Cannabis is now legal in a number of countries, and various states in America, with many others having relaxed laws around the drug, especially when it comes to medicinal use.
In Canada, where the drug is now legal and available to almost anyone over the age of 18, it seems some people are still using illegal methods to acquire it.
So much so, that though there are plenty of legal weed dispensaries in cities like Vancouver and Toronto, there are also a number of illegal cannabis stores and cafes selling the drug without proper licensing.
Toronto police have become rather adept at shutting down illegal weed dispensaries though, and recently raided CAFE 66, an illegal store at 66 Fort York Blvd.
However, while police have shut down a number of CAFE’s other locations in the past, this time things didn’t quite go to plan.
As part of their effort to shut down the store and ensure it remains shut, authorities have taken to placing huge concrete blocks in front of the doors.
Your dispensary gets cement blocks! & your dispensary gets cement blocks! EVERYBODY GETS CEMENT BLOCKS!
….But in all seriousness, the authorities could be using their time much more productively. Is this not a fire hazard? pic.twitter.com/hvxBeBMblJ
— Sarah Colero (@Sarah_Colero) July 17, 2019
However, according to Toronto news site blogTO, the police didn’t realise their concrete blocks weren’t just locking people out, but trapping people inside too.
Shortly after the cement blocks were unloaded – by crane – in front of the store’s doors, police were oblivious to the upstairs tenant who was still inside the building.
Naturally, when the tenant woke up and saw what had happened, they called the police to try and rectify the situation.
So #Toronto Police today spent hours to put huge concrete blocks in front of marijuana dispensary CAFE in Fort York Today using a giant crane. Apparently the tenant upstairs woke up in a tomb and called 911. Now they probably have to remove the blocks again. Waste of taxpayer $
— Sir Paul "The Book Guy" Alves (@PaulTheBookGuy) July 17, 2019
Of course, the blocks had to be swiftly removed shortly after being put there in the first place.
— Mr. Toronto Lawyer (@selwynpieters) July 17, 2019
According to BT Toronto, notices of immediate closure were taped to the windows, and the man who claimed to live there was told the property had been seized by the city and would not be allowed back in for the time being.
Until recently, illegal cannabis stores had been taking advantage of a loophole in the law, which meant dispensaries could stay open by claiming their locations were also used as residences.
Why not come up with a plan that allows a well run shop to legalize?
— zach allison (@zallison1987) July 17, 2019
While the move to legalise cannabis in Canada was welcomed by many people, according to reports the movement hasn’t convinced everyone, including marijuana users – many of whom are still using illegal methods to purchase the drug.
According to The Guardian, the majority of cannabis sales in Canada are still currently made on illegal markets, worth around $5 billion, while around $2 billion is made from legal sales.
The move to legalise marijuana was argued to all but eliminate the black market, as well as having a knock-on effect of cutting funds for organised crime. However, with reported shortages of stock and lack of quality most users are used to, it seems some people are still turning to their old habits of obtaining the drug.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.