A number of recreational marijuana dispensaries in Toronto continue to operate, completely defying the police raids last week. Cannabis Culture, for example, continues to sell cannabis for recreational purposes since the recent raids did not affect it.
Law enforcers raided 43 pot dispensaries in Toronto on Thursday as part of the ongoing “Project Claudia” investigation. The crackdowns resulted to nearly 200 charges and the arrest of 90 people. So far, the police force has already seized 129 kilos of candy edibles, 71 kilos of chocolate edibles, 269 kilos of dried pot, 64 kilos of liquids, and almost $160,000 of cash.
As Mark Saunders, Toronto Police Chief, puts it, recreational marijuana dispensaries pose a great public health concern, given the fact that they operate under no regulations. Out of the nearly 90 marijuana dispensaries in Toronto, only 18 producers are licensed to dispense medical cannabis in the province.
Toronto Cannabis Coalition: Drop All Charges
Following these events, Toronto Cannabis Coalition asked the city to drop all charges immediately on the grounds of their unjust nature.
Adolfo Gonzalez, Toronto Cannabis Coalition spokesperson, argued that the Toronto-based marijuana dispensaries operate in an “informative environment” that is highly beneficial especially for cannabis patients. Furthermore, Gonzalez elaborated that these dispensaries are far better and safer than black market suppliers are.
According to Gonzalez, the lack of specific guidelines regarding the use and distribution of marijuana has led to the growth of dispensaries in the city. Hence, the Toronto Cannabis Coalition wants the legislative body to consider appropriate and reasonable regulations that would protect the interests of patients, dispensaries, and the city as a whole.
What Legalization Means for Pot Activists
Jodie Emery, a leading marijuana activist, explained in behalf of Cannabis Culture that the legalization of marijuana should not be limited for and to medical purposes only. Healthy or sick, any Canadian shall be given the right to access pot. Moreover, Emery said that Cannabis Culture will not cease operations and shall continue to offer marijuana to anyone aged above 19. She added that this is a clear statement of what the activist community wants by demonstrating that the recreational use of marijuana should not be criminalized.