Oh boy. This is a big topic. I'd been trying to write this post for three days before I started this post on May 29, took a few days off, and then spent multiple days on it on and off. I've been reading, watching, taking notes. This might not be the most eloquent post, but it contains facts and opinions that I want to communicate.
Recently, in an event called “Project Claudia“, Toronto police arrested 90 people and laid 186 trafficking charges after raiding 43 marijuana dispensaries. The City laid a further 79 charges on property owners for zoning and licensing bylaw infractions. The dispensaries received a letter from Toronto Police the previous week saying they were unlawful and were asked to shut down. Landlords were asked to evict their dispensary tenants.
Among the objects seized during the 43 raids, there was 270 kilograms of dry cannabis, 30 kg of resin, 25 kg of hash, 27 kg of pills, 73 kg of chocolate, 142 kg of cookies, 129 kg of candies, 101 kg of bars, 135 e-cigarettes, 457 drinks, 127 kg of oils and spreads, and 121 kg of other by-products were seized.
I'm pro-legalization and pro-marijuana, but…
I'm pro-medical cannabis. It's an area that I'm fascinated by, and I'm an advocate for. I've been watching Toronto's dispensary community and I've been paying attention to the issues around legalization. I like that dispensaries exist. They're needed. I think that people SHOULD have a place to go for this type of medicine. I also don't think there's anything wrong with adults using cannabis recreationally. I'm even planning a 4-6 week email-based course that teaches the basics of marijuana, mostly in the context of health. (Want in? Subscribe to my newsletter over on the right and up.)
I think that many of the existing dispensaries should be legal. People need access and it needs to be more open than it currently is.
I also don't think that the police are absolutely wrong. I watched the press conference and empathized with Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders.