Pubdate: Thu, 09 Jun 2016
Source: Windsor Star (CN ON)
Copyright: 2016 The Windsor Star
Author: Trevor Wilhelm
Page: A2


Chief says people take advantage of 'perceived confusion' on

Windsor police busted an alleged drug dealer they say was brazenly
peddling pot out of a Wyandotte Street storefront.

Windsor police Chief Al Frederick said this case is an example of
people thinking they can get away with dealing weed because the
government has said it will start the process of legalizing the drug
next year.

"What we think is happening is people are taking advantage of this
perceived confusion that it's going to be legalized and that they're
going to have some sort of sway in the courts, and they're not," he
said. "This is just trafficking, plain and simple. It will be
trafficking in the future and it's trafficking today and it has
nothing to do with anything that's happening with the federal
government or medical marijuana."

The drug unit executed a search warrant around 2:40 p.m. at Burnies
Compassion Society at 490 Wyandotte St. W. A 41-year-old man has been
charged with trafficking marijuana and possession of marijuana for the
purpose of trafficking. His name has not been released.

Police said they seized 69 grams of weed, some scales and packaging
materials "consistent" with the sale of marijuana. Police seized a
relatively small amount of marijuana - it has a $690 street value -
but Frederick said there is no minimum threshold for charging someone
with trafficking.

"It's trafficking a narcotic just like any other drug dealer selling
from his house or his car," said Frederick. "This guy was selling from
a storefront."

The business was closed Wednesday. But there was still a notice in the
window urging people to "become a member ... today."

The notice said people only need photo identification and a membership
card from another dispensary to sign up. It goes on to state that
anyone without a membership card should go inside to see how to become
a member.

The small, sparsely decorated office is in the bottom of a rundown
apartment building at the corner of Wyandotte and Bruce Avenue. The
only furniture inside the business was a desk and shelves holding
pipes and bongs. There was a flag on the wall near the door with the
slogan "a spliff (a marijuana cigarette) a day keeps the doctor away."

There were also two large pro-pot flags hung in the front windows,
including a Canadian flag with the maple leaf replaced by a marijuana

Frederick said police have been questioned about why they still arrest
marijuana traffickers if the drug will be legalized.

The Liberal government has said it will remove marijuana consumption
and incidental possession from the Criminal Code. The feds said they
will also create laws to punish those who sell it "outside of the new
regulatory framework."

There hasn't been a lot of detail provided on the supply end of
things. But it's unlikely that anyone who wants to will be able to
just open a store and start selling pot brownies and pre-rolled joints.

"They're not going to legalize, from my understanding, trafficking of
a controlled substance," said Frederick. "That's against the law
today, clearly, and that will be against the law in the new year as

Police also pointed out that people who are medically authorized to
possess marijuana can still only buy it from producers licensed by
Health Canada. The only legal way to buy marijuana under the Marijuana
for Medical Purposes Regulations is through the mail, said Frederick.

But even if it was legal to sell medical marijuana through a
storefront, Frederick said the person charged Thursday doesn't have a
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