CANNABIS CULTURE – Toronto Police raided one of Cannabis Culture’s marijuana dispensary locations today, seizing stock and making several arrests. A second CC location in Toronto remains open, and owners have vowed to re-open the raided shop tomorrow.
Cannabis Culture at 801 Queen Street West was shut down temporarily by police who visited Thursday in the early afternoon.
Plain-clothes and uniformed officers locked security gates and hung paper in the front window of the busy storefront to block onlookers and people taking photographs. Three members of the CC staff were arrested, including Erin Goodwin, a long-time marijuana activist and pot shop worker.
Cannabis Culture at 711 Queen Street East remains open for business today, and Cannabis Culture’s Marc Emery will be on premises to help re-open the closed location tomorrow.
“Canadians want to be able to access cannabis in an open, public way, and that is why dispensaries have become so popular,” CC owner Jodie Emery told Cannabis Culture. “The only harm being done is by the police with guns raiding peaceful businesses and arresting harmless people, and charging them for a victimless crime.”
Toronto media reported that police also raided other dispensaries in the city including Canna Clinic in Kensington Market. Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders told the press that four search warrants were executed.
“Cannabis Culture has more than twenty years of history campaigning for legalization with political advocacy, education, and peaceful civil disobedience,” Jodie said. “Activism has been essential for marijuana law reform in Canada, and is still required until we have full freedom and true legalization.”
CC recently opened four marijuana dispensaries – two in Vancouver and two in Toronto – that sell cannabis to anyone 19 years or older.
“Cannabis Culture is demonstrating what legalization should look like, and we do not believe in giving in to intimidation and unjust persecution,” Jodie said. “We are peacefully protesting discriminatory and costly law enforcement by using civil disobedience to demonstrate that the law does more harm than cannabis ever has. Legalization and dispensaries are supported by a majority of Canadians, and that’s why we will continue to use activism to push for cannabis access, equality, and freedom.”
Toronto police raided 43 dispensaries on May 26 and immediately received a negative backlash from activists and the public. Pot activists attended a Toronto police press conference asked Police Chief Saunders tough questions about evidence of harms caused by marijuana dispensaries. No evidence was presented.
At the time of publication of this article, all three CC staff were still in police custody.
Join the Cannabis Culture Re-Opening Press Conference with Marc Emery tomorrow at 10AM at 801 Queen Street West.