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Medical Cannabis Club Busted Again

By Ted | June 23, 2002

more by Ted Smith

By Ted Smith

Head Consultant,
Cannabis Buyers’ Clubs of Canada

Victoria, BC – Another raid by police Friday afternoon at 5pm at the headquarters of the
Cannabis Buyers Clubs of Canada has left many shocked and frustrated. On one hand, the Victoria
City Council has unaminously endorsed the medicinal use of cannabis. On the other hand, the
federal government and Health Canada are not authorizing anyone to supply cannabis to individuals
with doctor’s recommendations or court orders. Meanwhile, the Federal Senate Committee on Illegal
Drugs has released a Discussion Paper on Cannabis in which they conclude that the current approach
causes more harm than good. While the debate continues, medical clubs get raided, growers get
busted, legal and policing costs add up, and citizens suffer sometimes dying prematurely, while the
federal government sits on it’s hands.

After the raid of March 21, when club founder Leon “Ted” Smith was arrested and effectively removed from
the situation, the CBCoC went to Victoria City Council with the hope that some support would be
available. During a meeting with the Victoria Police Board of Directors, city councillors sent a demand
to Health Canada for a presentation on the legal status of cannabis for medical purposes.
A date for the public meeting with Health Canada has not yet been set, despite pressure from many
citizens to resolve the situation as soon as possible.

Canadians have been led to believe the government is in some way helping ill citizens who need
cannabis. However, to date no legal cannabis has been provided to anyone, with the
poor crop in Flin Flon sitting in a locker waiting for limited experiments. Some have died
prematurely, and many suffer unneccessary pain and anxiety every day, because the government
is stumbling and stalling with it’s medical cannabis programs.

One of the few, though very powerful, tools of cannabis advocates is the Canadian Charter of
Rights and Freedoms. This document is proving very valuable in court cases using arguments based
upon issues of liberty, equality and the general harm principal, where the law should not cause
more harm than good. Ted’s freedom is one example, where after 4 arrest with 6 trafficking charges
he has been released on bail pending his constitutional trial. His case has been delayed until the
Supreme Court reaches a discussion in the the Caine/Clay/Malmo-Levine case, expected early in 2001.

The headquarters of the CBCoC has been searched by police 4 times since Jan 3, 2002, usually
responding to problems with members. This raid was sparked by an incident Thursday which gave
police just enough information to get a search warrant. Only on eperson was arrested and charged
with possession for the purpose of trafficking after about 1 kilograms of cannabis and 100
cookies were allegedly taken from the store. He was released later Friday but will not be
allowed in the store until July 25th court date, at the very least. Every precaution is being
taken to ensure no one else is arrested for selling cannabis to sick people, but we have no real
protection right now against ongoing police harassment. Please stay tuned for further updates
and responses to this latest event.

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