Activism Politics

Police Complaint Fails: Appeal Expected


Weds, Aug 12, 2020

Victoria, B.C.:  An investigation launched by the Victoria Police Department, as ordered by the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner on behalf of VCBC member William Freeman, has determined that the police operated within the law when participating with the Community Safety Unit.  The VCBC refuses to comply with the fledgling cannabis laws until that transition benefits the patients, as the current legal medical and recreational cannabis schemes provide a limited selection of lower quality products at higher prices.  After the initial raid the club has been attempting to obtain an temporary exemption from provincial and federal laws with the support of the city, but it was hoped this complaint would stop further raids in the meantime.

A complaint was filed by Mr. Freeman after the VicPD assisted the CSU in the raid of November 2019.  The investigation was officially started the day after the raid of July 15, leading many to speculate the second visit from the CSU was rushed into happening before the possibility of a ruling that would stop the police from participating with future raids.  Few are surprised that an investigation by the police on police actions had this result.

However, this does not mean that Mr. Freeman is quitting.  A retired lawyer, he is determined to pursue every legal avenue available to him as a patient and citizen. Despite the fact his health is keeping him from giving 100%, this gentleman from the southern U.S.A. is far from done.

The next steps are an appeal of this decision.  Then he is preparing to go to the Provincial Human Rights Tribunal.  While there is little hope the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner will overturn the decision of the investigator, it is important to exhaust all legal options before going to the next level.  His efforts to hold the government accountable for violating the Charter of Rights and Freeedoms will not end until he is satisfied there are no further avenues to pursue justice remaining to him.

As for the club, our primary focus is on obtaining an exemption and remaining open.  Next week we will release details about how we intend on creating an application that will either convince Health Canada to grant an exemption or persuade the courts that the refusal was arbitrary.  Stay tuned as we continue to fight to keep the medicine flowing to our patients.

Below we have attached the formal response we received from the Office of the Chief Constable & Victoria & Esquimalt Police Board of the Victoria Police Department.