'Charge me or I'll sue' - Caine
It’s been more than five weeks since Langley RCMP raided Randy Caine’s medical marijuana dispensary, and no charges have been laid.
“I find that disturbing,” said Caine, a pro-marijuana activist who has fought many legal battles to decriminalize pot.
“They’ve had plenty of time.”
On Tuesday (Aug. 23), Caine issued a challenge to the Crown prosecutor’s office, which decides whether charges will be laid based on the police report of the investigation that led to the July 19 raid.
“Either lay charges against me or take steps to re-open the dispensary,” Caine told The Times.
“It needs to be one or the other.”
Charges were quickly laid against other recently-raided B.C. medical marijuana dispensaries, Caine added.
“I am so ready for this to go to court,” Caine said.
Caine said the more than 200 clients of his dispensary have been left without a supplier because of the raid and plans for an alternate distribution of medical marijuana have still not materialized.
“There are are a lot of people hurting,” Caine said.
“There is an element of urgency to this.”
Caine said a civil lawsuit against the police is a possibility if no criminal charges are laid.
“I feel the dispensary would be entitled to recompense.”
Caine said the dispensary was a response to a lack of legitimate sources of marijuana for Langley medicinal users.
He maintains that it reduced crime by taking marijuana distribution to legitimate patients away from the criminal element, something the police should appreciate.
“What I would hope is they’ve re-thought their position and the dispensary could re-open.”
Langley RCMP said they raided Caine’s dispensary in response to “numerous ongoing complaints from the community and area residents.”
One of the complaints came from Langley City Councillor Rudy Storteboom, who owns an office in the same building as the dispensary, and went to Mayor Peter Fassbender after there was a break-in at Caine’s premises which are next door to the councillor’s space. That office is leased to a hairdresser.
Both men have confirmed there was a discussion in which the councillor expressed concern about the dispensary, and Fassbender advised Storteboom to take it up with the building strata council.
In a letter to The Times, Langley RCMP Supt. Derek Cooke said, based on the dispensary website, Caine was not distributing pot according to federal Health Canada regulations.
Among other things, Cooke said, those regulations limit the use of medical marijuana to specific medical conditions, require the doctors who approve medical marijuana treatment to have specific expertise in that area, put the onus on the doctor to prove that other forms of treatment have been tried and require clients to be informed of the medical risks of using marijuana.
“Perhaps most concerning from a law enforcement and community safety perspective, there was no process in place for dispensary customers to have been screened for relevant criminal history or activity,” Cooke wrote.
Cooke added there are legal alternatives to a medical dispensary for “legitimately licensed individuals to obtain marijuana.” He said patients can buy it from Health Canada or grow their own.