The seizure by Mounties of marijuana plants from an East Sooke home and outbuilding last week means 390 ill people will now have to rely on the black market for their supply, said Phillippe Lucas, president of the Vancouver Island Compassion Society.
On Thursday, West Shore RCMP officers acting on a search warrant raided a home and outbuilding in the 5000-block of Mount Matheson Road. They arrested two men, one of whom was a paid caretaker and the other a friend who stopped by, said Lucas. The two men face charges of growing and trafficking in marijuana. Their names have not been released.

Police described the grow operation as very sophisticated and Lucas agrees with the assessment.

"It produced the absolutely safest and most standardized medicinal cannabis supply in Canada," he said Saturday.

The Vancouver Island Compassion Society provides marijuana to its members for medical purposes. Lucas faced marijuana trafficking charges in July 2002 but provincial court Judge Robert Higinbotham threw out the case on the basis that Lucas was trying to lessen the suffering of others.

"He provided that which the government was unable to provide -- a safe and high quality supply of marijuana to those needing it for medicinal purposes," said Higinbotham in his July 5, 2002 ruling.

The compassion society ran a lab-style marijuana-production and research facility in East Sooke to benefit people suffering from critical and chronic illnesses, said Lucas.

Source: Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)
Author: Sandra McCulloch, Times Colonist
Published: Sunday, May 30, 2004
Copyright: 2004 Times Colonist