Owner of Compassion House turns himself in to Windsor police, 5 arrests total

Windsor police arrested four people at Compassion House Tuesday and owner Leo Lucier turned himself in to police Wednesday afternoon. All five are facing charges.

Windsor police showed up to the organization Tuesday at 5 p.m. and seized drugs

Leo Lucier, owner of Compassion House, says he wants to use cannabis as a theme to wipe out social issues. (Stacey Janzer/CBC)

Windsor police have arrested five people in relation to the operation of Compassion House on Tecumseh Road West. 

Police first showed up to the location Tuesday at around 5 p.m., where they arrested four people. Officers also seized drugs, money and other property.

The owner of Compassion House, Leo Lucier, turned himself in to police Wednesday at around 2 p.m.

Before he walked inside the headquarters, he questioned why police closed the location down.

"It's a legal substance, how can it be illegal?" 

Windsor police blocked incoming customers from accessing Compassion House Tuesday afternoon as officers worked inside the location. (Jason Viau/CBC)

He described Compassion House as his way of using cannabis "to wipe out social issues." One thing he has mentioned was restocking the Kids First Food Bank and his plans to donate winter jackets to children.

"All we know now is that there's a shortage of cannabis for medical users," said Lucier. "I gave all kinds of stuff for free."

Police say all five people are facing charges under the federal Cannabis Act, for selling cannabis to an adult and possession of cannabis for the purpose of selling.

According to Cst. Andy Drouillard, these are the first charges Windsor police have laid under the Federal Cannabis Act.

The four arrested Tuesday have been released on a promise to appear in court.

Lucier walked into police headquarters Wednesday afternoon to turn himself in. (Stacey Janzer/CBC)

Recreational marijuana became legal across Canada Oct. 17. In Ontario, the only legal place to purchase it at this time is through the online Cannabis Store. 

Windsor police reminds people they remain committed to enforcing laws around illegal distribution, cultivation and possession of marijuana.

Drouillard said people need to "exercise patience" at this time and refrain from purchasing marijuana through illegal retail operations.

"Laws are obviously changing, and they're changing for good reason," he said. "Things like this take time."

Private retail stores are set to become legal in the province next April.