Article by Jennifer Pagliaro, The Toronto Star
A steady stream of exasperated, would-be customers standing on the sunlit sidewalk outside the Toronto Leaf Dispensary on Queen St. E. and Jarvis St. on Friday afternoon share a common refrain.
Just after 1 p.m., uniformed police officers and the city’s by-law enforcement officers walked up to the frosted glass door of the as-yet-illegal weed dispensary for a second go at raiding it.
The first time didn’t go as planned; the uniformed by-law officers couldn’t get inside the first time they tried as there are five cameras installed outside the front door and an intercom for entry, the Star was told.
This time, they’ve arrived with a police escort and a warrant in hand.
The quiet raid is only marked by the “Open” sign on the storefront being extinguished. Still, it’s not signal enough for the dozens of prospective customers, some whom are surprised, while others are infuriated to find a police officer on the other side of the door.
In recent months, Mayor John Tory has repeated the city’s position that marijuana shops will be subject to enforcement if they continue to open and operate without a licensing regime in place.
Police and bylaw enforcement raids have continued, most recently snaring pot activists Marc and Jodie Emery and their Cannabis Culture chain stores as the city awaits word on legalization from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s federal government.
The Star was tipped off about one such raid and watched it play out over the course of several hours.