Metrotown Medicinal Cannabis Dispensary Raided by Burnaby RCMP

CANNABIS CULTURE – Burnaby RCMP raided the Metrotown Medicinal Cannabis Dispensary today, arresting the manager and two directors, Cannabis Culture has learned.

Various trafficking charges were recommended against the three before they were released, according to their attorney Kirk Tousaw.

Directors of Burnaby’s only marijuana dispensary say their storefront location, which opened its doors on April 15, 2011 across from the Metrotown shopping complex (4927 Kingsway), has been shuttered by local cops, who confiscated all medicine and cash on the premises.

The organization received a positive response from local police and Burnaby’s Mayor upon opening, and the cause for the RCMP raid is not yet known.

Burnaby RCMP said they had “no information” when contacted by Cannabis Culture.

This raid is the fourth by RCMP in recent months at British Columbia medical marijuana dispensaries, the first at the Be Kind Medical Clinic in Chilliwack on June 22, the second at the North Island Compassion Club in Courtenay on July 15 and another at the Langley Medical Marijuana Dispensary on July 22.

Though medical marijuana dispensaries are not officially licenced by Health Canada and are technically illegal, recent court cases and acceptance by local authorities have put them in a kind of grey area. Until recently, compassion clubs have been operating successfully across Canada for over a decade with little interference from authorities.

“At a time when the courts are striking down the medical marijuana laws because sick and suffering Canadians can’t access this medicine, I’m very surprised that Burnaby RCMP would take this step.” said Tousaw, who is also executive director of the Beyond Prohibition Foundation and attorney for the Dispensary in a press release. “We will, if necessary, vigorously pursue a defence on Charter grounds and I have every reason to think it will be successful.”

Though recent statistics showing the crime rate at its lowest since 1973 in Canada, the governing Conservative party has promised to crack down on “unreported crimes”. Stats also show that arrests for possession of marijuana have jumped by 14% since last year, which has activists wondering if it’s all part of a coordinated effort by the Federal government to crack down on marijuana users.

“The Conservative government is ignoring more than a decade of court decisions, massively restricting the medical marijuana program and instructing local police to conduct raids on medical marijuana dispensaries,” said Jacob Hunter, policy director of the Beyond Prohibition Foundation. “At the same time, we’ve seen a substantial increase in arrests for simple marijuana possession, attempts to pass mandatory minimum sentences for growing even a single marijuana plant, billion dollar increases in prison spending, and all while government is looking to cut billions from it’s deficit. Why is Stephen Harper wasting taxpayer money on this ideological war against sick and dying Canadians over a plant that more Canadians want legalized than voted for Conservative candidates?”

The raids come as Health Canada has published proposed rules for governing medical marijuana in Canada, which have been widely criticized by marijuana activists. The proposed changes include eliminating personal production licences and patient identification cards, and building a system of private for-profit marijuana growers and sellers who would provide to all patients in Canada. The new rules do not mention the many marijuana dispensaries currently open across the country.

Med-pot advocacy group The Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries is currently asking patients who use marijuana as medicine to join their national campaign “to have medical cannabis dispensaries recognized as legal providers of medical cannabis” by signing an endorsement online.

More news on this issue soon…

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  1. Guitarod on

    Religion is behind this war on drugs, period.
    it is nothing more than differences in religeous ideology. While the medicinal marijuana industry is trying to help mankind, in essence doing God’s work the other ideology (Harper’s faith) are doing everything within their power to stop the spread of views that differ from theirs. They think they are doing God’s work but all they are doing is ruining many innocent peoples lives, in the name of God. Is this what God really wants: WARS to justify their very existence.
    HARPER: loosen up. go smoke a joint. it might help your music sound better. i see you like to drink beer while performing. tell me you don’t get a buzz from it. alcohol is a drug, is it not. Hypocrite.

  2. Highonfailure on

    The daemonic plague that is the American conservative belief system I coming to Canada. It wont be long before cannabis raids are the norm, police Swat teams are used for simple house arrests, and
    Private for profit prisons are a dime a dozen.

    Maufacturing and call center jobs will decline and be replaced by prison workforce being forced to work for 20cents an hour.

    We couldn’t convince the idiots here to quit voting against their beliefs, hopefully you guys can do better.

  3. Dove on

    Very well satirically put Bus Grinder!!!

  4. Bud Grinder on

    They don’t need an effective leadership for most of them to happily be sicced on marijuana users and suppliers even more so than they already are. Pot heads are easy pickings and won’t fight back. What an low-stress way to pull down around a hundred grand a year with overtime included. Lots of overtime when they have lots of court cases to testify at.

  5. Bud Greinder on

    They don’t need an effective leadership for most of them to happily be sicced on marijuana users and suppliers even more so than they already are. Pot heads are easy pickings and won’t fight back. What an low-stress way to pull down around a hundred grand a year with overtime included. Lots of overtime when they have lots of court cases to testify at.

  6. Bud Grinder on

    And if he’s just walking down the street with a joint in his pocket, not smoking anything, that’s TWO crimes. The first crime is possession and the second crime is trafficking.

  7. Anonymous on

    Did you guys really expect anything else? We knew this was coming. Where are the protests? Demonstrations? As a culture of stereotyped criminals we have to come to terms that Canada, the once so called, “Progressive Democracy” of the world is now a much more dangerous place for pot smokers then the United States.

    In all states where medicinal marijuana systems are instituted, reliable and quality services came about. Our medicial marijuana system was used primarily to block the use of marijuana as a medicine and drove the industry underground, into the ambiguity of seed shops and vape cafes. Now we have an illegal act that is considered more or less harmless by normal Canadians that do not even bother to notify police, simply because its not a big deal.

    This of course doesn’t work well when the police and the powers that be deem these individuals as criminals with all the profits of the prison system involved. We forget the Canadian government taxes corporations at a rate of 16%, the American government charges at 40%. We have become a radically right-wing country in just the last half decade.

    This isn’t even talking about the chance we are missing in Ontario. If we could elect an NDP premier in Ontario, then they would be a shoe-in for B.C. The NDP End Prohibition Foundation would then be able to directly persue an agenda in those provinces to stop municipal level enforcement of drug crimes and forces the federal government to arrest and jail these individuals.

    Do you really think the other provinces would continue to pay the bill for something Ontario and B.C. have shirked?

    The RCMP while a paramilitary organization has not had a leader for decades which has stunted the command structure and growth as well as their overall mission which in recent years has become indistinct. It is not a single organization much like a council of individual regional forces that often times operate independently of each other.

  8. Bud Grinder on

    If someone is smoking a joint and absolutely no-one sees or is aware of it other than the smoker, that’a still an unreported crime… the crime of possession of marijuana.

  9. Anonymous on

    It’s almost as if the Conservatives are playing Catch Up. They’re being told what to do by Pharma, DEA, etc. The Conservatives are slowly rolling out they’re agenda whether the public has opinions or not. I worry that all the people that signed the petition for the July 31st deadline will have no standing. They’re just doing it for procedure purpose.
    By the Conservatives actions to restrict marijuana even more, jail sentences, etc, its a clear sign that Canada is not Canada. I believe Canada and the politicians represent a Clubs consensus decision and not the public.

  10. Jon on

    If you see someone smoking a joint and you don’t call the cops, that’s an unreported crime

  11. Anonymous on

    I just have to ask: How do they know about “unreported crimes” ….if they are UNREPORTED?? Can anyone explain the logic behind this statement?

  12. NZ on

    Thanks for sharing Bus Grinder, sad times indeed.

    I see this as only temporary though, and not just in Canada. The truth surrounding marijuana is slowly unfolding thanks to determined individuals and organisations.

    The Worldwide Cannabis Community will not back down!!

    Peace and Love

  13. Bus Grinder on

    Most of you may be falling for the old “tough on drugs/crime” line but that’s just the cover story being used to sell to the public what’s really going on behind the scenes . If you can penetrate a bit deeper than what appears on the surface, you’ll see clearly, as some of us already have, what the The Harper Government does not want you to figure out… it’s true motives.

    Stephen Harper and his deluded gang of ignorant, mercenary, raptureista thugs, aka “The Harper Government” (their words, not mine), are ecstatic with their new parliamentary majority’s political power and their religious fantasies, but they aren’t so far out there in rapture-land that they haven’t been able to see that large sums of money are crossing the table in the medical marijuana business.

    Its mostly about all that money, folks. The rest is about the religious crazies’ compulsion to punish.

    Like gangsters anywhere, The Harper Government has smelled a golden opportunity to lock-up all of this lucrative marijuana business exclusively for itself and it’s cronies.

    Here’s how it will work: Once The Harper Government has enacted it’s new Health Canada regulations, its going to field even more enforcement agents with even more guns who will be focused on hunting down everyone who consumes or supplies marijuana outside of The Harper Government’s new monopoly. He has also announced that The Harper Government will spend billions of dollars to expand the Canadian prison gulag to accomodate all the new criminals its going to create with it’s new criminal legislation.

    The Harper Government will be setting up a few of it’s “good old boys” in the licensed medical marijuana business and it will employ the long arm of the law to enforce it’s marijuana monopoly at gunpoint. To finance this new pogrom, the funds generated from sales to legalized medical marijuana consumers can be used to hire more gun-toting thugs and prosecutors and to build more prisons.

    Its good for everyone… except the new criminals.

    The cops get to pursue easy, safe pot smokers instead of dangerous, armed desperados who might actually fight back and hurt them. The courts’ judges and lawyers get to process and convict an endless stream of fresh evil doers, thus justifying their own existence. They’ll feed the new convicts into the maw of The Harper Government’s newly enhanced abuse mill where the cowardly operators of the abuse mill get to have well-paid government jobs where they can happily express their barely disguised malice and sadisim with impunity while they’re warehousing all those new criminals. The Harper Government gets license fees, taxes and political contributions (aka “kickbacks”) from it’s licensed medical marijuana business partners. Oh, and it gets to punish more people.

    Everybody wins except for the citizens that The Harper Government says are criminals.

    But, heck, they’re just criminals, right ? The Harper Government says so. No-one needs to give a damn about them and their families and their loved ones, right? RIGHT?