Courtenay mayor gets death threat after police raid local dispensary

Click to play video: 'Pot crackdown stirs death threats against Vancouver Island mayor'
Pot crackdown stirs death threats against Vancouver Island mayor
WATCH: The mayor of Courtenay says he’s been targeted by irate phone calls, emails and even death threats after RCMP raids shut down a pot dispensary. Neetu Garcha reports – Oct 16, 2017

A Vancouver Island mayor has been left shaken after receiving what he describes as threatening voicemails in the wake of a marijuana dispensary raid.

Courtenay mayor Larry Jangula is a former police officer, and said he’s used to some hostility.

“I worked in various jobs and I certainly had threats against my life at that time,” Jangula said.

“But I never once thought that when I got into public office in a small town that basically I would have threats made against my life because of a bylaw issue.”

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The threats began on Wednesday, shortly after the RCMP raided Leaf Compassion’s new dispensary in the city.

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The callers left a number of e-mails and voice messages to Jangula’s office phone, he said, before eventually leaving a threatening message on his personal line.

“[Saying] it didn’t matter what we did, that we couldn’t shut them down. Words to that effect,” he said.

“And then it followed up with a call on my personal cell phone which went to my answering machine which was extremely abusive and extremely threatening. Basically ending with the words that I should be ‘blank blank shot,’ lots of profanity, lots of yelling and swearing and a very, very aggressive caller.”

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Leaf Compassion has not responded to a request for an interview.

However, a post to Leaf Compassion Courtenay’s Facebook page says Jangula has refused to discuss cannabis with the company.

The post urges supporters to call and email the mayor daily, and includes his email and office phone number.

Another post to the page says the company applied for a business license on Thursday, which it hopes will force a meeting with city council to make its case.

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Jangula said he thinks the callers believe police were tipped off after bylaw officers fined the business earlier this week for operating without a business licence.

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Comox Valley RCMP refused to comment on whether it is investigating the threats.

Under current Canadian law, marijuana is only legally permitted for sale to medical users and must come from licensed producers and be delivered by mail.

However, many jurisdictions such as Vancouver have defied federal regulations and pushed ahead with their own bylaws that permit over-the-counter sale at dispensaries.

The federal government is slated to legalize the sale of marijuana for recreational use by July 1 of 2018.

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