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Cannabis returned unusable, says accused in medical marijuana raid
Lane Britnell shows cannabis oil returned to him in plastic evidence bags. He says the oil is no longer usable. (Lane Britnell/Facebook)
Published Thursday, February 11, 2016 10:14PM CST
Last Updated Thursday, February 11, 2016 10:33PM CST
A former employee of a medical marijuana dispensary in Saskatoon is blaming police for the loss of what he says is more than $1,000 worth of cannabis.
Lane Britnell, who was one of four people charged after police raided the Saskatchewan Compassion Club and his home in October, says cannabis oil and dried cannabis taken during the raid but recently returned to him are now unusable.
The oil is stuck to a plastic evidence bag, and several different strains of the dried bud, which the 24-year-old claims were separated in labelled jars, are now mixed together.
“I use different strains for different symptoms. So that would be the equivalent of just taking someone’s pill bottles and dumping them all into one jar and giving them back. So that was destroyed. I couldn’t use it,” said Britnell, who lives with Crohn’s disease.
Two used gloves were also jammed inside a jar some of the product was returned in.
The drugs would cost more than $1,000 from a licensed producer, he said.
“I hope, moving forward, police officers are educated about medical cannabis and don't treat this like Hells Angels drug busts,” he said. “This isn't crystal meth. They're treating these cases like any other drug case, and these officers need to know people need this to live.”
Britnell, a former University of Saskatchewan Huskies pole vaulter, said cannabis is the only treatment he’s found that helps with Crohn’s, a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the intestines.
His doctor advised he use cannabis oil after other treatments failed.
“I failed every drug possible,” he said. “I was about to do clinical trials. We were completely desperate. I never used cannabis until I had failed a long list of hard medications.”
The treatments have since allowed him to pick up his active lifestyle, he said. He’s a fitness instructor at a downtown Saskatoon gym.
“If I vaporize cannabis before a workout, I don’t get sick. Whereas, typically, when the Crohn’s is active, I’ll break into a cold sweat just from jogging for a couple minutes. So it’s really allowed me to get back to my old life of fitness that I didn’t think I was going to be able to ever enjoy again.”
Six charges against Britnell — all of which were related to marijuana derivatives like cannabis oil — were dropped in January.
He’s still facing charges of trafficking and possession as well as possessing the proceeds of crime.
Saskatoon police would not comment on the case, stating the matter is before the courts.