SASKATOON — A man has launched a complaint with the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission over a police raid on a Saskatoon medical marijuana dispensary.
Kelly Anderson took the action Friday after police arrested four people at the Saskatchewan Compassion Club on Oct. 29, including owner Mark Hauk.
The complaint names Mayor Don Atchison and police chief Clive Weighill.
Anderson says the unlicensed club was the only place he felt safe purchasing marijuana to treat his chronic pain caused by a weakening of one knee and surgery on the other.
He says the closure of the dispensary denies him access to his medicine and is therefore discriminating against his condition.
Anderson says he fears that going to a licensed producer will cause him to lose his own growing license.
"It's cruel. It's denying people medicine that need it," he said outside Saskatoon Police headquarters Saturday where around two dozen people protested the dispensary's closure.
"This is not about recreational marijuana, this is about access to medicine," he said.
The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code protects people from discrimination based on disability or medical condition.
Anderson said he has prescriptions for stronger opioids but prefers marijuana. Before the dispensary, he relied on street dealers.
It's unclear how long it will take for the commission to review his complaint.
Weighill has defended the decision to raid the club, explaining that it was simply shutting down an illegal business under current Canadian laws. He said people will still be able to get medical marijuana through licensed suppliers at Health Canada.
Hauk was charged with trafficking and possession for the purpose of trafficking marijuana. He and the three others who were arrested were released on bail.
Hauk said in September that he knew opening a storefront for medical marijuana was illegal, but said it was the only option that made sense, because otherwise patients have to order it online and wait for their prescription.