In some respects, the news that Vancouver police raided Marc and Jodie Emery’s Cannabis Culture storefront Thursday comes as little surprise.
Raids happen from time to time, even here in Vancouver, where pot shops are more common than McDonald’s restaurants and many of them have business licences.
And the Prince and Princess of Pot tend to thumb their noses at the authorities — more so than others who openly trade in illegal drugs.
But it is a surprise that a Toronto police investigation spurred local law enforcement into action against the Emerys’ business.
The pot activists were arrested Wednesday in Toronto. On Thursday, the pair were each charged with several criminal offences including conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, trafficking and possession of marijuana, resin and derivatives, and possession of proceeds of drug money.
None of those charges are all that explosive. They’re precisely the sort that would stick to the legion of marijuana business owners across this city, which is part of what makes VPD involvement in this raid so curious.
For several years, the VPD has cracked down only on violent drug traffickers and those who prey on minors, marginalized people or those with drug addictions. They have also shut down pot shops with connections to organized crime.
The Emerys have been in the pot business for well over a decade. So why raid now?