OTTAWA - The federal government's crackdown on drug-impaired driving
has taken a big step forward, as the Justice Department is set to give
its blessing to Canada's first roadside saliva test.
Once in use, police officers will be able to swab a driver's mouth to
test for the presence of THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis.
Roadside saliva-testing devices were authorized by Bill C-46, a
massive overhaul of Canadaas impaired driving laws that passed in
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CHESTERVILLE, Ontario - Inside garage-sized containers at one end of a
cavernous warehouse in a former Nestle factory south of Ottawa are
rows of marijuana plants stacked atop each other, basking in the
unearthly glow of grow lights.
They belong to Hamed Asi, an Ontario businessman who calls them his
"vertical farm." He has no background in growing marijuana, or in any
kind of agriculture. His other line of business is installing office
furniture; cubicles, filing cabinets and desk chairs fill the opposite
end of the warehouse.
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The legalization of marijuana for general consumption is a
devastating, immoral attack by the Trudeau government against the best
interests of all of Canada's vulnerable and marginalized citizens,
especially our young people, who are ill-equipped to handle it (What A
Long Strange Trip It Will Been, editorial, June 21).
Surviving in modern society demands vigilance, sobriety, discipline
and competence on all fronts. Marijuana use discourages these
necessary virtues. There should have been a national referendum before
this profound decision was made. There are no adults in charge any
Peter Best, Sudbury, Ont.
VICTORIA - On the day Canadians can legally buy and use recreational
marijuana, the clock will start ticking for cannabis dispensaries
already open across the country, say politicians and pot industry insiders.
On Oct. 17, provincial licensing, monitoring and approval regulations
on legal marijuana retail standards will become law and the cannabis
business will get real for marijuana shops currently operating outside
"These are the same people who cried for legalization," said Vancouver
Coun. Kerry Jang. "Now they've got it, and they have to play by the
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Seldom a day goes by when financial pages don't highlight new
developments in the marijuana industry.
So, this is who we are today. Former B.C. Health Minister Terry Lake
is now on the corporate board of a major marijuana company. Former
Toronto police chief and current MP Bill Blair is a point man on
marijuana legalization. Former B.C. Solicitor General and West
Vancouver Police Chief Kash Heed is a consultant for marijuana
companies. The list of government and policing honchos who have jumped
on the bandwagon is substantial.
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They might be reluctantly legalizing cannabis. But they'll never stop
thinking they know better than us how we should live
The Canadian government announced this week that marijuana would be
legal for recreational in just under four months, by Oct. 17, 2018.
The intervening time will be used to get legal distribution networks
established and give provinces and police forces time to prepare for
And, the government probably hopes, for Canadians to decide they're
not so into this marijuana stuff, after all.
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OTTAWA - Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says the government will
look at ways to make things fair for those who have criminal records
for marijuana possession after legalization comes into force.
Goodale says the question of pardoning individuals with criminal
records for possessing marijuana is legitimate and one the government
will pursue once the law takes effect. article continues below
Trending Stories Death of Comox Valley teen traced to toxic shock
syndrome Metal table smashed on head of officer confronting intruder
More people in capital travelling by bus, bike and on foot School
board backs $73M option to save Vic High exterior
[continues 236 words]
CALGARY - A report presented to city council on Monday recommends
allowing marijuana consumption in designated spaces at festivals and
The report, which council had yet to address as of press time, says
making an exception will help to move second-hand smoke away from
people who don't want to partake, while responding to "the current
realities of cannabis consumption at festivals and events.
Earlier in June, when council floated the possibility of modifying
bylaws to allow space for event attendees to smoke marijuana, Calgary
Folk Music Festival executive director Sara Leishman raised concerns
about the additional expense that events would have to take on "with
no opportunity to recoup costs through sales of sponsorship."
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VICTORIA - The economic cost of substance use in Canada in 2014 was
$38.4 billion, or about $1,100 for every Canadian, says a report
The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction partnered with the
Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research to examine the data and
estimate the harms of substance use based on health, justice, lost
productivity and other costs. article continues below Trending Stories
Death of Comox Valley teen traced to toxic shock syndrome Metal table
smashed on head of officer confronting intruder More people in capital
travelling by bus, bike and on foot School board backs $73M option to
save Vic High exterior
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With the legalization of cannabis only a few months away, one of
Canadaas top medical organizations is warning women about the risks
the drug poses if used during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
According to the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of
Canada, marijuana use can lead to preterm birth and low birth weight,
as well as lower IQ and hyperactivity after a child is born.
aWe want to make sure women understand just because itas legal
doesnat mean itas safe,a said Jocelynn Cook, chief scientific
officer with the SOGC. aThe science does suggest there are effects
on pregnancy and on fetal development.a
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CALGARY - City council approved changes on Monday to allow areas in
Calgary where people can smoke or otherwise consume marijuana in public.
The city's Cannabis Consumption Bylaw prohibits public consumption in
all forms, even after marijuana becomes legal in October. Changes to
the bylaw will allow designated consumption areas both around the city
and at festivals and events.
The city says there are currently no proposed designated cannabis
consumption areas for Calgary's public spaces, but councillors can now
begin identifying potential sites.
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MONTREAL - For one of Canada's largest legal cannabis companies, the
vote in Parliament this week to legalize recreational marijuana use
represents a broad opportunity to develop new products, including
marijuana infused drinks.
The hope, said Adam Greenblatt, a manager with the company, Canopy
Growth, "is that in five years time people will be drinking cannabis
drinks at a cocktail party as if drinking a good wine."
Matteo Rossant, 21, a business graduate at Concordia University in
Montreal, also envisions an expansive future, one in which he sells
maple syrup, lollipops and jelly treats made with cannabis.
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OTTAWA - Recreational marijuana use in Canada will be legal in the
coming months after legislation cleared its final hurdle Tuesday
night, marking what officials here say is a "wholesale shift" in how
the country approaches cannabis use.
Canadian officials say other technical steps remain before they can
unveil on what day the legislation, introduced over a year ago, comes
When the legislation kicks in, Canada will be the biggest national
government to legalize cannabis. Drug-policy experts have said they
expect countries in Europe and elsewhere to look to the Canadian
experience for guidance on cannabis legalization.
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TORONTO - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday
marijuana will be legal nationwide on October 17.
Trudeau said in Parliament that the government is committed to better
protecting Canada's youth and hopes to take money away from organized
The Senate gave final passage to Trudeau's bill to legalize cannabis
on Tuesday. The country will become the second in the world to make
pot legal nationwide.
"The legislation is transformative," said Justice Minister Jody
Wilson-Raybould, adding it "marks a wholesale shift in how our country
approaches cannabis, leaving behind a failed model of
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The costs and benefits of cannabis and cannabis policies are difficult
to calculate, but cannabis legalization will remove many impediments
A recent study finding an association between chronic cannabis use by
young people and diminished life outcomes acknowledged "while we
controlled for multiple potential confounds, it is possible that there
are other explanatory mechanisms that have not been accounted for ...
in the current study."
Oddly, one of the confounds the study neglected to control for is the
self-medication of emotional and psychological problems such as ADHD
and PTSD, which typically stem from childhood trauma: abuse, neglect,
abandonment or, in some cases perhaps, an emotionally unavailable father.
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In 2012, Washington State voted to legalize marijuana. By 2014, the
world's first system for legally growing, processing and retailing
cannabis was operating.
As Canada prepares to go live with pot sales in a few months, what can
we learn from four years of practical, hands-on experience in the
western United States?
The first take-away is that all the fretting about the impact on
children and teens is largely unwarranted.
Before legalization, 17 per cent of Grade 10 students in Washington
State said they had smoked pot in the previous month. Four years of
legal doobies later, 17 per cent of Grade 10 students say they have
smoked pot in the previous month.
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Manitoba's Justice Minister is calling for federal legislation to
confirm that provinces can ban the home growth of marijuana plants.
"I think that is clear that is provincial jurisdiction to make that
decision. (But) I believe the federal (Justice) Minister made some
comments that were a little concerning, so we wanted clarification on
that," said Justice Minister Heather Stefanson, following a speech to
Manitoba Chambers of Commerce members on cannabis legislation
Thursday. "We've called (for) some clarification from the federal
government. If they could put it specifically in legislation, that
would be best."
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People who have post-traumatic stress disorder but do not medicate
with cannabis are far more likely to suffer from severe depression and
have suicidal thoughts than those who use marijuana, new national
Based on cross-country data from Statistics Canada, the observational
study by researchers at the British Columbia Centre for Substance Use
shows that Canadians with PTSD who use medicinal cannabis are 60 per
cent to 65 per cent less likely to have major depressive episodes or
thoughts of suicide compared with those who do not treat their
symptoms with medical marijuana. The study is the first national-scale
indication of the effectiveness of cannabis at mitigating the hallmark
symptoms of PTSD. It was presented on Thursday at the annual
conference of the Canadian Public Health Association in Montreal.
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The government's leader in the Senate, Peter Harder, slammed the
committee's removal of the provision
OTTAWA - In a controversial move that may set up another showdown with
the House of Commons, a Senate committee voted on Wednesday night to
remove random alcohol testing from the government's impaired driving
The provision would allow police to demand a breathalyzer test from
any driver regardless of whether police had reasonable grounds to
believe the driver had consumed alcohol. Currently police need that
reasonable suspicion to make the breathalyzer demand, which drivers
are punished for refusing.
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TORONTO - An aging construction worker arrived quietly in the
building's basement, took his seat alongside three other men and
struck his lighter below a cooker of synthetic heroin.
A woman, trained to intervene in case of an overdose, placed a mask
over her face as his drug cooked and diluted beneath a jumping flame.
He injected himself, grew still and then told of the loss of his wife
who died alone in her room upstairs - an overdose that came just a few
months before this social service nonprofit opened its doors for
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