CANNABIS CULTURE –
The raids against medical cannabis dispensaries and pot cafes – dubbed the “second round” of Project Claudia by the CBC, occurred on June 23nd, 2016. The first round occurred on May 26th.
The rationale for the raids given by the Chief of Toronto Police the day after the first round of raids had been concerns over the proximity to schools, concerns over quality control of the product, and concern over the levels of THC in the cannabis products.
Since March, he said, the number of marijuana dispensaries has doubled in the city — with half of the facilities investigated by police located within 300 meters of schools. “These locations have a broader impact on the surrounding neighborhoods. There is no quality control whatsoever on these products,” Saunders said as dozens of bags of seized goods were laid out before him. “They are marketed in a way to disguise the unknown and unregulated amount of THC (a chemical compound found in marijuana) in the products.”
I must question these concerns as being genuine. Cannabis has not proven to be inherently harmful to young people, with no subsequent increase in psychosis or decrease in I.Q. in any western nation to match the five-fold increase in users over the last 60 years.
Had the police been concerned about the quality or the purity of the cannabis, they could have demanded the city require contaminant testing as a requisite for continuing to operate. The Licensed Producer marijuana distribution system, set up by the Harper government, does not require contaminant testing results to be made public, raising questions as to whether or not a double standard is being used to attack dispensaries for the benefit of the Licensed Producers.
With regards to THC levels, this is a red herring, as smoked medicine involves “self-titration” – a careful system of self-dosing where the user stops when the desired effects are reached. Since THC levels from cannabis buds never exceed that of hashish, there is no medical reason to be concerned with the THC levels within the cannabis itself – when the user is high enough, they will stop smoking.
When challenged to provide examples of a health problem requiring raids, the police were unable to do so.
The actions of the police do not reflect actual concern over the health and safety of the community. If the police cared for the health or safety of the community, they would not deny that community access to medicine and subject that community to the perils of the black market. Instead, the actions of the police reflect the actions of a private army, upholding a monopoly on medicinal cannabis for the benefit of the rich and powerful and politically-connected Licensed Producers, some of which have been linked to high ranking members of the Federal Government. And if the government was actually concerned for the well-being of cannabis users Trudeau would not have the “insensate Prohibition zealot” Anne McLellan (Emery) as the leader of his legalization task force.
The day before the second round of raids, Toronto Police Chief Sanders had apologized to the Toronto LGBT community for similar raids they conducted in 1981, saying there has been “lessons learned”.
If the lesson was that one should not assume a deviant, tied-to-hedonism scapegoat to be inherently harmful to young people, but rather one should have solid evidence a group is harmful before mass arrests occur, then I state unequivocally that the lesson has not been learned.
“There is no choice left but to defend life against the genocidal machine. … Do not be deceived. It is a classic stratagem of genocide to camouflage their wars as law-and-order police actions.” – Timothy Leary, “Confessions of a Hope Fiend”, 1973, p.102