As another week comes to a close, it means another week that police in Toronto have continued their massive and unrelenting crackdown on local dispensaries.
But this particular week brought something peculiar, with Mayor John Tory accidentally endorsing and promoting a cannabis farmers market happening this Sunday.
Tory retweeted a message sent to him from the Green Market, not knowing that it was a cannabis event. Tory was in India this week on a 10-day trade mission, so it was quite possible that he was suffering from jet lag, or perhaps one of his staffers simply didn’t do their due diligence and retweeted without looking into it.
Regardless, the message sent to the Mayor was intentionally crafted in a way where he might repost without looking into it, and that is exactly what happened.
The original tweet read:
“@MayorJohnTory my favourite #MarchBreak activity is #GreenMarketTO featuring vegan & organic infused local products. #topoli #greenmarkettoronto”
“I’ve done a lot of Twitter activism around cannabis,” said Lisa Campbell, one of the Co-founders and organizers of the event, and the person responsible for the tweet. “I think that there are ways to engage with politicians on Twitter to make them realize that having a cannabis farmers market is just as innocent and just as Torontonian as having a farmers market with wine. Which we now have in Ontario.”
Campbell added that because their event is a farmers market, her intent was not just to pull a prank, but rather to show the city and the Mayor, who has been openly supportive of police enforcement, that their farmers market is as benign as any other event and can easily be confused with a non-cannabis outing. “Our event is so Toronto that it blends in and we are able to present it in ways where even the Mayor of Toronto [supports it]as a great March Break activity.”
The tweet itself was up on the Mayor’s feed for approximately five minutes until either he or one of his team deleted the message, but five minutes was all the Green Market organizers needed to prove their point.
At the moment, events like the Green Market are in a position where the best they can do for City endorsement is guerilla tactics like these, but organizers are cautiously optimistic about the future.
“I hope that one day we can have Green Market at City Hall, just like we have the Farmers Market at City Hall,” said Campbell.
Because of ongoing scuffles with police in Toronto and across the country, including the recent arrest of Marc and Jodie Emery, the general mood of the craft cannabis industry has been one of malaise and anger. But this week, Campbell was able to do something even more important than simply promote her event. She was able to give us the medicine we all needed, a good laugh.
Cover Image Courtesy of Allie Beckett