Police Chiefs in Canada are looking to send the message that cannabis is still not legal yet, in spite of the widespread increase of dispensaries.
The president of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, Clive Weighill, commented on this increase, “Nanaimo shut down three dispensaries. Halifax has shut one down. Toronto has… we have, here in Saskatoon, as well. We want to stay ahead of this as much as we can. Certainly, I would say we are not anti-marijuana. But we do have laws here, and until we know what the new regulations are going to be, we have to enforce the laws as they currently stand.”
Weighill also said that officers will arrest people who are attempting to sell cannabis before federal legalization is finally in place. “The charges would be trafficking because you’re trafficking in a substance that you’re not allowed to have… [also], maybe proceeds of crime… It’s a very serious offence, right now.”
The police have quite an issue when it comes to pursuing dispensaries and others selling cannabis, because their resources are limited, just like anyone else. There have already been cases of dispensaries being shut down and then new ones will pop up only days later. Most dispensaries in the country are not being raided or legally probed most of the time, so this demonstrates that in general the police are restraining themselves when it comes to dispensaries. This does not seem to be the attitude from those at the top of the chain of command though.