Last month’s police raid on a Saskatoon marijuana dispensary has spurred a local man to launch a human rights complaint against the mayor and police chief.
Kelly Anderson said the Saskatchewan Compassion Club was the only place he felt safe purchasing marijuana to treat his chronic pain caused by a weakening of one knee and surgery on the other. Anderson launched his complaint against Mayor Don Atchison and police chief Clive Weighill on Friday.
“It’s cruel. It’s denying people medicine that need it,” he said outside Saskatoon Police headquarters Saturday where around two dozen people hosted another protest against the dispensary’s closure.
The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code protects people from discrimination based on disability or medical condition. Anderson claims the closure of the dispensary denies him access to his medicine and is therefore discriminating against his condition.
“This is not about recreational marijuana, this is about access to medicine,” he said.
Anderson said he has prescriptions for stronger opioids, but prefers marijuana. Before the dispensary, he relied on local street dealers.
“People with disorders that are saying ‘I’m going to speak up. I don’t care who knows anymore’ and for them to say I don’t care no more who knows, you know they’ve been discriminated against,” he said.
Saskatoon Police raided the unlicensed dispensary on Oct. 29 and arrested four people, including owner Mark Hauk. Charges include trafficking and and possession of the proceeds of crime. All four have since been released on bail.
Weighill defends the decision to raid the club because he said it was an illegal business.
It’s unclear how long it will take for the commission to review the complaint.
In the meantime, Anderson said he will have to return to the black market to buy marijuana. He fears going to a licensed producer will cause him to lose his own growing license.