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1 CN AB: LTE: Pot's Harm Exceeds Value Of Tax RevenueFri, 29 Dec 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Pfenninger, Caspar Area:Alberta Lines:31 Added:12/29/2017

Re: "Why the big rush to legalize pot?," Letter, Dec. 23.

Mike Priaro has it right. We must look in the direction of Colorado in the U.S. They were a vanguard state in the legalization of marijuana.

Originally, the idea was sold on the promise of all this additional tax revenue from pot sales. Unfortunately, it did not turn out the way they had envisioned it.

What happened, among other negatives, was that the newly created health care costs exceeded the tax income by a large margin.

So, the initial win-win situation turned into a lose-lose proposition. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's wish to legalize marijuana in Canada is about creating his legacy.

Caspar Pfenninger, Calgary

[end]

2CN AB: Chief Says Legalizing Cannabis Doesn't Mean Possession ChargesTue, 26 Dec 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Wakefield, Jonny Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:12/27/2017

Legalizing marijuana will tie up police resources and risks clogging the court system, Edmonton police Chief Rod Knecht says in a blunt assessment of Canada's plan to legalize the drug by next summer.

"I don't think we're going to be ready," Knecht said during a yearend interview at Edmonton Police Service headquarters. "There's a lot of work that's got to be done in the next few months."

Legalization is one of the biggest issues facing police services across the country next year. Police chiefs including Knecht have warned that the timelines are too tight and there are too many outstanding issues, including ambiguity around roadside tests for marijuanaintoxication.

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3CN AB: Pot Remains Illegal Despite Looming ChangesTue, 26 Dec 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Martin, Kevin Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:12/27/2017

Police use discretion when deciding whether to lay charges for possession

Despite the Liberal government's plan to legalize marijuana possession next July, the drug's possession remains illegal.

But while the law is still in place, police officers have discretion not to lay charges, a senior officer with the Calgary Police Service said.

Staff Sgt. Mark Hatchette, of the strategic enforcement unit, said officers have and will continue to have leeway when it comes to pot possession.

"We don't target (simple possession)," Hatchette said in a recent interview.

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4 CN AB: LTE: Slow Down, EveryoneSat, 23 Dec 2017
Source:South Peace News, The (CN AB) Author:Unger, Betty Area:Alberta Lines:48 Added:12/27/2017

Why is the federal government in such a hurry to pass its marijuana legalization legislation when there are still so many questions and so few answers?

Just this week, the Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police said that the legislation is coming too fast, stating that, "There is insufficient time to prepare the necessary legislative framework and regulations to ensure the public safety". The Canadian Association of Police Chiefs warned that it will be "impossible" to be ready for the government's target of legalizing marijuana by July 2018. Do these things not matter?

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5CN AB: Head Shops Pipe Up Over Looming Pot LegalizationSat, 23 Dec 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Kaufmann, Bill Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:12/27/2017

With the coming switch to legal sales, shops hope to keep their market niche

After decades of trail-blazing cannabis-related retail - often under police scrutiny - Calgary head shops say legal recreational marijuana offers them a hazy future.

Despite a perception looming legislative changes might affirm their bong-and-roach-clip business model, those first in on cannabis monetization say the coming reality leaves them in uncharted waters.

It's not entirely clear what head shops' role will be in the sale of legal bud, or if coming pot dispensaries will burn their business by also selling accessories, said Fred Pattison, owner of the Next Level store. Even marijuana's mainstreaming and the expansion of e-retail poses a threat, he said.

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6CN AB: Since 2016, Over 120 Overdoses Reported In Alberta's JailsFri, 22 Dec 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Wakefield, Jonny Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:12/27/2017

Higher-potency opioids lead to concerns about how to keep inmates and staff safe

Alberta correctional facilities have recorded more than 120 overdoses in the past two years, and dozens more in federal prisons in the province, new statistics show.

Postmedia obtained the data after a string of overdoses at the Edmonton Remand Centre.

Since Nov. 29, at least three inmates at the remand centre have been found unresponsive in their cells after apparent overdoses, one of whom died.

Despite efforts to keep contraband out of correctional institutions - including the use of ion scanners, body scanners and detector dogs - the statistics show deadly opioids such as fentanyl are still getting in.

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7 CN AB: City Grapples With Looming Legal PotSat, 23 Dec 2017
Source:Medicine Hat News (CN AB) Author:Gallant, Collin Area:Alberta Lines:90 Added:12/27/2017

The City of Medicine Hat is preparing for the Canada-wide legalization of marijuana in 2018, but in the absence of final rules from other levels of government, local regulations remain a work in progress, officials said this week.

"It is a big cumbersome process, and we're on track to be ready for July, but we'll see a lot of activity in the next six months," commissioner Stan Schwartzenberger told Wednesday's meeting of the development and infrastructure committee.

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8 CN AB: Trying To Stay AheadSat, 23 Dec 2017
Source:Calgary Sun, The (CN AB) Author:Kaufmann, Bill Area:Alberta Lines:86 Added:12/27/2017

Paraphernalia retailers wait for smoke to clear as legalization of marijuana draws near

After decades of trailblazing cannabis-related retail - often under police scrutiny - Calgary head shops say legal recreational marijuana offers them a hazy future.

Despite a perception looming legislative changes might affirm their bong and roach clip business model, those first in on cannabis monetization say the coming reality leaves them in uncharted waters.

It's not entirely clear what head shops' role will be in the sale of legal bud, or if coming pot dispensaries will burn their business by also selling accessories, said Fred Pattison, owner of the Next Level store.

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9 CN AB: Alberta Jails Saw More Than 120 Overdoses In 2016Fri, 22 Dec 2017
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Wakefield, Jonny Area:Alberta Lines:90 Added:12/27/2017

Alberta correctional facilities have recorded more than 120 overdoses in the past two years, and dozens more in federal prisons in the province, new statistics show.

Postmedia obtained the data after a string of overdoses at the Edmonton Remand Centre.

Since Nov. 29, at least three inmates at the remand centre have been found unresponsive in their cells after apparent overdoses, one of whom died.

Despite efforts to keep contraband out of correctional institutions - including use of ion scanners, body scanners and detector dogs - the statistics show deadly opioids such as fentanyl are still getting in.

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10CN AB: Cannabis Operations Shut Down By Police, Multiple Charges LaidFri, 22 Dec 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Theobald, Claire Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:12/27/2017

Owner of one business said he 'wanted to be a role model' for future dispensaries

City police have shut down two south Edmonton cannabis operations, but the owner of one says he was just trying to help medical marijuana patients fill their prescriptions.

"I really wanted to be a role model for the city and to get this done right. I wanted them to work with me, not against me," David Tiefenbach, one of the owners of MediJoint, 7809 109 St., said Thursday.

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11 CN AB: Pot Shops Shut DownFri, 22 Dec 2017
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Theobald, Claire Area:Alberta Lines:84 Added:12/27/2017

Cops close two cannabis dispensaries, multiple charges pending

City police have shut down two south Edmonton cannabis dispensaries, but the owner of one says he was just trying to help medical marijuana patients fill their prescriptions.

"I really wanted to be a role model for the city and to get this done right. I wanted them to work with me, not against me," David Tiefenbach, one of the owners of Medijoint, 7809 109 St., said Thursday.

Tiefenbach said he was trying to establish a legitimate dispensary, which police raided and closed Dec. 13.

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12CN AB: Deadly Drugs Plague Alberta JailsFri, 22 Dec 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Wakefield, Jonny Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:12/27/2017

Opioids linked to 95% of overdoses in provincial facilities through 2016

Alberta correctional facilities have recorded more than 120 overdoses in the past two years, and dozens more in federal prisons in the province, new statistics show.

Postmedia obtained the data after a string of overdoses at the Edmonton Remand Centre.

Since Nov. 29, at least three inmates at the remand centre have been found unresponsive in their cells after apparent overdoses, one of whom died.

Despite efforts to keep contraband out of correctional institutions - including use of ion scanners, body scanners and detector dogs - the statistics show deadly opioids such as fentanyl are still getting in.

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13 CN AB: PUB LTE: Don't Worry About Canada Going To PotFri, 22 Dec 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Currie, James Area:Alberta Lines:29 Added:12/27/2017

Re: "Pot use likely to plague workplaces," Letter, Nov. 30.

I have to disagree with Larry Comeau. Marijuana is not a dangerous drug.

There is not a "greatly enhanced risk" of young people developing psychosis as a result of cannabis usage. The medical evidence is equivocal, and, of course, as a physician, I would caution the use of marijuana in people under the age of 25. (Not that advice would make any difference anyway).

However, the almost hysterical opposition to legalization of marijuana is simply wrong, by all scientific standards.

James Currie, Calgary

[end]

14 CN AB: Police Shut Down Two DispensariesFri, 22 Dec 2017
Source:Metro (Edmonton, CN AB) Author:Maimann, Kevin Area:Alberta Lines:95 Added:12/27/2017

Several people now face drugrelated charges

It's not legal yet.

Police sent out a stern warning Thursday after shutting down two cannabis dispensaries in south Edmonton - including one that required prescriptions for purchase - and making several arrests.

"We want the owners and employees of these illegal cannabis operations to be aware that they're breaking the law, and that we'll continue to enforce that law until such time those laws are changed," said Edmonton Police Service Insp. Shane Perka.

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15CN AB: OPED: Objections To Medical Cannabis 'Dead Wrong'Fri, 22 Dec 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Moir, James Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:12/27/2017

College's information outdated, says James Moir.

The Alberta College of Family Physicians (ACFP) recently published a statement reflecting their stance on medical cannabis, basically stating there is insufficient evidence to recommend it, and that adverse effects outweigh any benefits.

As a physician working in Edmonton's only legitimate "physician-and-nurse-run" cannabinoid medical clinic, I must object strongly to this stance. I have an MD from the University of Alberta, with five years' subspecialty training in anesthesiology and pain medicine, and have over 20 years clinical experience in this area. I have five years' experience in perioperative medicine and extra training in cannabinoid medicine, which allows me to prescribe medical cannabis and work in the clinic, where I have been for the better part of a year.

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16 CN AB: Edmonton Opening Four Supervised Consumption SitesTue, 26 Dec 2017
Source:Metro (Edmonton, CN AB) Author:Maimann, Kevin Area:Alberta Lines:67 Added:12/26/2017

Concern that sites will be clustered in the inner city

Just a few years ago, supervised consumption sites seemed like a pipe dream for public health advocates in Edmonton.

But the opioid crisis, highlighted by alarming rates of fentanyl overdose deaths, sparked a major shift in public opinion and policy.

In October, Health Canada officially gave the green light to five sites in Alberta, including four in Edmonton - all of which are scheduled to be up and running in early 2018.

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17 CN AB: Column: Competitive Cannabis Market Crucial To Combat BlackTue, 26 Dec 2017
Source:Sundre Round Up (CN AB) Author:Ducatel, Simon Area:Alberta Lines:100 Added:12/26/2017

Unreasonable retail prices will not drive people to buy legally

As Canadians prepare to celebrate the New Year, the country's provincial and federal governments continue to work on legalizing cannabis.

Provided everything comes together according to initial plans, the monumental policy failure that has for decades treated a health issue as a criminal one - otherwise known as prohibition - will finally be over this summer.

But a growing question looms as leaders attempt to legislate the substance.

At a proposed price point that does not even make the slightest attempt to compete seriously with rates available on the black market, will people actually be convinced to ditch their dealers and do business with legal, regulated retailers?

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18 CN AB: LTE: High WorkforceWed, 20 Dec 2017
Source:Calgary Sun, The (CN AB) Author:Soch, Mike Area:Alberta Lines:32 Added:12/24/2017

Everyone knows what use of marijuana does. Ability to focus changes for worst, ability to multi task changes for worst, performance and speed of work changes for worst. Willpower diminished and so on. So as a small-business owner (restaurant), now I will have to pay more for minimum wage, and actually might get less work done with someone with dumb grin on his face and a large appetite. How about the medical profession, medical labs and professions, where accuracy and attention to detail is crucial? And if someone decides to fire that particular employee, I can already imagine the labour board taking sides with that employee and filling lawsuit for wrongful dismissal. Thanks, Justin.

Mike Soch



(Why would you assume employees are going to get high for work? Do they currently get hammered?)

[end]

19 CN AB: LTE: B.C. Knowledge Of Pot's Impact Is HazyThu, 21 Dec 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Comeau, Larry Area:Alberta Lines:26 Added:12/24/2017

Billions of dollars have been spent by Canadian governments dissuading young people from taking up tobacco use, and it is finally having a positive effect. Therefore, now making an even more dangerous and addictive drug, legal, certainly will require public education aimed at parents and young children.

With studies in the U.K., U.S.A. and by the Canadian Medical Association all conclusively showing young people using cannabis run a greatly enhanced risk of suffering psychosis and other mental issues later in life, education should have preceded legalization.

Larry Comeau, Ottawa

[end]

20 CN AB: LTE: There Are Risks To Consuming PotThu, 21 Dec 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:McColl, Pamela Area:Alberta Lines:36 Added:12/24/2017

Re: "Irksome issues around cannabis legalization," Licia Corbella, Opinion, Dec. 16.

Canadians need to be surveyed on far more marijuana harms than just the risk of driving marijuana impaired. Health Canada has identified conditions for which the use of marijuana is strictly contraindicated.

Our country's health watchdog advises men to avoid the use of marijuana if they want to start a family.

How many Canadians understand the science that links marijuana to a heightened probability of testicular cancer, sterility and damage to DNA? How many Canadians are aware of the scientific evidence that suggests marijuana can negatively impact pre- and post-natal development?

Such warnings, provided from Health Canada and the Canadian Centre on Substance Use, are not the rantings of reefer madness, but rather, statements by highly regarded institutions.

Pamela McColl, Vancouver

[end]

21CN AB: Marijuana Plans Get Wide Support, Poll ShowsTue, 19 Dec 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Kent, Gordon Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:12/24/2017

Most Albertans support the provincial government's proposed regulations for legalized marijuana, according to a new Insights West poll.

Almost two-thirds of respondents to the online poll agree with the decision to prevent pot stores from selling alcohol, tobacco or pharmaceuticals, while 77 per cent favour setting 18 as the legal age for buying marijuana.

While 60 per cent of Albertans support legalization, up five percentage points since a national poll done in October 2016, the poll found a split along party lines.

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22 CN AB: Pot Plan Gaining ApprovalTue, 19 Dec 2017
Source:Fort McMurray Today (CN AB) Author:Kent, Gordon Area:Alberta Lines:51 Added:12/24/2017

Albertans high on province's marijuana plans: Poll

Most Albertans support the provincial government's proposed regulations for legalized marijuana, according to a new Insights West poll.

Almost two-thirds of respondents to the online poll agree with the decision to prevent pot stores from selling alcohol, tobacco or pharmaceuticals, while 77 per cent favour setting 18 as the legal age for buying marijuana.

While 60 per cent of Albertans support legalization, up five percentage points since a national poll done in October 2016, the poll found a split along party lines.

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23 CN AB: Tackling Drugs, Terror And HateThu, 21 Dec 2017
Source:Metro (Edmonton, CN AB) Author:Maimann, Kevin Area:Alberta Lines:115 Added:12/21/2017

The head of Edmonton's Police Service looks ahead to 2018 with skepticism around supervised consumption sites,

Edmonton Police Service Chief Rod Knecht says police have had a good but "extremely busy" year. Metro asked him about some of the year's biggest stories and what to expect in 2018. The interview has been edited for space.

Metro: Cannabis will be legal July 1. Has EPS backed off marijuana related arrests since legalization was announced?

We're busy. Obviously there's lots of crimes, and we enforce crime on priority.

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24 CN AB: LTE: How High?Thu, 21 Dec 2017
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Comeau, Larry Area:Alberta Lines:34 Added:12/21/2017

Re: High Workforce, Mike Soch.

Mr. Soch is exactly right that with the legalization of pot on July 1, 2018, we can expect many more workplace injuries. We only have to look at what has happened in Colorado, where after legalization, workplace injuries rose from 6-20%. Too many people erroneously try to equate using marijuana with alcohol. Whereas alcohol leaves the system in about 12 hours, THC can stay in one's system for many days. This means someone getting stoned the night before, may be unknowingly still quite impaired when they show up for work the next day. This will be a particular problem in the mining and oil industry where there is heavy equipment, thus the reason some companies like Suncor want mandatory drug testing.

Larry Comeau



(C'mon, let's not go all Reefer Madness.)

[end]

25CN AB: 'We've Saved Some Lives': Firefighters Use Overdose AntidoteWed, 20 Dec 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Cole, Yolanda Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:12/20/2017

Since being equipped with naloxone nasal spray last December, Calgary firefighters have administered the opioid overdose antidote to 326 patients.

That's nearly once a day, said fire Chief Steve Dongworth, who noted the department has also seen an increase in overdose calls.

"We often go to overdose calls where we don't necessarily administer Narcan (the trade name of the drug), for one reason or another, and we've seen a significant increase in the volume of those, year over year - from under 400 calls in 2016 to nearly 1,100 in 2017 to date," said Dongworth. "So that's close to a 300 per cent increase."

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26CN AB: Alberta Looks To Colorado For Advice On Pot EducationMon, 18 Dec 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Clancy, Clare Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:12/18/2017

Expect the unexpected.

That sage advice from Dan Rowland, director of public affairs for Denver, Col., comes after more than five years of experience dealing with the legalization of cannabis and its ripple effects.

"I think it's imperative that governments, whether it's the provincial level or the local level, set themselves up to be nimble and flexible," he said. "There's a ton of education that needs to happen.

"Even for savvy consumers, there's going to be a regulated marketplace for this, so they need to know what that means, as well."

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27CN AB: Column: City's Marijuana Concerns Are All Smoke, MirrorsTue, 12 Dec 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Breakenridge, Rob Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:12/16/2017

Certain cannabis crimes ... will vanish altogether, thus resulting in less enforcement.

The city's claims that cannabis legalization is going to be a big money loser for them should certainly not be taken with a grain of salt, but rather, a few kilos of it.

Or, to put it another way, what are they smoking down at city hall?

A council committee last week heard the details on administration's latest estimates around the cost of legalization: about $10 million or so a year, or about the equivalent of a one per cent increase in property taxes.

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28CN AB: Judge Acquits Officer Of Stealing Seized MarijuanaWed, 13 Dec 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Martin, Kevin Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:12/16/2017

Laziness, not criminal intent, was likely behind a city police officer's decision to take home seized drugs, a judge ruled Tuesday.

Provincial court Judge Jerry LeGrandeur said he had a reasonable doubt Const. Robert Cumming took home marijuana handed over to him by an undercover officer for his own personal use.

LeGrandeur said Cumming's conduct in placing the contraband in his garbage bin in the alley behind his house before retrieving it hours later supported the suspended officer's story.

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29 CN AB: Column: High Time For ProvincesTue, 12 Dec 2017
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Bonokoski, Mark Area:Alberta Lines:100 Added:12/16/2017

Feds up profit split on pot deals

So, pot czar Justin Trudeau, realizing his actual street dealers were on the verge of a revolt, turned to his Mr. Big, Bill Morneau, and told him to divvy up a more saleable split of the profits from upcoming pot deals.

When profits are projected to be in the billions, honour among thieves, and we say "thieves" with all due respect, begins to lose its lustre.

After all, it will be the street dealers who will be taking on the majority of the risk, meaning all those premiers hypnotized by dollar signs who will have to set up their own turf, build their own drug outlets, collect the juice from the sales, and deal with law enforcement should the criminal element invade their space.

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30 CN AB: Editorial: High Time For ProvinceWed, 13 Dec 2017
Source:Calgary Sun, The (CN AB)          Area:Alberta Lines:76 Added:12/14/2017

As we stumble down the cobblestones on the uneven and relatively unchartered path to marijuana legalization, we're bound to trip once or twice.

But so far, we have to give props to the provincial government for appearing to get it right.

So far we have agreed with the legal age of 18, we accept the private/public sales model and, for the most part, agree with rules on where you can and can't smoke up.

This week's successful negotiation with the federal government on tax revenue is another case in point.

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31 CN AB: LTE: Stop Saying SorrySun, 10 Dec 2017
Source:Calgary Sun, The (CN AB) Author:Rose, Chris Area:Alberta Lines:41 Added:12/10/2017

Back in the day, before society was enlightened and educated, homosexuality was a crime and people who broke the law were punished. Now those people have received one of (Prime Minister Justin) Trudeau's famous, weekly, tearful apologies, along with some cash and all is forgiven. I don't agree with the way the LGBTQ people were treated but it was a different world back then and we learn from our mistakes.

Unfortunately, now the precedent has been set. Cannabis is about to become mainstream after decades of being illegal, so I suppose anyone who has been charged, convicted or incarcerated relating to a pot offence will also receive a heartfelt, tearful apology and erasure of their criminal record, along with a cheque to go with it? Along with everyone else in Canada, I'm suffering pretty severe trauma watching our massive joke of a prime minister as he continually embarrasses Canadians and wastes our hard-earned money. So in a few years, I'm fully expecting a tearful, heartfelt apology from whomever replaces Trudeau to all Canadians along with a few million bucks to go with it. Oh, wait, who pays the bill for that?

Chris Rose



(There's no end to the number of people who have been badly treated over the years. It's called history.)

[end]

32CN AB: Alberta Court Grants Unifor InjunctionFri, 08 Dec 2017
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Cotter, John Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:12/08/2017

A union that represents 3,000 oilsands workers at Suncor Energy sites i n northeastern Alberta has won a court injunction against random drug testing.

Unifor Local 707- A had argued that random testing would be a violation of workers' rights and privacy.

Calgary-based Suncor has said random tests are needed to bolster safety and wanted to start the program this month.

In his ruling, Queen's Bench Justice Paul Belzil said the privacy rights of employees are just as important as safety. "In my view the balance of convenience favours granting the injunction," Belzil said in a written judgment released Thursday.

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33CN AB: Legal Pot Will Cost City $10m Per YearFri, 08 Dec 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Klingbeil, Annalise Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:12/08/2017

Nenshi wants share of federal tax revenues

The legalization of recreational marijuana will cost the city of Calgary more than $10 million annually in policing, bylaw and administration costs - a tab the mayor wants the federal government to ease by giving municipalities a one-third share of tax revenues from pot sales.

Council's Intergovernmental Affairs Committee heard Thursday that administration's latest estimates peg the price of cannabis legalization on city coffers at between $9 million and $12 million every year - the equivalent of about a one per cent increase in property taxes annually.

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34 CN AB: Column: Let The Weed GrowThu, 07 Dec 2017
Source:Sherwood Park News (CN AB) Author:Barr, Aaron Area:Alberta Lines:120 Added:12/07/2017

The County of Strathcona prides itself on being a "champion for advancing diverse agricultural business." We hope that you keep this spirit in mind when voting on the request to place a moratorium on cannabis operations under intensive horticulture in Strathcona County.

As a county that puts priority on being a place that is open for business and investment, this moratorium is counter-intuitive to Strathcona's strategic priorities and goals. With agricultural expertise and well-honed entrepreneurial spirit, Alberta is poised to be a leader in the Canadian cannabis industry.

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35 CN AB: Med Students Say Pot Revenues Should Fund Mental HealthSun, 03 Dec 2017
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Griwkowsky, Catherine Area:Alberta Lines:66 Added:12/06/2017

A group of Alberta's future doctors are calling on the provincial government to use cannabis tax revenue to fund mental health initiatives for youth.

At least, that will be the pitch when 40 medical students from the University of Alberta and University of Calgary get together Monday with MLAs from various parties.

The Alberta Medical Students' Association has previously used its annual meeting at the legislature to push for investments in mental health, but this time the group wants funding for young adults and children at risk of adverse childhood experience. They are also calling for the formation of a cannabis and youth advisory board to work on future prevention, education and intervention efforts.

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36 CN AB: Budding ConcernsSun, 03 Dec 2017
Source:Calgary Sun, The (CN AB) Author:Wood, James Area:Alberta Lines:111 Added:12/06/2017

Alberta cities want to hash out details on dealing with fallout from legalized marijuana

Who's going to do what, who's going to pay for what?" Barry Morishita, Alberta Urban Municipalities Association

The newly elected president of the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association, Barry Morishita, said the NDP government has been good at keeping municipalities in the loop as it works through cannabis legalization.

But the Brooks mayor said municipalities are still looking for answers in some areas as the July 1, 2018, deadline for legalization moves ever closer.

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37CN AB: Greenhouse Maven Getting Into CannabisFri, 01 Dec 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Graney, Juris Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:12/06/2017

Top grower says science convinced him despite his initial reluctance

Jim Hole is getting into the commercial cannabis game and he couldn't be happier.

In fact, the St. Albert greenhouse owner who has dedicated a lifetime to horticulture can't remember the last time he was this excited about growing a plant.

This week, Hole's Greenhouses and Atlas Growers, an Alberta-based medicinal and recreational cannabis producer, joined forces to create a partnership that they hope will produce the very best commercial quality harvest of legal marijuana in the industry.

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38 CN AB: Column: Slap-Dash Approach To Pot LegalizationFri, 01 Dec 2017
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB) Author:Harder, Rachael Area:Alberta Lines:118 Added:12/06/2017

On Monday, Nov. 27, The Cannabis Act passed third reading. This was the last vote in the House of Commons before the legislation goes to the Senate for review and approval. The government's plan is to have marijuana on the market for recreational use starting July 1, 2018.

I voted "no" to this legislation. Here's why:

The Liberal government has been told by numerous authorities, including the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, to slow down. There's no reason the legislation needs to come into effect on July 1, 2018 and law enforcement agents have warned the government of the negative impact its rushed time frame will have on officers and the safety of Canadians.

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39CN AB: Second-Hand 'Toke' Could Lead To Failure Of Workplace DrugFri, 01 Dec 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Graveland, Bill Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:12/06/2017

CALGARY - It looks like Canadian Olympic gold medalist snowboarder Ross Rebagliati may have been right all along.

Rebagliati, the first Olympic gold medalist for Men's Snowboarding at the 1998 Winter Olympics, was initially disqualified after THC, the main ingredient in marijuana, was found in his system in a drug test.

The decision was eventually overturned since cannabis wasn't a banned substance but Rebagliati maintained the positive drug test was the result of second-hand smoke.

Now a study from the Cummings School of Medicine at the University of Calgary seems to support his claim.

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40CN AB: Column: Opposition MLA's Musings On Pot Shine UnflatteringTue, 05 Dec 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Breakenridge, Rob Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:12/05/2017

While support for cannabis legalization has grown tremendously in recent years, it's also true that there isn't unanimous consensus that it's the right thing to do.

However, it's also the case that legalization is for all intents and purposes a done deal, and so arguments against it are rather moot at this point. Moreover, bizarre and irrational arguments against legalization are not only moot, but really only serve to embarrass and discredit those making them.

For Alberta's new United Conservative Party, dabbling in such foolishness would represent a totally avoidable self-inflicted wound. Obviously, the Rachel Notley government did not legalize cannabis, but rather - as is the case with every other province - is designing and implementing regulations around legalization.

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41CN AB: Alberta Municipalities Want More Details On Legal WeedMon, 04 Dec 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Wood, James Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:12/04/2017

Issues to be resolved include licensing, zoning and added cost of enforcement

Cities and towns across Alberta are looking for details - and possibly cash - from the provincial government in anticipation of legal recreational marijuana next year.

The newly elected president of the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association, Barry Morishita, said the NDP government has been good at keeping municipalities in the loop as it works through cannabis legalization.

But the Brooks mayor said municipalities are still looking for answers in some areas as the July 1, 2018, deadline for legalization moves ever closer. Money, as usual, is a major issue. "Who's going to fund the cost of services from the change in legislation?" Morishita said in a recent interview.

[continues 599 words]

42 CN AB: LTE: Buzz OffMon, 04 Dec 2017
Source:Calgary Sun, The (CN AB) Author:Comeau, Larry Area:Alberta Lines:33 Added:12/04/2017

Marijuana advent calendars creating a buzz. With advent (coming from Latin) being one of the most important events in Christianity, as it is revisiting the time leading up to the birth of Jesus Christ, I cannot think of anything more egregious than selling marijuana advent calendars.

Maybe pot has already damaged the people's brains who came up with such an outrageous plan. I am sure if they so offended Islam, there would be rioting. I can well imagine when pot is legalized next July, we will see even more of this type of pure lunacy. I hope the orchestrators of this will immediately withdraw these offending calendars.

Larry Comeau



(Is it really that much different from alcohol advent calendars, which have been around for a while?)

[end]

43 CN AB: LTE: Buzz OffMon, 04 Dec 2017
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Comeau, Larry Area:Alberta Lines:31 Added:12/04/2017

Marijuana advent calendars creating a buzz. With advent (coming from Latin) being one of the most important events in Christianity, as it is revisiting the time leading up to the birth of Jesus Christ, I cannot think of anything more egregious than selling marijuana advent calendars. Maybe pot has already damaged the people's brains who came up with such an outrageous plan. I am sure if they so offended Islam, there would be rioting. I can well imagine when pot is legalized next July, we will see even more of this type of pure lunacy. I hope the orchestrators of this will immediately withdraw these offending calendars.

Larry Comeau



(Is it really that much different from alcohol advent calendars, which have been around for a while?)

[end]

44 CN AB: Column: Pot Tax DownsideSun, 03 Dec 2017
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Tait, Cam Area:Alberta Lines:85 Added:12/03/2017

Proposed cannabis tax another hurdle for medical marijuana users

Dick Sobsey slowly walks into a meeting room for an informative, thought-provoking and, really, a scratchyour-head conversation that evades the parameters of conventional thinking.

"I may be retired," Sobsey said, referring to his distinguished career as Professor Emeritus at the University of Alberta.

"But," he paused before, almost theatrically, lowering the boom, "I'm still complaining."

Quite on the contrary, to be brutally honesty. Aside from Sobsey's intellectual prowess, the role, I think, he tightly embraces the most is father to David: a 27-yearold grown man who lives with intractable epilepsy,

[continues 368 words]

45CN AB: Editorial: Safety Must Come FirstSat, 02 Dec 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB)          Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:12/02/2017

Everyone wants a safe work environment, including the provincial NDP government, which this week introduced a number of measures aimed at reducing injuries and deaths on job sites.

Employees will now have the right to refuse work they deem to be dangerous, for instance. They've always had the ability to reject tasks they felt put them at risk, but instead of protection being included in the Occupational Health and Safety Act, it will soon form part of Bill 30, the cleverly titled An Act to Protect the Health and Well-being of Working Albertans.

[continues 361 words]

46 CN AB: LTE: Pot Use Likely To Plague WorkplacesThu, 30 Nov 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Comeau, Larry Area:Alberta Lines:35 Added:11/30/2017

Re: "Booze, drugs 'profound' woes, Suncor says," Nov. 28.

There has been little concern expressed during its committee study by the Trudeau government, in its rush to legalize marijuana, about the real possibility of an increase in accidents in the workplace, once it becomes legal.

Unlike alcohol, which is excreted from one's body in about 12 hours, THC remains in the system for many, many days. This means workers can show up on the job still partially stoned.

There is also the real likelihood more workers will be using marijuana on the job, thereby placing themselves and co-workers at an increased risk of injury or death.

[continues 53 words]

47 CN AB: Editorial: Drug Addiction Should Be Health Issue, Not CriminalSat, 25 Nov 2017
Source:Medicine Hat News (CN AB)          Area:Alberta Lines:98 Added:11/29/2017

Canada is currently in the midst of an opioid overdose crisis.

The two most western provinces and territories - British Columbia, Alberta, Yukon and the Northwest Territories - have been hit especially hard, likely due to their relative proximity to China, where much of the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl is produced.

According to Government of Canada statistics from 2016, B.C. and Yukon each had more than 15 opioid overdoses per 100,000 people, while Alberta and N.W.T. each had between 10 and 14.9 overdoses per 100,000 people.

[continues 514 words]

48 CN AB: LTE: Marijuana: Liberals Should Learn From ColoradoSat, 25 Nov 2017
Source:Medicine Hat News (CN AB) Author:Motz, Glen Area:Alberta Lines:68 Added:11/28/2017

Trudeau's Liberals have been rushing their campaign promise to legalize marijuana in Canada while medical professionals, provinces, municipalities, Canada's policing community and the Conservative Opposition have raised serious concerns on the timeline and the impacts. This week the Liberal government released an online consultation about their new regulations. They are repeating many of the mistakes recently highlighted as problems in Colorado.

The Colorado Spring Gazette reported that after five years of legalized marijuana the negative community and youth impacts have been significant and problematic. High school drug violations were up 71 per cent along with an increase in school suspensions. Grade school children, kids aged 5-13, saw drug violations increase 45 per cent. Marijuana use among Colorado youth was the highest in the United States, even though the legal age to purchase and possess is 21 years old. Deadly crashes where drivers tested positive for marijuana doubled in five years. Homelessness growth is among the top of their country. In fact, the legalization of marijuana has attracted many homeless to Colorado, putting strains on their supports systems.

[continues 243 words]

49CN AB: Alberta Frets Over Costs Of Legal PotThu, 23 Nov 2017
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Bronskill, Jim Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:11/28/2017

Police and Courts

OTTAWA - Alberta's premier says she's worried that marijuana legalization could drive up policing and court bills her province cannot afford to pay.

The justice system is already overburdened and enforcing new pot-related measures could make things worse, Rachel Notley warned in an interview with The Canadian Press.

Notley said she was surprised by the recent federal proposal to levy an excise tax on recreational marijuana once it becomes legal next July, with the provinces and territories receiving just half the revenue.

[continues 359 words]

50 CN AB: LTE: Gov't Should Slow Down On Marijuana LegalizationThu, 23 Nov 2017
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB) Author:Unger, Betty Area:Alberta Lines:49 Added:11/28/2017

Why is the federal government in such a hurry to pass its marijuana legalization legislation when there are still so many questions and so few answers?

Recently, the Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police said that the legislation is coming too fast, stating that, "There is insufficient time to prepare the necessary legislative framework and regulations to ensure the public safety." The Canadian Association of Police Chiefs warned that it will be "impossible" to be ready for the government's target of legalizing marijuana by July 2018. Do these things not matter?

[continues 193 words]


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