Saskatoon's compassion club raid 'last gasp of cannabis prohibition': pot expert

The director of the Canadian Drug Coalition says he's not surprised the Saskatoon police raided the compassion club, but thinks police attitude will change as the laws do.

Donald MacPherson of Canadian Drug Policy Coalition says Saskatoon police taking very hard line

The director of the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition says the raid of Saskatoon's compassion club is "a last gasp of a cannabis prohibition era." 

Donald MacPherson says he's been following what has been happening in Saskatoon and the remarks of the city's police chief, saying the force is taking a very hard line on cannabis possession and dispensaries.

But he doesn't think this hard line approach can last, given the new federal government has promised to legalize marijuana. 

"Police are in a tough spot in a way, as a community across the country, and they're using their discretion to take different tactics," MacPherson told Saskatoon Morning host Leisha Grebinski.

"I would like to think that the police would begin to back off these kind of actions in this interim period," he said.

MacPherson says in Vancouver, police have taken a different approach. There, he said police have acknowledged the shift in public opinion.

The city regulates dispensaries are by zoning bylaws, a method is supported by police, and according to MacPherson, Victoria is looking at using a similar model.

"It's clear to see that we're in a transitional period here in Canada and various jurisdictions are treating the issue of these medical dispensaries differently," MacPherson said. 

The Saskatchewan Compassion Club re-opened its shop today — without its stock of marijuana.


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