A dispensary operator in Deroche, BC has said he’s committed to serving his community after being raided by police last week.

Robert Woolsey said he’s operated the Deroche location of the BC Pain Society since February, 2015 and hasn’t had any issue with police until now.

“We opened after consultations on four occasions with the RCMP,” Woolsey said. “We were also assured at that time that as long as we held to very strict patient intake standards, we would be traditionally tolerated.”

Woolsey said, in September, RCMP received a complaint from the public that triggered the action from police.

“They received a complaint from the public that I was selling the ‘new scourge to mankind’ – shatter,” Woolsey said. “The RCMP were going under this assumption that it caused addiction and destroyed youth and caused deaths.”

RCMP received permission, based on that compliant, to conduct an investigation into BC Pain Society.

“The investigation was probably the simplest and most straightforward investigation the RCMP in British Columbia have ever had to perform, because I admitted to everything on Facebook,” Woolsey said, pointing out that he regularly listed his stock on the store’s social media page.

On Nov. 25 at around 9am Woolsey said approximately 15 RCMP officers in armoured vests and side arms pulled up into the front of his home house.

“They proceeded to pull a 1969-type raid on us,” Woolsey said. “Everything short of putting us on the floor and standing on our backs.”

Woolsey and his wife were held without charges while police raided their home.

“They took our property and my grow trailer and greenhouse basically apart,” Woolsey said. “They took our cars, computers, every communication device.”

After being held for almost 10 hours in a cell, the couple was released with no transportation, 20 miles from their home.

“We got home and all the lights were out, we were in the driveway wondering what was going on,” Woolsey discovered the police had had BC Hydro disconnect his utilities. “Now I have no running water, no electric heat, I can’t cook food, I can’t use my toilet.”

While charges are still pending, Woolsey has been advised he is likely to be charged with manufacturing and trafficking of an illegal substance.

With the political and social climate moving toward legalization, Woolsey speculated that RCMP action on dispensaries across the country is guided by fiscal reasons.

“I think this is the death throes of a Conservative RCMP budget that needed to be spent before the end of 2015 or it would not be repeated next year,” he said. “So all we’ve got here is 15 cops that are trying to save their jobs and willing to do anything to accomplish that.”

Woolsey said he plans to continue helping the hundreds of patients that he’s dealt with since opening for business and wants to show that the community is strong.

“The only reason that they’ve targeted us is because we’re at the end of the road, we’re so far out there they’re hoping we can’t raise any support,” Woolsey said.

Woolsey has plans for a rally, Dec. 5 at 12pm and encourages supporters to visit his Facebook page for more information as well as a fundraiser page for the compassion club.

“They’re trying their hardest to get rid of us, they’re squeezing the lifeblood out of us,” Woolsey said. “We’re not going to quit, we’re not going to close. I will open again and I will serve this community again.”