VCBC PATIENTS WILL RALLY EVERY FRIDAY AT NOON TO PROTEST THE RAID
VCBC Members Fight Back After Raid
By Ted Smith and Jacqueline Kittel
On the morning of Nov 14, 2019, the BC Community Safety Unit raided the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club soon after opening. When the raid was over, protesters that had gathered during marched over to the office of Carol James to inform her office of the coming storm. As we had planned and published online in the Cannabis Digest, the very next day the club organized a rally at the BC Legislature before reopening the club on Friday November 15th at 3pm.
Please join us in writing to and protesting our provincial leaders to express our frustration with the raids on our medical marijuana compassion club. The Community Safety Unit (CSU) stole medicine from patients whose lives depend on it and this injustice will not be tolerated. The raids against the VCBC signal the provincial government’s lack of concern for patients rights to access high quality and low cost cannabis medicine. Please address your concerns to the following political leaders:
Mike Farnworth: Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General
107A – 2748 Lougheed Hwy, Port Coquitlam V3B6P2
Hon. John Horgan: BC Premier
122-2806 Jacklin Road
Victoria BC V9B5A4
Carole James: Victoria MLA, Deputy Premier
1084 Fort St,
Victoria, BC V8V3K4
Additionally, we will be organizing weekly protests around the province to ensure the BC NDP do not think this club is going to give up on its membership so easily. The first of these protest will be at noon on Saturday November 23rd at the back of the Empress Hotel in Victoria. The BC NDP will be holding its annual convention that afternoon and we will make our grievances known to this gathering of political influencers. The following Saturday on November 23rd we will gather at noon in front of John Horgan’s office in Langford.
On Saturday December 7th at noon we will venture over to the mainland to visit the office of Mike Farnsworth in New Westminster. Mr. Farnsworth is the director of the Ministry of Public Safety and the Solicitor General in Canada. He has the power to call off these inspectors and to encourage the government to work with us rather than dictate unacceptable terms to us. With so many patients and their caregivers upset on the mainland, we expect this rally to draw a substantial crowd.
We do not want to commit to the times and locations of protests beyond that date, as we want to remain flexible to ensure our events generate the most pressure possible. If you hear of any prime opportunities to demonstrate to the BC NDP or federal Liberal politicians, please contact us. Together we will make this government understand how critical our club’s services are to patients and to encourage politicians to work with us rather than against us.
In addition to letter writing and protesting there will be other campaigns to assist the club financially and politically. Stay tuned to our social media outlets (Facebook, Instagram, our website) and the white boards in the club when you are making a purchase for more info on how to get involved with our political actions.
Thank you so very much to everyone who is helping keep our club operating in these dark days.
About the VCBC:
Petition for a variance process for the Clean Air Bylaw
The VCBC is petitioning the CRD for a variance process to the Clean Air Bylaw. Download and print this petition sheet to distribute among your networks. You do not need to be a member of the VCBC to sign but you must live in the Victoria Capital Regional District . Please email filled in petition sheets to email@example.com. Unfortunately, we do not have an online petition available at this time.
The VCBC has maintained a smoking lounge for patients since its formation in 1996. Shortly after moving into our storefront at 826 Johnson St in 2001, we converted our closet into a smoking room which has operated every day since to provide a dignified space for patients to consume their medicine, with no cost or stigmatization.
In 2018, amendments to the Clean Air Act were passed by the CRD to effectively treat cannabis consumption the same as tobacco. This bylaw prohibits smoking in any commercial space in the Capitol Regional District. This bylaw poses the biggest threat to our smoking room and we must act to protect it.
The VCBC is petitioning the CRD for a variance process to the Clean Air Bylaw to ensure legal access to cannabis consumption spaces. We are collecting signatures by door knocking, standing on street corners, and hosting public information meetings, while also placing the petition in stores and medical facilities. A variance process to the Clean Air Bylaw would allow the CRD to grant approvals to hospice centers, hospitals, seniors homes and other care facilities, as well as consider temporary use permits for events like April 20 to happen at Royal Athletic Park. It would also create the possibility that commercial spaces for recreational consumers could obtain a license to operate.
Creating spaces for cannabis consumption will benefit patients, recreational users, local businesses, events, tourism, and more. Please support our initiative to change this law to create more accessible cannabis consumption spaces!
For more information on the Clean Air Act and the VCBC’s response, you can read our article published on The Cannabis Digest.
The Victoria Cannabis Buyers’ Club (VCBC) started helping people with documentation of a serious medical condition by providing them with medicinal cannabis and cannabis based products in January of 1996. Through name changes and our rebirth as a non-profit organization, our mandate and commitment to our members has remained the same. The VCBC is one of the oldest compassion clubs in Canada, with over 6500 active members.
To best meet our members’ individual needs, we offer an expansive range of products at reasonable prices. These include dried cannabis inflorescences, mechanically separated kiefs (also known as hash), as well as a wide variety of edible and topical products. We ensure the highest quality and ethical standards are met in the sourcing and production of all our products. Through activism, education, and research we strive to further the public’s understanding of medicinal cannabis.
The VCBC accepts anyone who meets our membership requirements. There are no fees for application or membership.