Bob Woolsey and Dawn Parker are shown here in 2015. (Bob Friesen file photo)

Trial underway in marijuana ‘compassion club’ case

Bob Woolsey of Mission says police abused their power in 2015 investigation

A Mission man hopes to show that police entrapped him and abused their power when they went undercover to bust his medical marijuana “compassion club” in 2015.

The trial for Bob Woolsey, 65, began Monday in Abbotsford provincial court on five charges of trafficking in a controlled substance.

Woolsey and his wife, Dawn Parker, were arrested by the Mission RCMP on Nov. 25, 2015 after police busted their marijuana facility in Deroche.

At the time, the couple described themselves as the volunteer managers of the BC Pain Society’s compassion club – located at 40810 Taylor Rd. – which they opened in February 2015.

Woolsey is representing himself in court. On Monday during portions of his questioning of police witnesses, he said the club was formed to provide a closer location than Vancouver for individuals in the Fraser Valley who require marijuana to relieve medical symptoms.

Woolsey said he doesn’t dispute the facts of the case as presented by the Crown.

“I only dispute the circumstances under which this took place,” he told the judge.

Among those testifying Monday morning were two undercover officers who were involved in the investigation.

Each of them testified that they entered the facility posing as customers interested in buying marijuana.

One officer said he entered the club on Nov. 21, 2015 and observed baked items, caramels, syringes filled with colourful liquids, a vending machine stocked with marijuana products, and jars filled with herbal marijuana.

The officer said he spoke with Woolsey, who described some of the products to him, and he then purchased a pain cream and two caramels.

The investigator also asked to buy herbal cannabis, but was denied because he didn’t have a medical marijuana certificate to do so. Woolsey referred him to the BC Pain Society.

The cream and caramel were later sent for testing, which confirmed they contained THC, the primary psychoactive component of cannabis.

The other officer said he visited the club on Nov. 19, 2015 and attempted to make a purchase from the vending machine.

Woolsey interrupted the purchase and told the man he could only buy something if he was a club member.

An existing member who was in the facility at the time agreed that the undercover officer could use his membership.

The investigator then bought a strain of marijuana called “Pink OG” from the vending machine, and analysis later confirmed that it was cannabis.

Two other officers whose job it was to process the evidence testified about the materials that were brought to them by the undercover operators.

They said these included a strain of cannabis called “Purple Erckle” and “Rock Star” shatter – a derivative of marijuana that is in concentrated form, making it hard and brittle.

The investigation resulted in search warrants being executed on Nov. 25, 2015, at the couple’s commercial and residential properties and the subsequent laying of charges against Woolsey in August 2016.

The trial is expected to run until Friday and then resume on Jan. 15.

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