The day after Langley City council rejected a request for support from the medical marijuana dispensary operated by Randy Caine, Caine was charged with one count of “possession for the purpose of trafficking.”
Caine, a candidate for City council in the current municipal election, said he was phoned Tuesday (Oct. 25) and invited to visit the local RCMP detachment, where he was formally charged and released on a promise to appear before a judge in December.
“There were no handcuffs or anything like that,” Caine said.
Caine said he closed the dispensary because he was warned if he continued to operate, he ran the risk of imprisonment.
“I was told if I opened it, they would come and arrest me.”
The premises have now been converted into his campaign office, Caine said.
Caine called the timing of the charges, in the middle of an election campaign, “outlandish.”
“I find it interesting that the charges would come up now [almost four months after the dispensary was raided],” Caine said.
“I think this is a desire to discredit me.”
While Mayor Peter Fassbender has insisted neither he nor council had anything to do with the criminal prosecution, Caine has a different view.
“I believe it’s become very personal between the mayor and I.”
He predicts the move against him and the dispensary will motivate supporters to vote against the incumbents.
“I can’t believe how insulated this council is from the community,” Caine said.
“It’s political suicide.”
Caine hinted the issue could become larger than a simple possession case, stating the B.C. Civil Liberties Association sent an observer to the Monday council meeting, which rejected a petition calling for a pilot dispensary program along the lines of the Vancouver safe injection site, which continued to operate while the courts decided if it was legal. A recent Supreme Court of Canada decision allowed the site to keep operating.