The smell of marijuana was strong in Courtroom 2D at the Kamloops Law Courts this morning ( Jan. 5 ) as the owner of a North Shore compassion club raided by police in November pleaded with a judge to get his seized “medicine” back.
Carl Anderson applied for the return of more than 900 grams of his own personal marijuana, as well as pot he was holding for clients of the Canadian Safe Cannabis Society.
He also asked for the return of a computer, a high-tech digital scale and vapourizers – all of which were seized by police during the execution of a search warrant on Nov. 1.
Anderson has yet to be charged in relation to the raid, but police have said he could face counts of trafficking in a controlled substance and obstructing a peace officer.
In court today, Anderson’s appeal was denied by Kamloops provincial court Judge Hermann Rohrmoser – but not before the compassion-club owner was allowed to call two clients of his to offer evidence about why they need their marijuana.
Medical-marijuana user John Roubros said he’s had AIDS for more than two decades and needs pot to keep his weight up.
He said he trusts the cannabis he receives from Anderson more than he would from a street dealer.
“I know it’s clean and I know it’s safe because I don’t have an immune system anymore,” he said.
“I don’t have much longer to live.”
Wesley Jenkins also testified, saying his health has “gone downhill” since the raid.
“I haven’t been able to get my designated supply,” he said.
“I’ve actually had to go to the street a couple times.”
Anderson also pleaded for the return of 991.5 grams of his personal stash, which, he said, was seized from a safe in his office.
Speaking to the court, Anderson said he has a Health Canada exemption to possess 1,200 grams of marijuana “at any time.”
“It doesn’t say I’m allowed to possess 1,200 grams of cannabis at any time unless I’m wrongly accused by the RCMP,” he said.
Federal Crown prosecutor Anthony Varesi called Anderson’s application “premature,” saying a 90-day window during which time police are legally entitled to hang onto evidence has yet to lapse.
After nearly an hour in court, Rohrmoser ultimately decided the application couldn’t proceed – not yet.
“Whether or not he [Anderson] was justified to be holding the marijuana is a legal issue which can’t be dealt with today,” the judge said.
“In order to make a determination on the merits of this case, evidence would have to be called at a hearing designated for that purpose.”
Rohrmoser left the door open for Anderson to return with his application in February, once the 90-day window has expired.
Anderson is slated to return to court on Jan. 12 to set a date for that hearing.