Dispensary Cooperation on Robbery Investigations
Toronto police will protect – not charge – Toronto dispensaries victimized by robbery
On March 6, 2017 Superintendent Bryce Evans, on behalf of the Toronto Police Service, stated that Toronto dispensaries that cooperate on robbery investigations will not be charged with dispensary offences. The Toronto police believe this will allow them to more effectively investigate dispensary robberies. This suggests, as was affirmed by 55 division, dispensaries are members of the community deserving of protection.
Superintendent Evans said that if police are at a dispensary investigating a robbery, cannabis in plain view would be seized, but no further searches or search warrants would be sought and no charges brought, as least not in response to the robbery investigation. If the dispensary was not on the police radar before because they were on a side street or second floor would this put them on the police radar? That’s not clear. Still, this is a progressive, positive step forward apparently initiated by 55 division.
Of course, not everything in Toronto is peaches and cannabis infused cream. It is in Toronto where dispensary raids are cranking up again depleting scarce judicial resources along the way. It is in Toronto where Marc and Jodie Emery were recently singled out for unusually hostile treatment, presumably because they are activists. It is in Toronto where forfeiture talk flies around as if it is a reasonable, not hysterical, response to dispensaries in Canada in 2017. It is in Toronto where bylaw-officers ticket dispensaries for operating a dispensary in a part of the city not zoned for dispensaries. Of course, no part of the city is zoned for dispensaries. It is a hilarious Kafkaesque ticket that carries with it giant fines and shut down orders.
Paul Lewin, @PaulLewinLawyer