VANCOUVER, British Columbia (LifeSiteNews) – A Canadian man who opened a full-blown street store selling drugs such as crack, heroin, and meth out of a trailer had his store shut down after being arrested.
In a statement last Thursday, the Vancouver Police Department (VDP) said that they “arrested a man for drug trafficking in connection with an illicit drug dispensary that began operating yesterday in the Downtown Eastside.”
According to the VPD, its Organized Crime Section had launched an investigation into 51-year-old popup drug vendor Jerry Martin, who operated his drug store out of a mobile trailer parked in downtown Vancouver. His store was said to be only have been open for a few days.
VPD Constable Tania Visintin said that while they “support measures aimed at improving public safety for people who use drugs, including harm reduction services and decriminalization,” the police “remain committed in our position that drug trafficking will continue to be the subject of enforcement.”
The VPD said they seized two vehicles, body armor, and money as part of the investigation.
Martin said that his “Drugs Store” was selling clean drugs tested for the deadly fentanyl, claiming his store would help prevent unwanted overdoses.
Despite Martin having been arrested, he has now been released on bail but is banned from going to downtown Vancouver.
In March, British Columbia broke an overdose record only a month after decriminalizing all drugs.
In 2021, 2,224 people in B.C. died because of illegal drug overdoses, pushing the total to just under 10,000 deaths since 2016.
Starting February 1, the province of British Columbia decriminalized hard drugs in a trial policy that will remain in place until January 26, 2026. The current NDP government in the province has been a staunch supporter of relaxing federal drug laws, claiming it will help addicts.
The federal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, through the trial run, began allowing people within the province to possess up to 2.5 grams of hard drugs without criminal penalty, but selling drugs will remain a crime.
British Columbia’s controversial plan to decriminalize drugs comes in the form of an exemption allowed by Health Canada under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Youths ages 17 and under are not part of the exemption.
The allowance of hard drugs without penalty also comes amid record-breaking overdose deaths in the province.
Conservative Party of Canada leader Pierre Poilievre described what he thinks Vancouver has become due to a lax federal and provincial government policy toward hard drugs, saying the city has turned into “hell on earth.”
Despite calls by activists to decriminalize drugs nationwide, a bill put forth in June 2022 by the NDP seeking to make that situation a reality was handily defeated in a 248-71 vote.
The bill failed after many Liberal MPs joined Conservative MPs in opposing the measure, with the vote taking place just one day after the Trudeau government announced B.C.’s forthcoming policy.