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North Island Club Busted

By admin | February 25, 2011

Comox Valley Compassion Club marijuana crackdown called draconian

By Erin Haluschak – Comox Valley Record
Published: February 24, 2011 5:00 PM

Weed, pot, grass, herb or bud — no matter what the name, Ernie Yacub
is passionate about the medicinal value of marijuana, despite facing
charges following a recent raid by RCMP at the North Island Compassion

“The people in need are deemed to be criminals. The penalties are quite
draconian,” said Yacub during a press conference Tuesday at the Inspace
Gallery in Cumberland. “Marijuana is a medicine. We were the only
pharmacy in town.”

Yacub is the director of the 10-year-old North Island Compassion Club, a
registered non-profit organization that provides medical marijuana to
more than 230 members.

On Friday, the Comox Valley RCMP’s drug section searched the club’s
headquarters on Sixth Street in Courtenay, seizing several pounds of
marijuana and charging Yacub and member Bill Myers with possession for
the purpose of trafficking.

“I kind of felt raped … it totally tore me away,” said Myers who has
been using medical marijuana for six years to help pain caused by
fibromyalgia. “What right does Stephen Harper and other suits have to
tell me what medicines I should use?”

Myers notes he generally smokes joints and eats marijuana cookies, and
is “virtually pain free” with the use of the drug.

He added he has applied for a licence through Health Canada to legally
obtain government-controlled medical marijuana, but following a struggle
to find a doctor who would sign the proper documentation, has yet to
obtain the licence.

Club member Susan Drean, a former licenced practical nurse, said she
uses medical marijuana in the form of Ryanol tablets to help the pain
from bleeding ulcers, which renders her unable to take traditional

“I don’t know what I would do (without marijuana). I want to do
everything I can legally, and with the Compassion Club, I can without
having to go (buy the drug) from people on the street,” she said.

“People need to learn we’re not all potheads, we’re everyday people …
just ordinary citizens that need our medication. It’s not right; (the
system) is making criminals out of seniors. We just want to cope with
everyday life,” added Drean.

Yacub questions the RCMP’s actions, particularly the timing of the raid.

“We started (the club) before the federal program because of the need
… I’m puzzled as to why now?” he asked. “(The Compassion Club) is not
a front — it’s a dispensary.”

Comox Valley RCMP spokesperson Tammy Douglas said in a press release
police are concerned the club has become a front for marijuana dealing.

“We recognize there are conflicting views on the medical value of
marijuana but it remains illegal to sell in the manner in which (the
club) was conducting business,” she noted.

Both Yacub and Myers are due in court May 12. Until then, Yacub says he
is going trying to keep the club open, and will be “taking care of
members as best as we can.”

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