The backlash continues in Saskatoon after city police raided a medical marijuana dispensary known as the Saskatchewan Compassion Club.
This week supporters of the compassion club will protest the actions by police during peaceful demonstrations in front of Saskatoon city hall and the Saskatoon Police Service headquarters.
“It’s to keep the conversation going,” said compassion club owner Mark Hauk.
“Generally what city officials and police say is, it’s illegal and we agree that it’s illegal but the laws are bad and cause people to suffer.”
Hauk adds the protests this week are meant to pressure city officials and police to show some discretion when enforcing marijuana laws. Hauk said the police should simply allow his dispensary to operate in a responsible fashion until such a time where the Health Canada laws around medical marijuana are amended, an idea floated by the new Liberal government during the campaign.
“Should sick and dying people go without medicine while they take time to amend the program? I say not. Let us operate in a responsible fashion and fill the gap until such time the program is providing medicine in a reasonable manner,” Hauk said.
Since being placed in handcuffs and losing all of his office equipment when 10 undercover police officers stormed his dispensary last Thursday, Hauk said supporters have flooded his office with donations to get him back to offering help to people navigating the Health Canada Marijuana for Medical Purposes program.
“A number of other companies from Saskatoon and Vancouver have contacted us and offered credits and help in whatever way we need. Another local print shop has offered us a $500 credit for any materials we may need in any future protests or advocacy work,” Hauk said.
Jeff Lundstrum, owner of Skunk Funk, has also extended his help promising to cover the operational costs for the compassion club for November.
Hauk said he hopes protests this week prompt action from city officials to show some discretion when it comes to enforcing marijuana laws.
“City officials do have the opportunity to do something about this, there’s this continued notion that their hands are tied but that’s not true. They have the opportunity to show discretion,” Hauk said.