Blocked Out

Toronto drops concrete blocks in front of illegal home weed stores

Toronto's dropped massive concrete blocks in front of illegal weed stores to stop them from reopening. Pictured here: An alleged illegal dispensary. (Image via Kandoh/Reddit)

A peculiar legal loophole in Ontario, Canada’s weed laws prevents authorities from accessing and shutting down alleged illegal cannabis dispensaries that operate out of people’s homes. Predictably, the state is not happy about it.

That’s why Toronto law enforcement has dropped large concrete blocks in front of the storefronts in question. Big blocks = no buyers going in and no product going out. Reddit user okThisYear snapped a picture of one of the piles, which resemble a drunk giant Lego pile-on:

In front of an old dispensary. from r/toronto

This cement chock-a-block has to be one of the more ham-handed architectures of exclusion. But it wasn’t a first-try tactic: Previously, authorities had padlocked entrances and installed steel doors to prevent illegal sales, but the strategy didn’t deter around 15 percent of the city’s craftiest underground dealers, who continued to peddle cannabis from their stores-slash-homes. As of this year, weed is legal in Toronto, but the drug can only be sold by licensed dispensaries.

CBC reported that a bill to close the loophole received royal assent (it passed) over the objections of some legislators who fear the law might lead to evictions if residents who are not participating in the weed business are found guilty of unlawful sales by association.

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