Courtenay City Hall has been inundated with calls and emails since the raiding of a newly opened medical marijuana dispensary, and not all the responses have been respectful.
Leaf Compassion Dispensary opened for business on Sunday, Oct. 1. The business was ticketed by city bylaw officers for operating without a business licence on Monday, and on Tuesday the business was raided by the RCMP.
On Thursday, Leaf Compassion Dispensary Courtenay posted a thread on its Facebook page, along with a picture of Courtenay Mayor Larry Jangula, urging supporters to call City Hall “every day till he answers.”
|This post on the Leaf Compassion Dispensary Facebook page has prompted a flood of calls to Mayor Larry Jangula, not all of them respectful.|
Since then, City staff, particularly Jangula, have been dealing with a steady flow of reactive phone calls and emails from supporters of the business.
“It’s been a little scary,” said Jangula. “They’ve apparently decided that it’s me that’s directing the police and it’s me that’s directing all this and as a result, I have had, and City Hall has had, some very nasty calls. In fact I’ve had one call that’s so nasty I’ve had to start a police investigation. Someone threatened to shoot me. This is not a real pleasant deal.”
The call in question was a profanity-laced message left on his personal voicemail, ultimately ending with the aforementioned threat.
(Attempts to contact Leaf Compassion Dispensary Courtenay owner Kyle Cheyne regarding this issue went straight to voicemail, which was full and not accepting any more messages.)
“It’s to the point where my staff is concerned, and not really wanting to answer the phone,” said Jangula. “This is frightening stuff.”
Jangula said the city has a standing policy regarding any type of marijuana business within city limits.
“Until such a time that it is determined that these are legal – I understand that is July, 2018 – then we will proceed with it,” he said. “Until such time, our take – and it’s not just City Hall, it’s the RCMP’s take as well – is that these are illegal, and that we are not giving licences for them. We have discussed this as council and that’s what we decided.”
As for the suggestion that the RCMP has a directive from City Hall to continue with the raids, Jangula denied the notion outright.
“Absolutely not. When did you ever hear of City Hall, or a mayor, directing RCMP on who to investigate? It’s not up to me. I don’t go up to them and tell them to watch him because he might be doing break-ins, or so and so might have stolen property. Are you kidding me? The mayor has no power. If I did, could you imagine the corruption?”