Flyers have been making the rounds in certain parts of the city, offering cash-paying customers the chance to set up appointments through encrypted email.
The Winnipeg Police Service says that there haven’t been any complaints about the flyers, but they aren’t sure how widespread they are.
The Winnipeg Free Press contacted the individual and who said that they aren’t in it for the money.
“First off I hardly make any money doing this,” the person said, through email. “I do it for the activism. I’ve figure (sic) out how to use this encrypted email to protect from getting robbed. I’m a micro-business, and I will not stop. I’m a freedom activist, for love and health, over 30 years. I focus on cannabis cause (sic) it’s the spearhead for freedom and peace for the world.”
University of Manitoba criminologist Frank Cormier has never heard of this kind of distribution tactic before.
“It sounds like a really bad idea to me,” said Cormier. “If these people are, in fact, selling marijuana, then they are breaking the law, and by putting out a flyer with an email address, they might be telling police where to find them.”
Cormier said even when legalization finally rolls out, what this individual is doing will likely still be illegal as the service is unregulated.
Cormier anticipates the federal government’s legalization plan will cause some problems for police in regards to dealing with impaired drivers, but overall their time should be more freed up to pursue other crimes once cannabis use is legalized.
“Police all over North America, at least, over the past decade or so, they’ve been charging fewer and fewer people with marijuana offences,” says Cormier. “If it’s a small amount, the tendency might be to just take it away from them, destroy it and let people go on their way.”
While the Winnipeg Police Service waits to comment until they see the new legislation, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police has been candid in their support of letting officers give people tickets instead of criminal charges when small amounts of marijuana are found.
Saskatoon police Chief Clive Weighill says that “I’m confident that the federal government will come up with a regulatory framework that will be comfortable for all involved.”