A Toronto Cannabis Culture shop has been vandalized one day day after a column by Shaun Proulx in the free Postmedia daily newspaper 24 Hours claimed that some members of LGBT community were blaming their customers for a recent assault on a young gay man and other harassing behaviour.
Cannabis Culture co-owner Jodie Emery posted a picture of a paint-splattered window today she believes is in response to the “bizarre smear-like” op-ed.
— Jodie Emery (@JodieEmery) January 6, 2017
“This week, in my backyard, which happens to be in the heart of Toronto’s LGBT community, many are understandably outraged following the physical assault of a young gay man on Church Street, sacred ground and assumed safe space for LGBT people for decades.
On social media, where dialogue about the matter is lively, to say the least, blame is being heavily laid on the “sketch” element a recently opened business is said to be attracting, and, therefore, on the business itself…. It is attracting, according to anecdotes, a shady customer base, some of whom are alleged to have harassed and bullied LGBT people within Cannabis Culture, while others are alleged to have attacked them verbally and physically out on Church Street itself.”
He then quoted an unnamed Facebook user who advocated violence: “Maybe it’s time to start patrolling Church Street with a bat. I will be happy to knock out some teeth. Trust me when I say LGBT people will not tolerate this … [Cannabis Culture needs to]be better or be gone! More police presence! Start carrying pepper spray and Swiss Army knives.”
No link to the Facebook page in question is linked to in the online version of the story, and Proulx later said it was something that appeared in his personal feed.
A single Facebook page isn’t mentioned. Facebook is. That is to say, comments quoted are from Facebook, appearing in my feed. https://t.co/AkrpPpUJsT
— Shaun Proulx (@ShaunProulx) January 6, 2017
No details of the alleged attack or evidence for why cannabis enthusiasts are being blamed are given. Toronto police also do not offer any information about an assault on Church Street in the past two weeks on their online news release service.
Cannabis Culture opened a storefront in the city’s Gay Village in September 2016.