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Toronto Mayor Announces Impending Raids on Dispensaries

Toronto’s got a lot going on this weekend: a concert by pop auteur Carly Rae Jepsen, a soccer match between Toronto FC and D.C. United, and a self-explanatory (and delicious-sounding) Father’s Day Chocolate Tour. And if Toronto Mayor John Tory gets his wish, the coming days could bring something else: a fresh batch of raids on the city’s illegal-yet-plentiful cannabis dispensaries.

Details come from Mayor Tory himself, who today appeared on CBC Radio’s Metro Morning show to explain his push for a renewed crackdown. “I just don’t think [dispensaries] are meant to be in every neighbourhood, in every retail strip,” said Tory. “I don’t think people want them and they’re against the law.”

And while the mayor acknowledged the impropriety of explicitly directing police Chief Mark Saunders to order new raids, he nevertheless expressed his desire for police action. “They have taken action before and I hope they will again because I think we’re in an upward trend,” said Tory.

The big question: What kind of raids should Toronto dispensaries expect? Something relatively contained, like last March’s “Project Gator” raids that resulted in five arrests? Or something more expansive, like the raids of March 2016, which resulted in more than 90 arrests? Stay tuned. (And if you’d like to hear audio of Mayor Tory’s appearance on Metro Morning, you may do so here.)

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Dave Schmader

Dave Schmader is the author of the book "Weed: The User's Guide." Follow him on Twitter @davidschmader

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