Saturday, December 26, 2015

Asshole RCMP get their man in Nanaimo pot busts

While Rose Miranda waits for her April court date to face potential charges of possession for the purpose of trafficking, the 65-year-old retired education assistant can't take cannabis for her arthritis.

Mounties have also banned her from visiting or contacting anyone at Phoenix Pain Management Society, the medical marijuana dispensary where she was volunteering when she was arrested in Nanaimo, B.C.
Miranda began using medical marijuana about two years ago. She began volunteering at Phoenix, primarily to educate seniors about cannabis as a pain-relief option. Nanaimo RCMP raided three dispensaries, including Phoenix, on Dec. 1.

Mounties sent warning letters weeks before executing search warrants. "They came in like a SWAT team, guns out, 'Hands up!,' screaming, yelling, terrifying everybody who was in there," said Miranda. She said police body-searched everyone, including an elderly volunteer with a cane, before handcuffing them and taking them to jail.
There, she said, she sat in a freezing cell wearing only a cotton shirt and pants for more than 10 hours.

The RCMP's raids on B.C.'s pot shops are unusual. Last year, 24,542 people were charged with marijuana possession, up from 18,953 in 2004. Charges for the crime hit a peak in 2011, with 27,997 people charged.
Simon Fraser University criminologist Neil Boyd found in a 2013 study that the Vancouver police rarely recommended charging individuals for cannabis possession as a singular offence, while the RCMP was mostly responsible for a two-fold increase in charges over a decade in B.C.

Meanwhile, Miranda is preparing herself for the possibility that she'll face the first criminal charge of her life — she's never even had a parking ticket. She said she hopes she won't have to go to prison to defend the rights of seniors to use medical marijuana.

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