Police inside the Cannabis Culture store on Church Street. Police raid Cannabis stores across the country on Thursday March 9, 2017. (Craig Robertson /Toronto Sun)
You’d think they would be out of doobies.
Even after Toronto Police cleaned the place out of all their pot, the stench of marijuana was ripe inside the store. Police took out tens of thousands of dollars worth of product from envelopes and jars.
But they didn’t get it all.
Staff found police left behind some rolled joints and undetected envelopes of pot.
The smiling group, who got off on warnings by the same police who did charge owners Marc and Jodi Emery, quickly rolled and sparked up the spoils in defiance right in front myself and colleagues Maryam Shah and photographer Craig Robertson.
The message was clear.
“We will be open again tomorrow,” General Manager Jamie McConnell insisted. “When you are in the pot dispensary business, you expect this.”
Having said that arresting the Emerys on the airplane and “raiding every store” did “come as a surprise.”
Meanwhile, even though the aroma inside Cannabis Culture at 461 Church St. was strong, it’s not the biggest stink in this story of the mission by the federal Liberal government to “legalize” marijuana.
That big corporate entities, and big government, would prefer to corner the market and cut out small pot pioneers is what smells the most.
“Government wants the large player dispensing model for tax collection and profit but the buying public want this storefront model,” said McConnell. “We pay our taxes and we serve 2,000 people every day.”
But it’s the Shoppers Drug Mart, or perhaps even an LCBO-style model, that is the way government is taking legalization – clearly a different direction than letting people like Emery get a foothold into that future multi-billion dollar goldmine. They don’t have to look back far in history to see how people with names like Bronfman, Kennedy and Sleeman were thorns in the side of the law during prohibition times but later became pillars of society.
Ironically many of today’s pillars and powerful who have invested in a pot full future.
While you certainly can’t blame police for doing it’s job – and they did it professionally Thursday as the people in the store admitted – you can question Prime Minister Justin Trudeau when he smoked marijuana as a member of the House of Commons, did it come from a legal source or from the grey market like the Emerys operate?
There’s a lot of hypocrisy to go around.
Yes, the laws are there – but to cut the pot enthusiast pioneers out of the legislation pot quest is unreasonable. There’s nothing wrong with being fair and to work with, and talk to, the Marc Emerys of the pot world instead of jailing them.
And accept there’s enough financial buzz for both models to exist.
“We will take as much time as it takes to do it right,” Federal pot czar Scrarborough MP and former Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair told Bloomberg in an interview Monday. “I’m pretty reluctant to suggest a specific time frame, frankly, because I don’t know how long this will take in each of our 10 provinces and three territories.”
Perhaps the Trudeau government should let them all smoke or get off the pot altogether.
Original article can be found here