Toronto Hemp Company

Student Writer

Stores that sell Drug Paraphernalia are Getting Out of Hand

by Robin Pierro

October 22, 2004

It is commonly known that young people in today's society have been going through what many individuals choose to call it, the war on drugs. If drugs in our society have become such a serious issue, why are there well known and well received stores located around the city of Toronto selling drug paraphernalia? There are stores such as THC, which has now become a chain of stores, Roacharama, Cloud Nine, and many more that are selling drug paraphernalia to the young citizens of Toronto. These stores have been operating for a number of years and are open to the public. So if the public is trying so hard to stop their children from doing drugs, why are these stores so blatantly ignored? I will tell you one thing right now, government officials, parents, and police are all aware of their existence. It is not that these stores go unnoticed, or are located in areas of the city that police don't go, that is a joke. So then, why you ask, are they still open and running, why haven't they been shut down, and why hasn't anyone done anything about this issue?

These stores are also major supporters of the legalizing marijuana act. The THC (Toronto Hemp Company) has a web site that receives 12,000 hits per day. On this web site the corporation clearly and evidently states their opinion about the drug laws in Canada. This web site clearly promotes the use of marijuana and even quotes, "The drug laws are infinitely more harmful than cannabis could ever be". Obviously the people who created this company and this web site never clearly thought about what they were writing, because marijuana is quite harmful to a human being, and obviously is much more harmful than a law. A law promotes civilized behavior, the law also promotes what is best for the general public. It is not a punishment to people who smoke pot, it is a way to keep our streets clean of drugs. The only thing about the law system that is harmful to people is that there are no official laws, or regulations stopping stores from selling drug paraphernalia.

When I contacted THC, I actually learnt quite a bit about the legal aspect of these stores. It was never clear to me whether or not these stores were opening legally, and what the process was to opening a "head" store. I found that it is not completely legal, but there are no particular laws against opening a store that sells drug paraphernalia. It is not the fault of the police who do nothing to shut down these stores, it is the court that does nothing to stop people from keeping these stores open and from opening them in the first place.

Dom Cramer, the contact I spoke to from THC, said, "To open a THC store there are no specific licenses or regulations that we have to follow, unless you sell tobacco products." Which means that any convenience store that sells cigarettes has to go through more paperwork to open their store than a THC store or any head store does. He also said, "You have to start a business legitimately, as with any business. Consult the Ministry of Consumer and Corporate Relations for details."

There is a process that one has to go through before opening any store, and I am more than sure that during this process you must state exactly what you are planning on doing with your property. It is obviously quite easy to get away with opening these stores. If the government can't do anything to these stores once they are open, why not stop them before they open? The Ministry of Consumer and Corporate Relations should be investigating exactly what business these people want to start, and they should have stricter policies about what stores you can or cannot open. Not only did Cramer speak about the opening of head stores he also informed me about some of the products they are selling. To quote him; "You can use our tools for any number of applications--different herbs, tobacco, pot whatever. We don't ask. We don't tell." Maybe they don't ask, but when the name of your store is Toronto HEMP Company, I think it is implied what exactly their products are used for.

In Vancouver, there is a similar store to THC, only they had been openly selling pot over the counter for months. CTV found out about the store and decided to make an issue of it. A week after CTV made the story public the police busted in to the store. The day after the bust, the store was up and running again, not selling pot anymore, but still selling drug paraphernalia. It is ridiculous that the court system is so confusing and hectic at the moment that after so much effort made by police, there is no penalty or punishment towards the store owners. No official laws indicate anything about it being illegal to sell drug paraphernalia. I believe it is definitely time to change these laws.

The police will eventually give up on shutting these stores down if every time they make a bust, the court system just dismisses the case, because they have nothing to convict the storeowners with.

So is our legal system now just a jumble of laws and regulations that make no sense? If we want to stop the use of drugs, and if there are so many laws against drug use, why are there no specific laws against drug paraphernalia being sold to the public? With the expectance of these stores growing, the expectance of drug use will grow as well. It is time that the system changes and all the little kinks that allow these stores to stay open are straightened out. We need some laws that make sense, and stop the problem at the source.

Robin Pierro is a co-op student from Humberside Collegiate. She is learning about journalism at Canada Free Press.

Interesting notes:
What an ignorant fool of a 'writer' child.
I actually did tell her about section 462.2 of the criminal code, the section that deals with 'paraphernalia.'
I also provide more than ample explanation all over this site of the enormous discrepancy between the negligible to nonexistent harm of cannabis and the enormous harm caused by its prohibition. Obviously too stupid to understand or too brainwashed to care to think about it.
I also explained that cannabis is no longer technically an 'illicit substance' and there's more than enough information available here and elsewhere, if she cared to look, to fill her empty head about the medicinal benefits of the plant.
I believe I also tried to explain the fact that our laws don't protect children and in fact put children in increased danger, making harder and less quality-controlled drugs available to them with no regulations based upon age or any of the other factors that are actually important when we consider the 'drug problem.'
And as she should have noticed, we don't cater to "young citizens," but observe self-inflicted age limitations that we do agree should be law, but due to the prohibition being supported by ignoramuses such as Ms. Pierro are nonexistent.
What a fool. And foolish enough to not realize that the average Canadian would see her ranting idiocy as such. Obviously the editors of this trash-rag are too mindless to figure it out (note the many incredible grammatical and other errors such as "With the expectance of these stores growing, the expectance of drug use will grow as well." ('acceptance,' I assume these morons meant. wow.)
And it's funny to note that we are open and honest, while Ms. Pierro was anything but - sneaky and deceitful, but then she can hide behind the veil of 'investigative journalism,' I suppose. I could have ignored her, of course, and she clearly doesn't see the irony in attacking the only people who were kind enough to answer her childish emails. Sad.
For all eternity, may Robin remember her youthful follies, and may she someday overcome the hilarious ignorance that would cause someone to publish such nonsense as "marijuana is quite harmful to a human being, and obviously is much more harmful than a law." What a hoot!
And shame (and many lawsuits) on the editors of this apparent joke of a media outlet for many reasons, not the least of which being the apparent belief that fact-checking isn't necessary even when your writers are high school children. Other reasons for shame include giving evil people like Rachel Marsden (see a venue through which to disseminate their vitriol.

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