Compassion Clubs Lament RCMP Raid of Vancouver Island
Therapeutic Cannabis Research Institute
- Charges Must be Dropped and Medicine Must be Returned Immediately
June 9, 2004: "The recent raid on the Vancouver Island Therapeutic Cannabis Research Institute (VITCRI) is a devastating reminder of the failure of Canada's cannabis laws and Health Canada's program," stated Dom Cramer of the Toronto Compassion Centre.
On Thursday May 27th, 2004, VITCRI, a medicinal cannabis research and cultivation facility was raided and destroyed by RCMP constables. The institute was the sole supplier of the Vancouver Island Compassion Society's (www.thevics.com) 400 critically and chronically ill members. The non-profit facility produced the safest and highest medical grade organic cannabis, as well as standardized medicine that was to be used in a smoked cannabis and chronic pain clinical protocol.
Although it appears that RCMP were not initially aware of the connection of the facility to the Vancouver Island Compassion Society, they proceeded to seize and destroy the plants even after they were informed that this was a medical supply. "This shows utter disregard for the welfare of the critically and chronically ill recipients of this medicine. Compassion club members deserve to have uninterrupted access to the best quality medicine possible. The destruction of VITCRI has seriously jeopardized their health", lamented Dom Cramer.
Compassion clubs and societies across the country provide over 7000 Canadians access to high quality cannabis in a safe environment that is conducive to healing. Despite directives from the Senate and the Courts, Health Canada has not proceeded to license these societies. "Canadians like Philippe Lucas and the two men arrested at the facility are engaging in civil disobedience to ensure people in need have access to a medicine that can benefit them. These people must be protected by the law, and the charges must be dropped," stated Rielle Capler of the British Columbia Compassion Club Society.
A protest/press conference is planned for the 10th of June at 1pm at 880 Douglas St., Victoria. Canadians for Safe Access, compassion clubs, their members and supporters are asking that the charges be dropped against the two men at VITCRI, that all medicine be returned, and that the laws be amended to ensure future protection from such raids.