Drugs

An Ontario Cop Ran a Weed Dispensary and His Bosses Were Cool with It

Apparently it's OK to sell drugs as long as you're a cop.
Manisha Krishnan
Toronto, CA
September 8, 2016, 3:34pm

Toronto cops seize weed during the Project Claudia raids. Cole Burston/Canadian Press

An Ontario police officer co-owned a medical marijuana dispensary and is now debating whether or not he wants to keep policing or sell weed full time, according to a Toronto Star investigation.

Const. Phil Edgar, of Durham Regional Police, was co-owner of Port Perry-based dispensary Living On Medical Marijuana.

Edgar, who has reportedly been a cop for 22 years, filed an application with the police force to help head up the pot shop near the end of last year.

"His application was approved," Durham police spokesman Dave Selby told VICE.

Read more: While Trudeau Figures Out How to Legalize Weed Cops Will Continue to Fight the War on Drugs.

According to the Star, Edgar co-owned Living On, which advertises everything from Juju Joints to Chrontella on its online shop, for six months but has now "stepped back" from the company.

"From my view everything Living On was doing was ethical and legal. If we're helping people, and it's all ethical and legal, then I have no problem with it," Edgar told the Star, noting his role was primarily promotional.

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Thing is, dispensaries are 100 percent illegal. In May, Toronto police raided 43 dispensaries and laid 186 charges as part of a crackdown called Project Claudia. According to Statistics Canada, a Canadian is arrested every nine minutes because of marijuana.

Selby told VICE Durham police, responsible for the area just east of Toronto, are "monitoring dispensaries that we're aware of in the Durham region."

"It's not a simple black and white issue," he said, noting he hasn't heard of anyone involved in a dispensary in the area being charged. However, he also said the cops would "be enforcing the existing laws."

Selby wouldn't comment on the specifics of Edgar's case, claiming it's a private personnel matter, but did say that a police officer being involved in an illegal business is contradictory to the Police Services Act.

Edgar has been commended for busting more than half a million dollars worth of weed while conducting traffic stops, the Star reports. But he said there's a difference between the black market and medical weed. He appears to be torn on whether or not to ditch policing for the weed game.

"I have to do some serious soul searching to decide: do I stay in the policing industry or do I want to branch out into businesses like this?"

Honestly, why bother choosing when you can do both?

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