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1 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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2 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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3CN 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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4 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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5CN 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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6 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.

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7 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.

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8 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.

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9CN 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.

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10 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?

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11 CN AB: LTE: Pot's Effects On An Unaware PopulaceTue, 28 Nov 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Miller, Jeff Area:Alberta Lines:33 Added:11/28/2017

Re: "Warnings, plain covers for pot packaging," Nov. 22.

Aside from bona fide medical use, it seems pot legalization may help lull a populace into a sleepwalking oblivion from the world and issues. More happy campers, more votes?

By the way, will there be surgeon general warnings on pot packages? Marijuana effects can include secondhand smoke, dependency, mental impairment, impaired driving, seizures, psychosis, damaged blood vessels, chronic bronchitis, strokes, heart attack, etc.

Cigarette producers may be rubbing their hands with glee, with finally a double standard perhaps exonerating them. Then there's the spectre of bootleg marijuana to underage people. Will the next move be a marijuana leaf Cannabian flag? Will the motto be Qu'ils mangent de la brioche - "Let them eat cake," or translated nowadays, "Let them smoke pot.'

Jeff Miller, Calgary

[end]

12CN AB: Suncor Cites 73 Incidents In Push For Drug TestingTue, 28 Nov 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Kent, Gordon Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:11/28/2017

Suncor faces "profound problems" with drugs and alcohol at its oilsands operations, including accidents, injuries and death, according to documents filed to support the company's push for increased testing.

The energy giant wants to start random drug and alcohol testing Friday in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB), more than five years after Unifor local 707A won an injunction putting the proposed program on hold until an arbitration board's decision.

Although the board sided with the union, a judge later overturned the ruling, a verdict upheld in September by the Alberta Court of Appeal, which ordered a new arbitration hearing. Unifor, which is seeking leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada, will ask for another injunction Thursday, but Suncor argues in court documents there has been 73 safety incidents in the last four years where workers tested positive for drugs or alcohol. These include a driver whose idling, unattended truck rolled into a gas oil unit; a forklift operator lifting a 4,500-kg pipe that rolled to the ground; and a dozer driver whose machine tipped over, environment, health and safety vice-president Mike Agnew states in an affidavit.

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13 CN AB: Death Toll From Fentanyl-Related Overdoses Continues To RiseTue, 28 Nov 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Tait, Carrie Area:Alberta Lines:86 Added:11/28/2017

The number of people in Alberta who died by accidentally overdosing on fentanyl in the first nine months of this year has exceeded the total number of deaths attributed to fentanyl in all of 2016, according to a new provincial report.

The Alberta government says 400 people died between January and the end of September by accidentally consuming fatal amounts of fentanyl, compared with 357 for all of last year. On average, 1.8 people have died every day from accidentally overdosing on opioids, which include fentanyl, in the province.

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14CN AB: Opioid Death Rate On Rise In ProvinceTue, 28 Nov 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Gerin, Keith Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:11/28/2017

Latest statistics suggest Alberta will see nearly 550 fentanyl-tied deaths this year

Fentanyl-related overdoses killed 400 Albertans in the first nine months of the year, according to new statistics on the opioid crisis that also revealed a disturbing rise in the emergence of highly toxic carfentanil.

The numbers, released Monday in Alberta Health's latest quarterly report, show the province has avoided any major spikes in fentanyl fatalities this year, but has also failed to stop the death toll from climbing.

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15 CN AB: LTE: It's Going To HurtMon, 27 Nov 2017
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:McColl, Pamela Area:Alberta Lines:39 Added:11/27/2017

Re: Paying for the privilege of smoking pot. Premier (Rachel) Notley stated this week that legal pot could see justice costs climb and questioned who should be paying - the provinces or the federal government? But additional judicial costs should not be her only concern.

The Canadian Centre on Substance Use revealed the cost of marijuana-only drugged driving crashes cost Canadians in excess of $1.09 billion in 2012 alone. Marijuana use is now resulting in far too many young users being admitted to psychiatric hospitals. The level of potency and the prevalence of daily use is causing tremendous damage to the minds and health of many. Some 27% of Canadians who are 15 years of age and older who use marijuana use this drug everyday. The addiction rate for daily use is one in two. Marijuana is linked to episodes of psychiatric breaks of reality, a seven-fold increase in risk of suicide ideation, and early onset of schizophrenia - in some cases by seven years.

Marijuana legalization will see more marijuana use, not less, and it will cost both the user and non-user greatly.

Pamela McColl



(And yet here we are.)

[end]

16 CN AB: LTE: Itas Going To HurtMon, 27 Nov 2017
Source:Calgary Sun, The (CN AB) Author:McColl, Pamela Area:Alberta Lines:39 Added:11/27/2017

Re: Paying for the privilege of smoking pot. Premier (Rachel) Notley stated this week that legal pot could see justice costs climb and questioned who should be paying - the provinces or the federal government? But additional judicial costs should not be her only concern.

The Canadian Centre on Substance Use revealed the cost of marijuana-only drugged driving crashes cost Canadians in excess of $1.09 billion in 2012 alone. Marijuana use is now resulting in far too many young users being admitted to psychiatric hospitals. The level of potency and the prevalence of daily use is causing tremendous damage to the minds and health of many. Some 27% of Canadians who are 15 years of age and older who use marijuana use this drug everyday. The addiction rate for daily use is one in two. Marijuana is linked to episodes of psychiatric breaks of reality, a seven-fold increase in risk of suicide ideation, and early onset of schizophrenia - in some cases by seven years.

Marijuana legalization will see more marijuana use, not less, and it will cost both the user and non-user greatly.

Pamela McColl



(And yet here we are.)

[end]

17CN AB: Column: When It Comes To Regulating Legal Pot, Alberta Gets ItTue, 21 Nov 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Breakenridge, Rob Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:11/23/2017

Occasionally, Alberta's NDP government manages to demonstrate that it is capable of balance and pragmatism.

Unfortunately, that also underscores the frustration of so frequently seeing them do the opposite.

In preparing for legalized cannabis, the NDP must have been awfully tempted to follow the advice of their friends in the labour movement and build a network of government-built and government-operated retail outlets.

But other than a pre-existing ideological bent, there really wasn't a case to be made for such an approach. The costs would be considerable, and there would not necessarily be any corresponding payoff in terms of better outcomes. Moreover, it would simply delay the rollout of legalized cannabis and prove to be a gift to the black market.

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18 CN AB: LTE: Why The Rush To Legalize Marijuana?Tue, 21 Nov 2017
Source:Medicine Hat News (CN AB) Author:Unger, Betty Area:Alberta Lines:50 Added:11/23/2017

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 last 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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19 CN AB: LTE: Why The Rush To Legalize Pot?Tue, 21 Nov 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Unger, Betty Area:Alberta Lines:37 Added:11/23/2017

Why is the federal government in such a hurry to pass marijuana legalization legislation when there are still so many questions? The Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police said the legislation is coming too fast, stating, "there is insufficient time to prepare the necessary legislative framework and regulations to ensure the public safety."

Do these things not matter?

Why is government not listening to its own department of health which warned youth under the age of 25, whose brains are still developing, should not be smoking marijuana? Why are they ignoring evidence that says more youth will smoke marijuana and car crashes due to impairment will increase significantly?

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20CN AB: Pot Investors Warned Of U.S. ComplicationsTue, 21 Nov 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Southwick, Reid Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:11/23/2017

A Vancouver cannabis firm with holdings in Alberta and a greenhouse under construction in California expects to debut its shares on a Canadian stock exchange in the coming weeks - with big warnings to investors.

Sunniva Inc. will be the first pot stock to hold an initial public offering after securities regulators set out new rules for companies with assets in the United States, where cannabis remains federally illegal.

While several U.S. states have liberalized cannabis laws, securities watchdogs in Canada say there are risks with investing in cannabis stocks that have American assets, including that the companies face potential asset seizures and prosecution by federal U.S. authorities.

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21 CN AB: LTE: Feds Need To Chill On Cannabis LawsMon, 20 Nov 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Nelson, Chris Area:Alberta Lines:50 Added:11/23/2017

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

Just this week, the Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police said the legislation is coming too fast, stating, "There is insufficient time to prepare the necessary legislative framework and regulations to ensure the public safety."

The Canadian Association of Police Chiefs warned it will be "impossible" to be ready for the government's target of legalizing marijuana by July 1, 2018. Do these things not matter?

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22 CN AB: Editorial: Alberta Pot Rules Reasonable, If UptightSun, 19 Nov 2017
Source:Calgary Sun, The (CN AB)          Area:Alberta Lines:74 Added:11/22/2017

The rules governing legal marijuana sales in Alberta, released by the NDP government on Thursday, are a bit uptight.

Really!? Licensed pot dispensaries won't be able to sell customers tortilla chips at the same time they sell them a 4g bag of Purple Kush or Grape Ape or Bubba Rockstar? Do the NDP truly believe that consumption of Doritos leads to overdosing on weed use rather than the other way around?

What's the problem with letting Albertans kill two cravings with one stoner?

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23CN AB: Former Addict Recounts Past At Cannabis ForumWed, 22 Nov 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Alam, Hina Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:11/22/2017

Legal pot a danger to youth, he says

SHERWOOD PARK - Utah Johanson wears three rings on his fingers: a skull to show that death is always close, a Harley-Davidson ring from his dad and a ring in the shape of the number 13 - unlucky 13 - to show the life he lived and his misfortunes.

His T-shirt reads: "If you don't like something change it; if you can't change it, change your attitude."

The 21-year-old, who now dreams of being an engineer or physicist, was once a drug dealer. He is currently an honours student at NorQuest College, studying physics and math.

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24 CN AB: Clearing The Air On Marijuana MythsWed, 22 Nov 2017
Source:Metro (Edmonton, CN AB) Author:Maimann, Kevin Area:Alberta Lines:78 Added:11/22/2017

U of A prof calls misinformation about pot 'alarming'

In light of the Alberta government announcing its regulations for the retail sale of marijuana, Metro spoke with a public health expert Tuesday to clarify some hazy topics around legalization.

Elaine Hyshka, professor in the University of Alberta's school of public health and co-chair of the Minister's Opioid Emergency Response Commission, said it's "alarming" how much misinformation circulates on cannabis, and she helped us bust the myths.

Myth #1: Legalization will lead to a spike in cannabis use among young people

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25 CN AB: 'I Had To Sell Drugs'Wed, 22 Nov 2017
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Alam, Hina Area:Alberta Lines:68 Added:11/22/2017

Former addict speaks at cannabis legalization forum

SHERWOOD PARK - Utah Johanson wears three rings on his fingers: a skull to show that death is always close, a Harley-davidson ring from his dad and a ring in the shape of the number 13 - unlucky 13 - to show the life he lived and his misfortunes.

His T-shirt reads: "If you don't like something change it; if you can't change it, change your attitude."

The 21-year-old, who now dreams of being an engineer or studying physics, was once a drug dealer. He is currently an honours student at Norquest College, studying physics and math.

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26 CN AB: Clear Cannabis Rules WantedWed, 22 Nov 2017
Source:Metro (Calgary, CN AB) Author:Thomas, Brodie Area:Alberta Lines:85 Added:11/22/2017

Landlords hope for Human Rights Act exemption

Alberta landlords are asking the province to nip possible human rights cases in the bud when it comes to cannabis use in rental properties, but the province doesn't see that happening.

In a letter to the province, the Alberta Residential Landlords Association asked the province to revisit the residential tenancies act. The group is also asking for an exception to the Alberta Human Rights Act to make sure the right to prohibit cannabis smoking and growing is crystal clear.

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27 CN AB: High HopesFri, 17 Nov 2017
Source:Calgary Sun, The (CN AB) Author:Southwick, Reid Area:Alberta Lines:122 Added:11/21/2017

Alberta won't limit the number of private cannabis stores once retail sales are legalized next July, according to new details released Thursday by the NDP government.

The province confirmed that it will look to private retailers to sell legal weed from brick-and-mortar storefronts, instead of government-run outlets chosen by several other provinces, such as Ontario and Quebec.

Online sales in Alberta, however, will be available through a publicly run system, which is meant to ensure residents can tell the difference between legal and illicit retailers on the internet.

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28 CN AB: PUB LTE: Where's The Buzz?Sat, 18 Nov 2017
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Rose, Jan Area:Alberta Lines:39 Added:11/21/2017

On the street, a dealer selling pot at $10 per gram better deliver the goods - high THC content sufficient to get a good buzz - or clientele will go elsewhere. Word gets around fast. Similarly, if the provincial government doesn't deliver the goods, plans to reap millions in taxes from selling pot will go up in smoke.

The government hasn't said a word about the THC content in its pot and journalists have been remiss in not asking this, the most important question. If the THC content is the same as or close to the content found in medical marijuana, there most certainly will not be a buzz. And that's the main reason for smoking a joint. Neighbourhood dealers may have nothing to fear.

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29 CN AB: Column: Alberta Pot Rules Largely WorkableSat, 18 Nov 2017
Source:Calgary Sun, The (CN AB) Author:Gunter, Lorne Area:Alberta Lines:103 Added:11/21/2017

The Alberta government's proposed rules for selling legal marijuana are a bit fuddy-duddy.

For the most part, they're pretty good.

Private retailers will handle in-person sales; unionized government workers will be in charge of online purchases. (Please allow six to eight weeks for delivery).

What the Notley government is proposing is very likely a workable system.

It will not eliminate illegal weed sales entirely. But it will make buying bud convenient enough that most people will be persuaded to go the law-abiding-citizen route.

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30 CN AB: Editorial: Govern Your Own Pot BehaviourFri, 17 Nov 2017
Source:Calgary Sun, The (CN AB)          Area:Alberta Lines:77 Added:11/21/2017

Be smart. Not stupid.

As we travel down the road to pot legalization in Canada, provincial governments across the country are scrambling to update a number of laws, including impaired driving rules.

Here in Alberta, the government has announced its changes to impaired-driving legislation.

The NDs plan to impose a maximum $1,000 fine for a positive blood test of two to five nanograms per millimetre of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), along with a minimum $1,000 fine for a first-time conviction on a reading above five.

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31 CN AB: Column: Uptight Not All RightFri, 17 Nov 2017
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Gunter, Lorne Area:Alberta Lines:102 Added:11/21/2017

Pot rules largely workable but ban on weed sales at liquor stores makes no sense

The Alberta government's proposed rules for selling legal marijuana are a bit fuddy-duddy.

For the most part, they're pretty good. Private retailers will handle in-person sales; unionized government workers will be in charge of online purchases. (Please allow 6 to 8 weeks for delivery).

What the Notley government is proposing is very likely a workable system.

It will not eliminate illegal weed sales entirely. But it will make buying bud convenient enough that most people will be persuaded to go the law-abiding-citizen route.

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32CN AB: Alberta Police Chiefs Concerned Over Lack Of Roadside TestingFri, 17 Nov 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Theobald, Claire Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:11/21/2017

Alberta's police chiefs are feeling "overwhelmed" figuring out how to adjust policing practices ahead of marijuana legalization, Edmonton police Chief Rod Knecht said.

"The timelines are extremely tight," Knecht said outside an Edmonton Police Commission meeting at city hall on Thursday.

In an open letter, the Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police warned the scheduled July 1, 2018, legalization leaves "insufficient time for the full consideration necessary in the creation of the regulatory framework to ensure the safety of Albertans."

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33CN AB: NDP Won't Limit Number Of Pot Shops In AlbertaFri, 17 Nov 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Southwick, Reid Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:11/21/2017

Private operators still await rules for selling legal weed starting July 1

Alberta won't limit the number of private cannabis stores once retail sales are legalized next July, according to new details released Thursday by the NDP government.

The province confirmed that private retailers will sell legal weed from brick-and-mortar storefronts, instead of government-run outlets chosen by several other provinces, including Ontario and Quebec.

Online sales in Alberta, however, will be available through a publicly run system, which is meant to ensure residents can tell the difference between legal and illicit retailers on the internet.

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34CN AB: Expect 'Huge' Demand When Pot Becomes LegalFri, 17 Nov 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Graney, Emma Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:11/21/2017

Potential retailers comment as Alberta releases rules for cannabis shops, sales

Private retailers who want to sell legal marijuana in Alberta next July 1 won't be able to do so alongside alcohol, or even a bag of chips.

Under proposed rules introduced by the province Thursday, retailers will be restricted to sales of cannabis and cannabis-related goods such as lighters and rolling papers.

There's no word on how much legal marijuana will cost, but 420 Clinic founder Jeff Mooij says that won't matter to consumers.

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35 CN AB: Retailers Can't Sell Cannabis And ChipsFri, 17 Nov 2017
Source:Fort McMurray Today (CN AB) Author:Graney, Emma Area:Alberta Lines:84 Added:11/21/2017

Private retailers who want to sell legal marijuana in Alberta come July 1 won't be able to do so alongside alcohol, or even a bag of chips.

Under proposed rules introduced by the provincial government Thursday, retailers will be restricted to sales of cannabis and cannabis-related goods.

Stores also will have to operate under a specific cannabis business licence. That means liquor stores won't be able to set up a wall and a separate storefront with booze on one side and bud on the other.

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36CN AB: Pot Shops Will Only Be Allowed To Sell Cannabis, Related ItemsFri, 17 Nov 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Graney, Emma Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:11/21/2017

Private retailers who want to sell legal marijuana in Alberta next July 1 won't be able to do so alongside alcohol, or even a bag of chips.

Under proposed rules introduced by the province Thursday, retailers will be restricted to sales of cannabis and cannabis-related goods such as lighters and rolling papers. There's no word on how much legal marijuana will cost, but 420 Clinic founder Jeff Mooij says that won't matter to consumers.

As a medical marijuana clinic owner and cannabis user, Mooij said Thursday there is an appetite for clean, safe, regulated weed in Alberta - it's not about paying less than black market drugs, but knowing where the product is coming from.

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37 CN AB: Alberta Proposes Hybrid Sales System For CannabisFri, 17 Nov 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Cryderman, Kelly Area:Alberta Lines:94 Added:11/21/2017

Alberta will let the market reign when it comes to bricks-and-mortar cannabis stores - allowing licensed private outlets to spring up across the province, with the numbers and locations being determined mainly by the owner-operators.

However, the Alberta government will also play a major part in the legal recreational cannabis market as it will control and profit from all legal online sales.

Alberta is even leaving the door open to having provincial workers deliver the cannabis packages ordered through a government website, instead of by Canada Post or another courier.

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38 CN AB: Alberta Introducing Rules To Align With Federal PotWed, 15 Nov 2017
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB) Author:Bennett, Dean Area:Alberta Lines:82 Added:11/20/2017

Marijuana to be legal across Canada July 1

Alberta is putting the legislative pieces in place for legalized marijuana, starting with changes to align its rules with pending Criminal Code amendments.

"Impaired driving is the leading cause of criminal death and injury in Canada," Transportation Minister Brian Mason said Tuesday after introducing Bill 29 in the legislature.

"If this bill passes, it will support our government's goal of zero impairment (and) related collisions and fatalities on Alberta roads."

Marijuana is to be legal across Canada as of July 1, and the federal government is revising and toughening criminal charges for impaired driving to include cannabis and mixing cannabis with alcohol while behind the wheel.

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39CN AB: Column: Legal Pot Means Even More Red Ink For The ProvinceWed, 15 Nov 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Braid, Don Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:11/20/2017

Alberta will bear heavy up front costs as Ottawa grabs half the tax on cannabis sales

Under the proposed federal tax on pot, Alberta will run a cannabis deficit for several years, according to provincial officials.

This is not an appealing prospect for a government with no shortage of other deficits.

It explains why Finance Minister Joe Ceci said last week: "I'm not sure what the federal government is smoking but I can tell you ... this is not going to work for Alberta."

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40CN AB: Pot Sparks New Rules For DriversWed, 15 Nov 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Clancy, Clare Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:11/15/2017

NDP proposes penalties for being high at the wheel in preparation for legal weed

The NDP introduced new legislation Tuesday that aims to fill the gap in impaired-driving rules ahead of cannabis legalization across Canada.

The federal government has proposed specific drug limits as well as penalties for drivers who break the law. Ottawa has also touted the development of a roadside drug test in preparation for the July 1 milestone when cannabis becomes legal.

Alberta Transportation Minister Brian Mason said Bill 29 - which updates the Traffic Safety Act - will reduce the number of impaired drivers on the road and encourage safe driving if passed.

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41 CN AB: Pot-Impaired Driving Bill UnveiledWed, 15 Nov 2017
Source:Metro (Calgary, CN AB) Author:Cameron, Elizabeth Area:Alberta Lines:75 Added:11/15/2017

Police say they're satisfied with provincial legislation Calgary

There is currently zero tolerance for any alcohol in the system of a new driver in Alberta, and the province announced it intends to extend that ban to include marijuana.

Alberta began putting the legislative pieces in place for legalized marijuana on Tuesday, starting with changes to align its rules with pending federal Criminal Code amendments.

"Impaired driving is the leading cause of criminal death and injury in Canada,'' Transportation Minister Brian Mason said after introducing Bill 29 in the legislature. "If this bill passes, it will support our government's goal of zero impairment (and) related collisions and fatalities on Alberta roads.''

[continues 355 words]

42 CN AB: NDP Open To Talk Of Decriminalizing Harder DrugsTue, 14 Nov 2017
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Wood, James Area:Alberta Lines:88 Added:11/14/2017

Alberta's NDP government has no position on decriminalizing hard drugs but is open to the conversation around the issue, associate health minister Brandy Payne said Monday.

As Ottawa moves toward legalizing recreational cannabis next year, recently elected federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has called for the decriminalization of personal possession of all drugs to help combat the escalating problems with opioids.

Speaking to reporters, Payne said Alberta has not looked at the idea of decriminalization, noting that the designation of drugs as legal or illegal is a federal responsibility.

[continues 483 words]

43CN AB: Column: Private Pot And A Leaderless Alberta PartySat, 11 Nov 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Thomson, Graham Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:11/13/2017

Alberta is definitely going to pot.

But privately, not publicly.

According to a good old fashioned scoop by my colleague Emma Graney, the government will introduce legislation next week to allow the private sector to sell marijuana in stand-alone stores starting July of next year.

Thus endeth the big mystery over whether pot sales would be done through privately owned shops or government-controlled outlets.

These "hemporiums" (I'm really hoping that catches on) will be run much like our private liquor stores that are located all over the place, making a beer run much more convenient than the days of yore (before 1993) when Alberta's government-run liquor stores were the only game in town.

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44 CN AB: Alberta To Fight Ottawa's Cannabis-Tax 'Clawback'Sat, 11 Nov 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Cryderman, Kelly Area:Alberta Lines:98 Added:11/13/2017

Alberta will introduce legislation as soon as next week to allow the establishment of private cannabis stores, and will also launch a battle with Ottawa over how to split the tax revenue from the drug sales.

Late Friday, Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci held a news conference to slam the federal government's proposal that Ottawa get 50 per cent of the excise tax on marijuana products. The provinces and territories would receive the other half.

Ottawa's claim to a large share of the $1 a gram, or 10 per cent of the producer's sale price, is not fair, Mr. Ceci contends. The provinces and municipalities, not Ottawa, will be responsible for related costs, such as policing, education and other implementation work.

[continues 575 words]

45CN AB: Province Slams Ottawa Over Proposed Split On LegalizedSat, 11 Nov 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Graney, Emma Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:11/13/2017

The provincial government's plan to allow legal marijuana sales at privately owned stores has the business community optimistic about potential opportunities.

Less impressed is Finance Minister Joe Ceci, who was grinding his teeth Friday at the federal government's proposed 50/50 split in tax revenue from pot sales.

"I'm not sure what the federal government is smoking, but I can tell you that's not going to work for Alberta," he told media.

Provinces and municipalities are bearing the brunt of the responsibility around legalized pot sales, he argued, so it's unfair for the federal government to swoop in and grab half of the cash.

[continues 342 words]

46 CN AB: Important To Be Informed About Marijuana, SACPA ToldFri, 10 Nov 2017
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB) Author:Schnarr, J. W. Area:Alberta Lines:64 Added:11/13/2017

A discussion on medicinal marijuana, its uses and who is using it was the on the menu at the Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs' weekly speakers series.

Dr. Ife Abiola, medical director for the 420 Clinic, spoke on the drug and gave anecdotal information on many of the patents seen at the clinic.

He said it is important for local residents to get informed on the drug ahead of impending national legalization.

"This is going to be changing a lot of different facets of our lives," he said. "You can expect to be seeing whether it's through a medical clinic, dispensary or other people just using in a ubiquitous way in our lives. Everyone needs to have a certain level of education about this. "

[continues 231 words]

47CN AB: Private Sector To Operate Pot ShopsFri, 10 Nov 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Graney, Emma Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:11/13/2017

But NDP legislation would leave online sales to the government

Plans are underway for legal marijuana to be sold in Alberta through private bricks-and-mortar stores, but online sales will be controlled by the government, Postmedia has learned.

Legislation governing the sale of weed once it becomes legal July 1 will be introduced in the legislature next week. Governmentcontrolled online sales is meant to alleviate safety concerns raised by Albertans in response to the NDP's planned pot framework, released Oct. 4, sources say.

[continues 416 words]

48CN AB: Ex-Police Chief Trying To Ensure Sale Of Pot Done RightThu, 09 Nov 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Southwick, Reid Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:11/11/2017

Rick Hanson spent four decades in policing - more than seven of those years as Calgary's chief - where he made a career out of fighting organized crime and the local drug trade. Nearly three years into his retirement, it may come as a surprise he is now involved in the cannabis industry.

But Hanson said Wednesday he is among a growing number of former senior police officers across Canada who are leveraging their experiences to ensure legalization is done safely while eliminating criminals from the supply chain.

[continues 549 words]

49 CN AB: Two Former Ministers Promoting Pot IndustryWed, 08 Nov 2017
Source:News, The (New Glasgow, CN NS) Author:Cotter, John Area:Alberta Lines:51 Added:11/11/2017

Two former Alberta government cabinet ministers and a police chief are part of a group that is working to promote the legal recreational marijuana industry.

Former justice minister Jonathan Denis belongs to an organization called the Canadian Cannabis Chamber that is providing legal, lobbying and security advice to companies as Canada prepares for the legalization of pot next July.

Denis said he never dreamed he would be working as an advocate for an industry that will sell a substance that people were arrested for during his years as Alberta's solicitor general.

[continues 193 words]

50 CN AB: Pot Committee CreatedFri, 03 Nov 2017
Source:Metro (Calgary, CN AB) Author:Edwardson, Lucie Area:Alberta Lines:63 Added:11/06/2017

Feds plan to legalize recreational pot by July 2018

The day of cannabis legalization looms over local governments and law enforcement - including Calgary police - but they're taking it in stride.

At the October Calgary Police Commission meeting, CPS chief Roger Chaffin said the best time to know the exact legislation to come on July 1 would have been "in the past," but said they're already taking steps to address legalization now.

The province's cannabis framework, released in early October, proposes Albertans will have to be at least 18 years old to buy pot from the specialized retail stores selling it.

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