Article by Dale Carruthers, London Free Press
Despite tough new laws targeting illegal marijuana sellers, a pot shop busted in London’s first police raid since Canada legalized cannabis was back in business on Friday — only one day later — and another that had unexpectedly closed was open again.
Such whack-a-mole-style battles between police and illegal sellers were common across Canada before recreational marijuana was legalized on Oct. 17, but the Ontario government had said its new laws, combined with strict enforcement, would put an end to the black market dispensaries.
Two high-profile cannabis crusaders call the police raids a waste of taxpayers’ money yet predict the crackdowns will continue and pot shops will keep popping back up.
“People who use cannabis are going to continue to buy it outside the system and trying to drive them to the OSC (Ontario Cannabis Store, the province’s monopoly online retailer) with raids and police actions are not going to be successful,” said Dana Larsen, director of the Vancouver Dispensary Society.
Adults in Ontario can legally buy marijuana products only from the OCS until bricks-and-mortar dispensaries open in April.