Chris Selley: Breaking the law comes with consequences — even if the PM promised new pot legislation

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Courtesy of National Post

Toronto well and truly called the burgeoning pot dispensary industry’s bluff on Friday: police executed 43 search warrants, made 90 arrests and laid 257 charges. Bylaw officers issued 48 charges for zoning violations and 31 for licensing violations, namely selling food without the proper credentials — the latter an unspeakable heresy in Toronto even if you’re not lacing your wares with cannabis.

The rapid proliferation of these storefronts was enough to unsettle even some of the laid-back burghers of Kensington Market. And these businesses are clearly, unambiguously illegal: there is no legal way to sell medical weed from a storefront in Canada, no matter how authentic the customer’s prescription; and recreational sales are verboten in all circumstances, as we know.

Yet the peaceful operation of these dispensaries certainly seemed to be evidence that the private sector could play a more useful role in a post-legalization world than envisioned by Premier