Pubdate: Fri, 18 Dec 2015
Source: Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB)
Copyright: 2015 Winnipeg Free Press
Author: Katie May
Page: B4


'Freedom Advocate' Offers Service As Legalization Vowed

THE federal government hasn't yet legalized marijuana in Canada, but 
that hasn't stopped a Winnipeg drug dealer from advertising a 
pot-delivery service.

A flyer circulating in some parts of the city promises to deliver 
marijuana to cash-paying customers by "appointment" arranged over 
encrypted email.

It's unclear how widely the flyer has circulated - copies have been 
delivered to some residents' homes, but the Winnipeg Police Service 
said it hasn't received any complaints.

The flyer advertises a "Winnipeg Cannabis Delivery Service," and 
instructs people to email an encrypted address for more information 
and to arrange an appointment. When contacted by the Free Press, the 
person behind the email address wrote that the new venture is a 
"micro-business" based on activism, not profit.

"First off I hardly make any money doing this. I do it for the 
activism. I've figure (sic) out how to use this encrypted email to 
protect from getting robbed. I am a micro-business, and I will not 
stop," they wrote.

"I'm a freedom activist, for love and health, over 30 years. I focus 
on cannabis cause (sic) it's the spearhead for freedom and peace for 
the world."

University of Manitoba criminologist Frank Cormier said he hadn't 
heard of this kind of drug dealer advertising tactic in Winnipeg 
before. Even when marijuana is legalized, regulations will likely 
mean it will be sold under the province's liquor commission, not by a 
"delivery service."

"It sounds like a really bad idea to me," he said. "If these people 
are, in fact, selling marijuana, then they are breaking the law, and 
by putting out a flyer with an email address, they might be telling 
police where to find them," he said, adding police could pose as a 
buyer and make an arrest.

This summer, Glenn Price was arrested and charged with 
drug-trafficking offences after police raided his illegal 
medical-marijuana dispensary on Main Street. He opened the business 
in July and was warned by police two weeks later to shut it down, but 
he continued until his Aug. 4 arrest. The charges are still before 
the court, and Price has vowed to fight them.

Cormier said the federal government's plans to legalize marijuana 
could present some challenges for police in dealing with impaired 
drivers - there's no breathalyzer test for cannabis, although police 
do employ various other types of roadside tests for drivers they 
suspect are high.

Otherwise, he said he doesn't expect legalized marijuana will have a 
great effect on police work, other than saving police and courts the 
time they might otherwise have spent pursuing possession charges, he said.

"Police all over North America, at least, over the past decade or so, 
they've been charging less and less people with marijuana offences," 
Cormier said. "If it's a small amount, the tendency might be to just 
take it away from them, destroy it and let people go on their way."

The Winnipeg Police Service has declined to comment until it sees the 
new legislation.

The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, which has been vocal in 
its support of allowing officers to issue tickets instead of criminal 
charges for small amounts of marijuana, says it is confident it will 
be involved in the federal government's task force to create the new 

"Until I know what the government's intending to do, I can't say 
whether I'm for it or against it," said association president and 
Saskatoon police Chief Clive Weighill. "I'm confident that the 
federal government will come up with a regulatory framework that will 
be comfortable for all involved."

He said the association, which has about 1,000 members representing 
police agencies across Canada, is monitoring the effects of marijuana 
legalization in Colorado and Washington states.

"It really is too early to say what some of the upside of it is or 
what some of the downturn might be," he said.
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