Langley City’s council race just got more interesting with candidate Randy Caine being charged with possession of marijuana for the purposes of trafficking.
Caine, 57, owns the Langley Medical Marijuana Dispensary.
Advocates for the downtown facility that sells pot to people with Health Canada authorizations to use medical marijuana presented a petition at Monday night’s City council meeting calling for a pilot dispensary project.
On Tuesday, Caine was contacted by Sgt. Jason Wilde about the charge and asked to meet at a coffee shop where he was given the arrest warrant and a promise to appear.
“That’s interesting timing,” Caine told the Langley Advance.
He is scheduled to appear in court Dec. 2 in Surrey charged with possession exceeding three kilograms for the purpose of trafficking.
On July 19, the RCMP raided the dispensary on Fraser Highway, seizing more than eight pounds of marijuana, and marijuana products including cookies and candy. The police also did raids on dispensaries and compassion clubs in Burnaby, Courtenay and Chilliwack
“These sorts of dispensaries are illegal and, despite what some may profess, have not been supported by the courts,” said Langley RCMP Supt. Derek Cooke. “Marihuana is a very carefully regulated drug and the law does not allow for an individual to determine whom he or she believes should be able to buy it. People with a legitimate medical need can be licenced to use marihuana. They can then grow their own, or easily purchase the drug from the government’s licenced medical supplier and have it conveniently delivered to their door.”
Cooke said the police maintain that many of the dispensary customers were not licensed by Health Canada and he questions the source of the marijuana.
“There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the drugs being sold at the dispensary came from illegal marihuana grow operations, and anyone who has been impacted by such an operation knows what a blight they have been on our community,” Cooke said.
Caine said he was told that if the dispensary provides any marijuana, he will be arrested and views the charge as an “attempt to intimidate or scare me off.”
“I don’t really believe it’s going to go to court,” he said.
While angry about the timing of the legal move, Caine said this could end up galvinizing many City residents who have given in to voter apathy in the past and could have a significant impact on the current council’s chances of getting re-elected.
Top cop says Langley marijuana dispensary bought from illegal grow ops
By Dan Ferguson, Langley Times
An RCMP claim that the Langley medical marijuana dispensary obtained product from illegal pot growing operations has drawn a strongly-worded denial from the owner.
The charge was made in a written statement issued Tuesday (Oct. 26) by Superintendent Derek Cooke, the officer in charge of the Langley RCMP detachment.
“There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the drugs being sold at the dispensary came from illegal marijuana grow operations, and anyone who has been impacted by such an operation knows what a blight they have been on our community,” Cooke said.
The statement went on to refer to the “black market drug trade” without quoting Cooke directly.
Dispensary operator Randy Caine denies any involvement with the big grow ops that supply drug traffickers.
“That’s a bold-faced lie,” Caine said.
“I find this really insulting.”
The dispensary, Caine said, only bought from small “mom and pop” growers who signed exclusive contracts promising they would only grow for the dispensary.
The Superintendent is well aware of that, Caine said.
“I spent an hour and 45 minutes with Derek Cooke a year ago last August and I showed him all the paperwork.”
A copy of the contract provided to the Times shows the dispensary was paying growers $1800 a pound, an amount Caine says is well below black market rates.
On Tuesday, Caine, who is running for a seat on Langley City council, was charged with possession of a controlled substance in an amount exceeding three kilograms for the purpose of trafficking.
The charge related to the RCMP raid on the Langley dispensary on July 19 when officers seized more than eight pounds of marijuana and what the RCMP release describes as “a large quantity of marijuana products, including cookies and candies.”
Caine shut down the dispensary after the raid, then re-opened it.
He shut it down a second time after he was charged Tuesday, saying police warned him he could go to jail if he didn’t.
His first court appearance is scheduled for Dec. 5 after the municipal election.
The RCMP press release said investigators believe a number of the dispensary customers were not licenced by Health Canada to use the drug.
“Marijuana is a very carefully regulated drug and the law does not allow for an individual to determine whom he or she believes should be able to buy it,” Cooke said.
“People with a legitimate medical need [can]grow their own, or easily purchase the drug from the government’s licenced medical supplier and have it conveniently delivered to their door,” the RCMP superintendent added.
– Article from BCLocalNews.com.
Randy Caine charged, pot dispensary doors closed
Dan Ferguson, Langley Times
The day after Langley City council rejected a request for support from the medical marijuana dispensary operated by Randy Caine, Caine was charged with one count of “possession for the purpose of trafficking.”
Caine, a candidate for City council in the current municipal election, said he was phoned Tuesday (Oct. 25) and invited to visit the local RCMP detachment, where he was formally charged and released on a promise to appear before a judge in December.
“There were no handcuffs or anything like that,” Caine said.
Caine said he closed the dispensary because he was warned if he continued to operate, he ran the risk of imprisonment.
“I was told if I opened it, they would come and arrest me.”
The premises have now been converted into his campaign office, Caine said.
Caine called the timing of the charges, in the middle of an election campaign, “outlandish.”
“I find it interesting that the charges would come up now [almost four months after the dispensary was raided],” Caine said.
“I think this is a desire to discredit me.”
While Mayor Peter Fassbender has insisted neither he nor council had anything to do with the criminal prosecution, Caine has a different view.
“I believe it’s become very personal between the mayor and I.”
He predicts the move against him and the dispensary will motivate supporters to vote against the incumbents.
“I can’t believe how insulated this council is from the community,” Caine said.
“It’s political suicide.”
Caine hinted the issue could become larger than a simple possession case, stating the B.C. Civil Liberties Association sent an observer to the Monday council meeting, which rejected a petition calling for a pilot dispensary program along the lines of the Vancouver safe injection site, which continued to operate while the courts decided if it was legal. A recent Supreme Court of Canada decision allowed the site to keep operating.
– Article from BCLocalNews.com.