VANCOUVER, B.C. (CN) – A couple says they were enjoying a quiet evening with friends at home when the Royal Canadian Mounted Police stormed their house with weapons drawn, handcuffed them and held them for an hour – because they were growing tomatoes in their house.
Bruce Aleksich and Diane Daschuk claim in B.C. Supreme Court that “they have never been involved in any criminal activity nor conducted any illegal business activities,” but that didn’t stop the Mounties from their raid on “a simple tomato grow operation.”
“The plaintiffs had decided to conduct most of the operation indoors as a result of poor weather and other conditions,” the couple says. “As such, they made use of large lights and other indoor growing implements to keep the vegetables healthy.”
The couple says they were relaxing at home with friends the night of the raid in June 2008. The gun-toting Mounties ordered them and their guests to get on the ground and handcuffed and detained them for an hour, according to the complaint.
The couple says the police refused to explain why they raid the tomatoes, and refused to apologize or pay for damages to the home.
The couple adds that they have suffered “physical and psychological health problems” including “anxiety, weight loss, nightmares, headaches, and dizziness.” They seek punitive damages for constitutional violations.
They are represented by Bibhas D. Vaze with Conroy & Co., of Abbotsford, B.C.
Although it is not mentioned in the complaint, police agencies use a variety of methods to seek and destroy indoor marijuana farms, including monitoring electric use and thermal imaging.