Police Can’t Ignore Pot Dispensaries: Waterloo Police Chief Bryan Larkin

Article by Kate Bueckert, CBC News

Police across the country have raided pot dispensaries. Waterloo Region Police Chief Bryan Larkin says police can't turn a blind eye to any illegal dispensary, even if it's serving the needs of medical patients. 'Compassion clubs have a role to play in making sure that people have access to their medicine'

New laws around marijuana use are on the way, but it doesn’t mean police can stop enforcing the laws as they stand currently, Waterloo Regional Police Chief Bryan Larkin says.

Recent media reports of raids of pot dispensaries across the country have had some asking why police bother with the raids when marijuana will likely be legal next summer.

“There’s an assumption that dispensaries are going to be legal. Cannabis is going to be legal, but the framework and the way that it’s going the rolled out has yet to be actually unveiled,” Larkin told The Morning Edition host Craig Norris Thursday.

Larkin said his officers took a “balanced approach” to dealing with local dispensaries. Police first approached the businesses to explain why they were operating against the law. Then a cease and desist letter was sent to the businesses.

Then, if the dispensaries didn’t close down voluntarily, officers moved in and charges were laid.

Compassion clubs help patients

Peter Thurley of Kitchener uses medical marijuana and while he appreciates the approach the Waterloo Regional Police have taken, he would still like to see compassion clubs – dispensaries that tend to provide marijuana for people who need it for medical reasons rather than recreational use – have a different set of rules.

“When people think of a pot dispensary, they’re thinking about these kind of skeezy weed shops that kind of pop up,” he said. That’s not what a compassion club is.

Read full article here.

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