Pubdate: Wed, 20 Apr 2016
Source: Chilliwack Progress (CN BC)
Page: 3
Copyright: 2016 The Chilliwack Progress
Author: Jennifer Feinberg


WeeMedical Dispensary Society tried to reopen its doors to serve
Chilliwack - less than two weeks after it was raided and shut down.

The dispensary had tried to reopen Friday in an act of "civil
disobedience," according to an online post - despite the 'no
occupancy' order.

"Out of respect to Chilliwack City Council and RCMP, WeeMedical
Dispensary Society has remained closed for over a week since the
unfortunate incident of April 5," the post from last week said.

The volunteer answering the phones Friday at WeeMedical, who would
only identify herself as Taryn, said they reopened because "everybody
believes we are a good fit" for Chilliwack.

"Due to the unwavering support of the Chilliwack community and
WeeMedical members across British Columbia, in an act of Civil
Disobedience, WeeMedical has decided to open its doors once again,"
reads the post.

But it didn't last.

RCMP executed another search warrant Monday afternoon, with City of
Chilliwack enforcement personnel on-site to issue bylaw offence notices.

The telltale orange 'no occupancy' sign was visible on the door by the
end of the day.

All the WeeMedical signage had been stripped from the

They knew Friday it could be raided again.

"It is a possibility," Taryn said.

"It's been quiet today because no one knows we're open."

After the second raid on Monday, April 18, WeeMedical volunteers
posted another online message, this time critical of the enforcement
effort as "another unfortunate incident."

"Volunteers were detained and harassed and private property and
signage were destroyed and tampered with. It is sad that Chilliwack
city officials seem to criminalize all of those who are associated
with WeeMedical in a situation where there are no victims and only

The message implies that police also seized product.

"WeeMedical apologizes to all its members who may have had their
purchased goods from the dispensary confiscated while showing their
support and patronage," read the update." As in most cases of Civil
Disobedience, we must sometimes retreat before we advance again."

WeeMedical has said their aim is to have "a better understanding and
co-operative relationship" with City of Chilliwack and enforcement

RCMP raided the shop on Fifth Avenue 10 days ago, seizing illegal
cannabis, as well as cash and store records. One person was taken into
custody and later released, and city officials posted a 'no occupancy'

Mayor Sharon Gaetz told The Progress last month that City of
Chilliwack can't work with WeeMedical because it's an "illegal
company," operating in contravention of the city's zoning and
licensing bylaws, as well as federal laws.

"The 'no occupancy' order is still in effect," she

She was not impressed with the effort to reopen.

"I am very disappointed. They have disrespected our community, the
RCMP and the federal government."

The society faces $1000 per day fines, while it was open March 18 to
April 5. The building's two owners were also fined.

Mayor Gaetz said they will continue to issue fines to WeeMedical if
they have to, and are "exploring" their legal options.

"Should the federal government ever decide it should be legalized, we
will work within the framework and legislation that they provide. But
in the meantime we will continue to operate within the law."

Medical marijuana dispensaries, like WeeMedical, have been been
established in several cities, in anticipation of the laws being
changed but they operate in a legal grey zone.  
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MAP posted-by: Jo-D