Article by Megan Stacey, The London Free Press
Police targeted a highly visible London marijuana dispensary in a crackdown Wednesday morning, arresting five people and angering customers.
More than a half-dozen officers raided the London Relief Centre on downtown’s Richmond Row at about 10 a.m., yelling for everyone to get out, said a woman who witnessed the raid.
“It was pretty scary. They just kind of came out of nowhere,” Paula, a customer who didn’t want to give her full name, told The Free Press.
“I’m still a little rattled.”
The Richmond Row business opened earlier this month, thumbing its nose at current laws by offering to sell marijuana to anyone over 19, even without a prescription.
“Trafficking marijuana is still against the law, and we will be enforcing those laws,” Const. Sandasha Bough said outside the business on Wednesday.
The so-called 19-plus business model used by the London Relief Centre publicly flouts the law and poses a direct challenge to the Ontario government’s plan to regulate the sale of pot when recreational use of it is legalized within the next year.
But some Londoners are enraged that local police are making such an effort to obstruct pot shops.
Laura Meldrum visited the pot shop Wednesday. She thinks police resources are better spent elsewhere, saying pot shops aren’t posing a risk to the community.