Half of the Charges on Marijuana Dispensary Staffers in London, ON Withdrawn

Charges following a series of raids on marijuana dispensaries in the Ontario city of London have been withdrawn, The Free Press reported on Tuesday.

The London police launched seven raids in three separate crackdowns since August 2016, resulting in 49 charges against 15 people.

Marijuana dispensaries started mushrooming across Canada following Prime Minister Justin Trudeau winning the election in 2015. One of Trudeau’s election platform is to legalize recreational marijuana, a promise he pushed through.

However, 25 of the charges were withdrawn, the London Free Press reported, citing court records.

Instead, they were resolved through peace bonds, a non-plea order requiring the person to be on good behavior for a set period of time, The Free Press reported.

The charges were mostly for possession for the purposes of trafficking.

None of the three convictions against two men resulted in jail time. The men, who were dispensary operators, had to pay fines and no longer can own weapons.

Raids not leading to binding charges in London is reflective to similar situations elsewhere in other Ontario cities.

Toronto lawyer Paul Lewin, who specializes in cannabis cases, told the London Free Press, that “it’s a misuse of the criminal justice system,”

He added:

“It’s a case of the criminal law being used to shape government policy.”

The federal government has warned Canadians to continue abiding under the prohibition laws despite the inevitable legalization this summer.