Pubdate: Mon, 13 Mar 2017
Source: Toronto Star (CN ON)
Copyright: 2017 The Toronto Star
Author: Betsy Powell
Page: GT4


Mayor backs legalization, but says cannabis capitalism has jumped the
gun in the city

Mayor John Tory "strongly supports" the latest Toronto police
crackdown on marijuana dispensaries even though the federal government
will soon introduce legislation to legalize pot.

While Tory says he supports legalization, the people who have been
selling pot out of city storefronts have jumped the gun.

"I just think when you have a law that you have to make your best
efforts to enforce it," he said Friday, a day after the raids on pot
shops in Toronto, Vancouver and Hamilton.

Police arrested the owners of the seven Cannabis Culture locations,
Marc and Jodie Emery, at Pearson International Airport on March 8. The
Vancouver-based couple, known as the Prince and Princess of Pot, face
trafficking and possession charges as well as conspiring to commit an
indictable offence. Three associates were also charged.

The Emerys were released on bail Friday.

While some pot advocates have expressed surprise about the raids and
arrests, Tory said he has made it clear the "vast majority of people"
do not want pot sold in "Wild West" fashion.

Since pot dispensaries spread across the city last year, Tory said, he
has received "significant public feedback" that residents don't want
dispensaries "on every corner and neighbourhood," even in a "legalized

The mayor also applauded members of the city's licensing and standards
division for seeking an injunction in Ontario Superior Court of
Justice to close a chain of dispensaries called Canna Clinics.

The application says the pot dispensaries on 213 Ossington Ave., 350
Broadview Ave., 2352 Yonge St., 1556 Queen St. W., 44 Kensington Ave.,
527 Eglinton Ave. W., and 2087 Dundas St. W., are contravening zoning

While the city failed in its attempt to obtain a court injunction to
force Uber to stop operating two years ago, Tory said he has
confidence city lawyers would not have commenced the proceedings if
they didn't think there was a reasonable chance of success.

The mayor said he expects the courts will conclude these are not
appropriate uses under current law, "and they're not, that's a fact
and so is it a fact that marijuana is still illegal under the laws of
Canada, we can't just have people selling it on every street corner."

Police and city staff say pot sales are legal only if Health
Canada-approved patients get it, via mail or courier, from a federally
approved distributor located in an area zoned industrial.

Pot activists insist there is a legal grey area surrounding Canada's
medical marijuana laws which a judge has struck down as
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