After a wave of RCMP action against the Canadian cannabis industry, many have questioned why the federal police force have continued to strike when the newly elected Liberal government have made it clear they intend to legalize cannabis.
After his Vernon dispensary was ordered closed by RCMP last week, Jeff Gaudette said he expected more to change after legalization was approved by voters.
“It’s such a slap in the face to have things move forward and then have to deal with this,” Gaudette said.
The Ministry of Public Safety, which oversees public security including Royal Canadian Mounted Police, led by Ralph Goodale has been tasked by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to ““support the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Health on efforts that will lead to the legalization and regulation of marijuana.”
Despite the order, it doesn’t look like the legalization process will stop police from moving against dispensaries and other cannabis businesses until laws have been changed, according to Public Safety Canada Spokesperson Zarah Malik.
“Under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, marijuana possession, production and trafficking remains illegal in Canada,” Malik said.
Malik said the government’s priority in legalization remains “to keep marijuana out of the hands of children and take the profits away from criminal enterprises.”
The spokesperson made no mention that the federal government will do anything to stop ongoing police action, so until legalization, which remains without a timeline for implementation, RCMP will continue to act against dispensaries.
“The transition will take some time. It needs to be accomplished in an orderly manner,” said Malik. “Under the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR), only those with a license to manufacture can supply or sell marijuana directly to patients in possession of a prescription by a healthcare practitioner to access marijuana for a medical purpose. As such, any store selling marijuana is operating illegally.”