|Police officers oversee the spoils of Thursday’s raids. Canada’s Conservative government appears to be cracking down on medical marijuana
Canadian police raided marijuana compassion clubs around the city on Thursday. A major anti-pot dragnet in Quebec resulted in raids at five cannabis clubs in Montreal and Quebec City, and police said they arrested 35 people for distributing marijuana.
Officers forced their way into the clubs, which offer marijuana to those who need it for medical reasons, and seized 35 kilograms (77 pounds) of cannabis, $10,000 in cash and computer equipment, reports CTV
Police claim the clubs — four in Montreal and one in Quebec City — were selling cannabis without a permit from Health Canada. Those arrested are expected to be charged with trafficking, possession and conspiracy, according to police.
“What police are alleging is that the administrators of the clubs and some of the volunteers were illegally handing out marijuana without permits from Health Canada,” said CTV Montreal’s Annie Demelt.
According to Demelt, tensions were rising between the club owners and staff and residents of the neighborhoods where the clubs were located.
Police claimed they received complaints from neighbors about lone lines of customers outside the clubs.
Marijuana has been legal for medical use in Canada since 2001, but is still illegal for the population at large.
Last month, police raided a compassion club in Toronto.
“This is not just the local police you know checking in (on) their municipality — this is a targeted effort,” St-Maurice said after being released from jail.
St-Maurice was operating a compassion club on a busy street in Montreal’s exclusive Plateau-Mont-Royal neighborhood.
Police also raided the homes of the club administrators.