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Not much more police can do to stop magic mushroom sales, public safety analyst says

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According to the former Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner, and current CTV News Public Safety Analyst Chris Lewis, there is not much more police can do about two magic mushroom stores open in the Region of Waterloo.

Since opening, the two magic mushroom stores, located in Cambridge and Kitchener, have been raided by Waterloo Regional Police multiple times.

Last Wednesday, police executed search warrants at the two FunGuyz locations. Officers returned to the shops on Saturday, to do more of the same. Police seized a large amount of magic mushrooms and cash, and arrested two people last week, followed by another two on the weekend.

Lewis says while the stores are illegal, it costs taxpayers every time police conduct a raid.

“So you’re taking a number of officers off what they normally would be doing,” he said. “There is no end to the work that’s available to them out there, so for them to prepare a warrant, execute the warrant, put people before the courts, it’s a lot of work. It certainly costs the taxpayers money.”

As a result of these raids, a 19 year-old, a 23-year-old man and a 32-year-old woman all from Cambridge, along with a 36-year-old from Kitchener, have been charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking.

The stores were not open on Monday, but plan to reopen this week. Lewis says there is not much more police can do to stop it.

“It’s happening in municipalities all across the country, large, small, medium sized. It’s occurring; police do what they can.”

According to Lewis, despite the obvious illegal aspect, police have more serious drug issues to focus on.

“They’re focusing on things that are going to kill people, more so than these kind of little bit milder drugs,” Lewis said.

Still, like cannabis and alcohol, Lewis says the chemicals in magic mushrooms cause impairment.

“It can be physically harmful, but on the big scale of things, when you look at opioids that are actually a very micro-dot of them can actually kill somebody, there’s not that physical danger immediately in terms of fatality,” he said.

Waterloo Regional Police say it is possible for the individuals to be charged again.

"After initial charges, they'd likely receive conditions to not attend the business address, but if they chose to return to the business and continue selling (trafficking) psilocybin, they could be arrested and charged again," police said in an email statement to CTV News.

The Cambridge FunGuyz was raided back in November, shortly after it opened. It reopened a day after the raid.

The second FunGuyz in Waterloo Region opened in March.

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