This Article Is Written By Jeremiah Vandermeer, Cannabis Culture - Wednesday, August 4 2010
"This time they were a lot more polite and didn't punch anyone in the face," C.A.L.M.'s attorney Ron Marzel told Cannabis Culture, referring to violent police actions during the first raid reported on by Cannabis Culture and picked up by the mainstream press. "They used fake ID cards again. Once they were in they identified themselves immediately and said 'get on the ground!
Marzel said police confiscated about 200 grams of hash and some shake. Staff members were arrested, but Marzel said they were all released without charges. C.A.L.M.'s owner Neev Tapiero, who is currently fighting trafficking charges stemming from the first raid, was arrested at his house a few blocks from the dispensary. His bail hearing is scheduled for tomorrow, meaning he will be forced to stay the night in jail.
Less than 10 officers from Toronto's 51 Division were involved in the raid according to Marzel. 51 Division officers did not return phone calls from Cannabis Culture at the time of publication of this article.
"The detective indicated that the only reason he got the warrant was because he continued to get complaints about the smell of smoke," Marzel said. "This is completely unnecessary, and Neev wasn't even on site when they raided the facility."
Marzel said Tapiero's case from the first raid was moving along swiftly, with Tapiero already electing to have it proceed by indictment.
"We've been moving the process along fairly quickly because we want to get this resolved before the courts sooner rather than later," Marzel said. "Neev has nothing to hide. He's upfront about the fact that he's selling cannabis to people who have a legitimate medical need. He wants to have his day in court. He wants to be tried. We've already elected. We're waiting for a judicial pretrial next month. I got an application scheduled to be heard on August 25th to get the medicine back in the hands of patients. So everything was moving along quite well. This is, again, coming out of left field."
Back in March, police also said the raid was due to "community complaints."
The first raid sparked protests from cannabis activists, leading to more arrests.
Marzel said police were still inside C.A.L.M.'s building at the time of his interview (5:15pm).
C.A.L.M. is one of the oldest medical cannabis clubs in Canada, established in 1996. C.A.L.M.'s website states that the organization is a "peer-run organization that provides almost 2,000 Canadians living with severe or chronic illnesses with safe and continuous access to medicinal cannabis in a safe empowering environment."
The raid is a continuation of a series of police actions against medical marijuana dispensaries in recent months after a long period of peace.