Pubdate: Fri, 10 Mar 2017
Source: Toronto Sun (CN ON)
Copyright: 2017 Canoe Limited Partnership
Author: Joe Warmington
Page: 4


You'd think they'd 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 Jodie Emery, quickly rolled and sparked up the
spoils in defiance right in front me 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 an 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

'Storefront model'

"Government wants the large-player dispensing model for tax collection
and profit, but the buying public want this storefront model,"
McConnell said. "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 have invested in a
future full of pot.

PM's toke

While you certainly can't blame police for doing their job - and they
did it professionally Thursday as the people in the store admitted -
you can ask Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, having smoked marijuana as
a member of the House of Commons, whether it came 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 equation 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 that there's enough financial buzz for both models to

"We will take as much time as it takes to do it right," the federal
pot czar, Scarborough 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

Perhaps the Trudeau government should let them all smoke or get off
the pot altogether.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Matt