Police conduct more raids on Toronto pot dispensaries
Posted June 23, 2016 3:32 pm.
Last Updated June 23, 2016 4:16 pm.
This article is more than 5 years old.
Toronto police have engaged in another crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries in the city.
Chief Mark Saunders said search warrants were executed at four dispensaries across the city as part of Project Claudia.
“As I’ve stated before, it’s an ongoing investigation. It’s illegal to sell marijuana unless you have a license given to you by Health Canada,” he explained. “I’ve never minced my words on this, so this is no shock to anybody. I said that the investigation would continue and this is the result of what I said.”
One of the stores targeted on Thursday was Cannabis Culture on Queen Street West. According to social media, Canna Clinic in Kensington Market was also raided by police.
“The police showed up on bikes and they have covered up the windows, they have closed the scissor gates and they’ve, as far we we know, detained some people. But we don’t have confirmation on that yet,” marijuana activist and Cannabis Culture owner Jodie Emery said.
Emery said they received a letter from police on Wednesday saying the store was operating against regulations and that investigations were possible.
“Given that it was just one day of notice, we didn’t have much time to respond. But accordingly we did reduce the amount of stock on hand because we don’t want anyone to be charged. We don’t want anyone to be arrested,” Emery said. “That’s the whole purpose of this peaceful, civil disobedience.”
“If you have dispensaries and they’re open, your chances of going to court and being charged and being convicted are very high. So, I strongly recommend that you stop selling marijuana in dispensaries right now because they’re all unlawful,” Chief Saunders said.
Despite the raids, Emery said they will continue to re-open the store every time it is shut down.
She is also calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to stop the arrests and make good on his promise to legalize marijuana.
“Justin Trudeau said at first that he wanted to decriminalize so young people would not be saddled with criminal records. But he has changed his position and is now adopting the same policy that Stephen Harper promoted all those years, to continue arresting people,” Emery said.
“I beg them to stop arresting Canadians for marijuana. Canadians voted for the Liberals on a policy of legalization. That means no more marijuana arrests,” she continued.
Police have not made a statement on the raids or confirmed any arrests.