to call me back. Just now, I called the front desk at 51 Division again asking for a comment. The officer on the phone said, “hold on a sec,” and I heard him ask someone in the room for a comment.

“No comment.” The voice said.

In some mainstream coverage of the C.A.L.M raid posted online yesterday after CC’s initial piece on the raid, Brons confirmed the actions against the medical pot club and its owner and claimed the raid took place simply because of community complains about pot smoke.

When asked by a Globe and Mail journalist if he knew of raids on any other pot clubs in the city, he said, “I don’t think they’ve actually received any complaints.”

Though it is true that medical marijuana dispensaries are actually still illegal in Canada, police have, for the most part (but with some recent exceptions), looked the other way.

I would love to ask Detective Brons why the police felt the need to raid and arrest the medicine provider instead of simply stopping by the place to discuss the situation and find out if the complaint was true. Was it really necessary to send in a seven-man squad, arrest the whole staff, and shut the place down – twice – over a couple complaints?

Since Brons won’t talk to the media (or the pot media, at least) I implore CC readers to call and ask Detective Brons your own questions about the raid. Here’s his work number: 416-808-5162. If you get his machine, leave him a message or call the 51 Division front desk: 416-808-5100.

Tell him (politely) that you think police raids on suffering people and their medicine providers are wrong, and ask him how his department can justify violent police action against non-violent citizens over a simple smell complaint.

Jeremiah Vandermeer
Jeremiah Vandermeer

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