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1 CN AB: Experts Watch Calgary's Public Marijuana Policy As CouncilMon, 25 Jun 2018
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Smith, Madeline Area:Alberta Lines:42 Added:06/27/2018

CALGARY - A report presented to city council on Monday recommends allowing marijuana consumption in designated spaces at festivals and events.

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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2 CN AB: Calgary City Council Green-Lights Public Marijuana ConsumptionTue, 26 Jun 2018
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Smith, Madeline Area:Alberta Lines:37 Added:06/26/2018

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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3CN AB: Edmonton Police Spending New Money On Devices For RoadsideThu, 17 May 2018
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Wakefield, Jonny Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:05/17/2018

Edmonton police will need about $1.4 million in ongoing and one-time funding to prepare for marijuana legalization this summer, a report to the police commission states.

Cannabis is set to become legal in Canada this summer and with it comes higher policing costs, the Edmonton Police Commission heard Thursday.

Police officials outlined a laundry list of new technology and training needed to enforce legal weed laws. Last month, the city approved $1.4 million in one-time and ongoing funding to help the police service deal with the impact of legal weed.

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4CN AB: Ahs Doctor Worries More Kids Will Self-Medicate With Pot OnceMon, 16 Apr 2018
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Ferguson, Eva Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:04/17/2018

Doctors who treat youth have serious concerns about the legalization of marijuana.

With universities and schools providing few details around strategies for marijuana legalization, doctors who treat youth have serious concerns about the inevitable increase in use and the impending impacts of what can be a dangerous drug.

Dr. Chris Wilkes, Alberta Health Services head of child and adolescent psychiatry, said educators "need to ramp it up" in terms of creating environments to ensure safety and informing youths about the health effects of marijuana.

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5CN AB: Editorial: Correct Call On MarijuanaSat, 14 Apr 2018
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB)          Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:04/17/2018

The decision isn't without controversy, but city council was wise to ban the use of marijuana in public places.

When the federal government legalizes cannabis later this summer, Calgarians won't be able to smoke, vape or eat products made with the substance in public spaces, unless they're a medical marijuana user.

That's led critics of the decision to complain that people who live in multi-family dwellings may not be able to use the drug.

"It's not an insignificant group of people - 36 per cent of Calgarians are renters," Coun. Evan Woolley said when the restriction was being discussed by council. "And effectively, we are saying there is no space for you to consume cannabis, and that's a problem for me."

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6 CN AB: Cannabis Survey Not Being Padded By UsersWed, 14 Mar 2018
Source:Medicine Hat News (CN AB) Author:Slade, Gillian Area:Alberta Lines:69 Added:03/17/2018

You can still have your say about cannabis restrictions in the community until Wednesday afternoon but concerns have been raised about people being able to submit more than one survey.

"Yes, there are no restrictions based on IP addresses as this is city policy," said Jim Genge senior planner, planning and development services.

Restrictions would make it difficult to complete the survey, including for the more than 500 who completed it at the Home and Garden Trade Show, he said. It would also restrict more than one person in a household from having a say.

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7 CN AB: Passing The Sniff TestMon, 12 Mar 2018
Source:Medicine Hat News (CN AB) Author:Cranker, Mo Area:Alberta Lines:66 Added:03/16/2018

Plenty of hard work goes into training police service dogs to sniff out illicit substances

For the vast majority of the dog population, sitting, shaking their paw and possibly rolling over is more than enough to get a treat, or some time with their favourite toy.

For police service dogs Astor and Flint, some of the highest praise comes after sniffing out drugs hidden in a home or a vehicle.

The Medicine Hat Police Service is two weeks into training PSD Astor to detect drugs and to notify his handler of any illegal substances he may sniff out.

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8 CN AB: Column: Getting Drugs Off Streets Requires A Team EffortMon, 12 Mar 2018
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB) Author:Davis, Rob Area:Alberta Lines:93 Added:03/16/2018

Last week there were two rallies organized to address the opioid crisis - one in the city and the other on the Blood Reserve. On Monday night, I attended the Community in Crisis March that started at City Hall and ended with a candlelight vigil at Galt Gardens. Several very touching speeches were given by citizens who have been impacted by the opioid crisis and are determined to fight back.

Our Mayor and local MLA Maria Fitzpatrick also provided remarks echoing the sentiment that this crisis sees no boundaries - it does not discriminate. They also reaffirmed we must continue with harm reduction efforts and band together as communities.

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9 CN AB: PUB LTE: Evidence Shows Safe-Injection Sites WorkThu, 08 Mar 2018
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB) Author:Johnston, Tom Area:Alberta Lines:50 Added:03/13/2018

Jason Kenney stated recently that the best way to combat drug addition in general, and the opioid crisis in particular, is by controlling supply. This demonstrates that he is little more than a cynical, career politician. He will say whatever he thinks will resonate with his base in the hope of becoming the next premier.

Mr. Kenney has routinely prostrated himself at the alter of the free market, and is one who regards state intervention in the economy as devil's work. He knows that where there is a demand, entrepreneurs will invest capital with the aim of meeting that demand. In light of well-established and widely accepted market theory, Mr. Kenney should know - as I suspect he does - that the best way to address crises such as the one we are witnessing is to also address the demand side of the equation.

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10 CN AB: Police Witness Suffering On Front Lines Of Battle AgainstThu, 08 Mar 2018
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB) Author:Kalinowski, Tim Area:Alberta Lines:95 Added:03/13/2018

The sheer volume of human suffering has been increasing exponentially in recent months as a new and deadly wave of opioids scythes through local drug users and addicts, says Const. Ryan Darroch, a 15-year veteran of the Lethbridge Police Service, and a beat cop with the downtown policing unit.

"We have not yet confirmed carfentanil (behind the recent overdoses) through our lab analysis," he emphasizes, "but we have seized carfentanil in the city. A lot of the street people we talk to in the downtown, and all over this city, refer to it as 'Car.' It almost looks like that candy Nerds. They tell us they take that carfentanil and mix it with a water solution in those little blue vials people may see on the streets on the ground. They mix that solution in little green mixing bowls, and it breaks down the opioid inside that and they may then draw that solution into a needle and inject it into themselves. Fentanyl or

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11 CN AB: Early Indications Are Decrease In Drug Debris Downtown WithThu, 08 Mar 2018
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB) Author:Kalinowski, Tim Area:Alberta Lines:48 Added:03/13/2018

One of the most desired outcomes of opening the ARCHES Supervised Consumption Site in Lethbridge is a reduction in the number of incidents of public drug use and disposal of drugdebris in the downtown core.

While it is too early to say whether or not that outcome has been achieved, Terra Plato, CEO of the Lethbridge Public Library, stated the early signs at the Main Branch were positive.

"Like the rest of this city, the library has experienced the same impacts downtown in terms of drug debris and that sort of thing," Plato said. "The general sense, the feeling around the library, is that, yes, we have seen a positive difference since the Supervised Consumption Site has opened. But I cannot really comment on the number of needles, and that sort of thing. We just don't have that data yet."

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12 CN AB: Support For Marijuana Is Divided In Poll Of Local ContentiousWed, 07 Mar 2018
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB) Author:Mabell, Dave Area:Alberta Lines:98 Added:03/10/2018

With legal recreational marijuana in the wings, Lethbridge remains divided on its use.

The latest survey of city residents shows an even 50-50 split when asked if they support legalization. But support is up from 43.9 per cent in 2016 and 46.6 per cent last year, as reported by the Citizen Society Research Lab at Lethbridge College.

On several other oncecontroversial issues, however, there's less disagreement. Lethbridge residents continue to agree largely with same-gender marriage (77.3 per cent), doctorassisted death (79.5 per cent) and a woman's right to abortion (81.7 per cent).

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13CN AB: Offer Drug Testing At Safe Consumption Sites, Opiod CommissionSat, 10 Mar 2018
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Gerein, Keith Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:03/10/2018

Alberta's supervised consumption sites should be permitted to offer drug testing to help users learn what dangers might be lurking in their illicit narcotics, the province's opioid commission recommended Friday.

While questions persist about the effectiveness of fentanyl-sensing strips and other testing devices, providing insight to users on what they plan to inject or ingest will undoubtedly save lives, commission leaders said.

"Anytime you can give people a bit more understanding than absolutely none about what's in their drugs, I think that's a positive," Elaine Hyshka, co-chair of the Minister's Opioid Emergency Response Commission, told a news conference downtown.

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14 CN AB: PUB LTE: Safe Injection Sites Donat Promote DrugsSat, 10 Mar 2018
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Wanechko, Dennis Area:Alberta Lines:31 Added:03/10/2018

The war on drugs has never been won by anyone, anywhere. But Jason Kenny figures that it can be won here in Alberta by stricter law enforcement and by limiting safe injection sites.

He is against safe injection sites, because in his conservative way of thinking, they promote the use of drugs. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Safe injection sites help save lives.

On the street, drug addicts can be exposed to bad batches of drugs or they can be thrown in jail for possession of illegal drugs. I'm quite sure addicts are not happy they have to resort to safe injection sites to get their fix.

And by going to safe injection sites, they are not demonized for being addicts and they can go to these places so that they can get off their dependence on drugs for good.

Dennis Wanechko, Leduc


15 CN AB: PUB LTE: Naturally GoodMon, 05 Mar 2018
Source:Calgary Sun, The (CN AB) Author:Olliver, Gord Area:Alberta Lines:35 Added:03/09/2018

Obviously reefer madness is still on when we hear about a "drug house" being closed down and the bad guys had fentanyl labs, steroid labs and shatter labs. Shatter is the street name for cannabis oil, which should be legal as our delusional puppet promised it would be. This fearmongering is ridiculous. It's a concentrate removing carbons and impurities! Nothing more. I have used cannabis oils for my fibromyalgia and broken back for 25 years without problems and becoming a criminal (except for the fact I've had to go to criminals to get it). Fentanyl gets prescribed to a person for a back injury and three months later they have nothing, are on the street selling themselves, in full addiction mode and robbing homes. Marijuana oil made me a gold-medal mountain bike champion after I treated my back injury with it and no other pain meds. The Prozac my doctor was feeding me made me wake up! I still have all the unused pills.

Gord Olliver

(It's hardly reefer madness with legalization around the corner.)


16 CN AB: Kenney Opposes Consumption SitesThu, 01 Mar 2018
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB) Author:Kalinowski, Tim Area:Alberta Lines:42 Added:03/05/2018

United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney said he would be opposed to expanding Safe Consumption Sites across the province if elected premier.

"Helping addicts inject poison into their bodies is not a solution to the problem of addiction," he said bluntly while visiting Lethbridge on Wednesday.

Disagreeing with local Lethbridge government, aid organizations and law enforcement officers who have championed the site, Kenney went on to state he did not feel safe consumption or injection sites work, as evidenced by the spike in opioid overdose deaths in Vancouver despite having a safe injection site in that city for over a decade.

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17CN AB: Pot Dispensary Owner Accuses Police Of 'Picking And Choosing'Fri, 02 Mar 2018
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Wakefield, Jonny Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:03/05/2018

Police are "picking and choosing " when it comes to marijuana enforcement, says a Whyte Avenue medical cannabis dispensary owner charged after a bust last month.

The Edmonton Drug and Gang Enforcement Section (EDGE) executed search warrants Feb. 2 at two commercial addresses and a residence, turning up cannabis products with a combined street value estimated by police at $150,000.

Paul Olson, owner of Whyte Cross dispensary, one of the businesses raided Feb. 2, said it was "a little bit of a surprise" when police entered his store and seized his products.

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18CN AB: Police Say City School Pals Built International Drug RingFri, 02 Mar 2018
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Passifiume, Bryan Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:03/05/2018

Alleged local international crime cartel had United States, Mexican connections

Calgary school buddies came together to form their own drug trafficking gang, with links to murder, money laundering and vicious Mexican cartels, say city police.

The group was allegedly responsible for millions of dollars in international drug imports and exports, and has been tied to a brazen Calgary shooting that left two dead in a south Calgary Superstore parking lot.

Calgary police say the group now faces dozens of charges, from drug importation to money-laundering to murder.

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19CN AB: Police To Reveal Details Of Crime Cartelas Deadly ReignThu, 01 Mar 2018
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Naylor, Dale Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:03/05/2018

Calgary police will reveal details Thursday about how they smashed a city-based crime cartel involved in murder, massive importation of drugs and money laundering.

Tentacles of the gang spread as far as Mexico, and Postmedia sources say they had connections with notorious drug cartels there.

Postmedia has also learned the group has been tied to a brazen daylight shooting May 21 that left two men dead in a southeast Calgary Superstore parking lot.

Sources say the bust is so significant that members of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Adminstration (DEA) will be on hand when police reveal details at a news conference Thursday morning.

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20 CN AB: Surveyed Hatters Mostly Pro PotThu, 01 Mar 2018
Source:Medicine Hat News (CN AB) Author:Gallant, Collin Area:Alberta Lines:87 Added:03/05/2018

Majority to respond to city's online questionnaire have been for legalization

Two thirds of Medicine Hatters support pot legalization, according to early results of an online survey that asks how the city should regulate local marijuana sales, the municipal planning commission heard on Wednesday.

The same survey, filled out by 4,000 respondents as of Feb. 20, is on track to garner a larger response than similar surveys in Calgary and Edmonton. And city officials says the high numbers aren't the result of the pro-pot community "hijacking" the process to skew the results.

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21 CN AB: Marijuana Tax Will Support EnforcementThu, 01 Mar 2018
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB) Author:Mabell, Dave Area:Alberta Lines:63 Added:03/05/2018

Tax income from soon-to-be-legal marijuana is forecast at $615 million. But it could bring in much more, a Lethbridge business audience heard Wednesday.

And while the federal government will collect the new tax, 75 per cent of it will go to provincial governments to help communities with implementation costs.

That was one of just a handful of new or hiked consumer taxes included in the federal government's budget, highlighted in a breakfast presentation by experts from KPMG.

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22 CN AB: Budget Offers City Hope With Opioid CrisisThu, 01 Mar 2018
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB) Author:Mabell, Dave Area:Alberta Lines:95 Added:03/05/2018

Funds from marijuana taxes will also help, says mayor

Federal funds targeting the opioid crisis will be welcome in Lethbridge. And Mayor Chris Spearman says a share of the newly announced taxes on marijuana will also help, when its use becomes legal later this year.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau included $231 million in his new budget - - spread over five years - to support communities battling an opioid crisis.

"Maybe we can get some relief," Spearman said, pointing to the steps the City has taken to respond to the situation. One initiative, a safe-use centre where drug users can find medical help and counselling, opened Wednesday.

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23 CN AB: Lethbridge OD Spike Watched Closely In The HatThu, 01 Mar 2018
Source:Medicine Hat News (CN AB) Author:Slade, Gillian Area:Alberta Lines:72 Added:03/05/2018

The significant spike in illicit drug overdoses in Lethbridge has not reached Medicine Hat - yet.

There is no way to predict that it will or when, said Insp. Tim McGough, Medicine Hat Police Service.

Lethbridge recently experienced its largest spike in overdoses - 16 cases - ever recorded in a 24-hour period. There were 42 overdose calls to first responders in the week after Feb. 19.

"We've had no specific overdose spike (in Medicine Hat) but we are always concerned with illicit usage." said McGough.

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24 CN AB: Union Preparing For Supreme Court Fight Against Suncor DrugFri, 02 Mar 2018
Source:Fort McMurray Today (CN AB) Author:McDermott, Vincent Area:Alberta Lines:108 Added:03/05/2018

The president of the union representing more than 3,000 Suncor workers says they have prepared to bring the issue of random drug testing back to arbitration if the Supreme Court of Canada does not hear their case.

The comments came after the Alberta Court of Appeal upheld an injunction against the practice granted by the province's Court of Queen's Bench.

In a Thursday morning interview, Ken Smith, president of Unifor Local 707A, said he was confident Canada's top court will hear their case. The union expects to hear a decision by the end of March.

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25CN AB: Opioid Treatment Clinic Expected To Open In CoreFri, 02 Mar 2018
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Stolte, Elise Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:03/02/2018

A new clinic giving access to a drug similar to prescription heroin is likely heading to Edmonton's inner city.

Alberta Health is planning two clinics as a pilot project, one each in Edmonton and Calgary. Treatment would require opioid addicts to visit the clinic several times each day to inject drugs supplied by the clinic.

It means users no longer need to buy drugs on the black market, and studies at Vancouver's Crosstown Clinic found patients in the program cut back their use of illicit drugs from at least 14 times a month to less than four.

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26 CN AB: Column: Consumption Site Is A Logical Step In Drug FightMon, 26 Feb 2018
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB) Author:Davis, Rob Area:Alberta Lines:119 Added:03/01/2018

This week marks a historic first for the City of Lethbridge. The Supervised Consumption Site (SCS) will open its doors and will be the first of its kind in North America to offer all four modes of consumption - ingestion/oral, injection, intra-nasal/snorting and inhalation. Despite this milestone, it's fair to say the facility has been met with mixed reviews, including people who have come to me to "blame" the police service for letting it happen. This not only demonstrates a narrow view of Canada and our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but a failure to understand the role of the police in social-political decisions that are driven by municipal , provincial and federal officials and the mandate they support.

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27 CN AB: LTE: In View Of The Many Negatives, Why Legalize Marijuana?Wed, 28 Feb 2018
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB) Author:Toth, Frank J. Area:Alberta Lines:46 Added:03/01/2018

Trying not to be too cynical about all the reporting, discussions, debates and business preparations on Trudeau's "wrath of pot" legalization predications, with the lame duck excuse that the crooks are making too much money on its sales, I'm sorry! The recent news of the inherent benefit of marijuana has been blown right out of the water by a recent group of very prominent world scientists.

They have reported that there is absolutely no shred of evidence whatsoever of its benefit for health and pain relief, because of the availability of hundreds of pharmaceuticals that do not have negative health aftereffects like brain damage, in addition to dangerous driving which puts the very heavy load on our police forces that still do not have equipment to test for drug impairment.

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28 CN AB: Increase In Overdoses A ConcernTue, 27 Feb 2018
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB) Author:Kalinowski, Tim Area:Alberta Lines:78 Added:03/01/2018

Emergency services responded to 16 cases on Friday and 42 since Feb. 19

Lethbridge had the single biggest spike of overdoses in a 24-hour period during the ongoing opioid crisis this past weekend, with 16 cases being responded to by local emergency services personnel on Friday alone.

"What we have seen over this past weekend is a dramatic increase in the number of overdoses that our staff at Lethbridge Fire and EMS have responded to," said deputy chief of support services Dana Terry, at a hastily arranged press conference Monday morning. "Specifically with overdoses where Narcan was administered."

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29 CN AB: Weed Legalization Issues Hit HomeTue, 27 Feb 2018
Source:Metro (Edmonton, CN AB) Author:Maimann, Kevin Area:Alberta Lines:87 Added:03/01/2018

Realtors and condo boards scramble to find solutions

Realtors and condo boards are sparking up conversations about pot as legalization looms.

Anand Sharma, president and condominium manager with the Northern Alberta Chapter of the Canadian Condominium Institute, said condo corporations should start revising their rules if they haven't already to prevent sticky situations when tenants start lighting up legally.

"The bottom line is people are going to have to seek legal counsel to tighten up their bylaws or address some of these issues in their bylaws," Sharma said.

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30 CN AB: PUB LTE: Reforming Drug Laws Would Save LivesFri, 23 Feb 2018
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Thomas, Lorna Area:Alberta Lines:30 Added:02/27/2018

Re. "Man charged in 2016 fentanyl death pleads guilty in unrelated drug case," Feb. 21

The war on drugs, which is really a war on the people who use drugs, has failed. The people who sell drugs at the street level are very often in the grips of addiction themselves.

This was the case for Jordan Yarmey, and so many others like him. The people who buy drugs are exposed to the possibility of accidental death by fentanyl poisoning, which was the case for Szymon Kalich.

This tragic situation draws attention to the need for drug policy reform. The decriminalization of small amounts of drugs for personal use, and access to drug testing is one way to end the opioid overdose crisis that is devastating families across our country.

Lorna Thomas, Edmonton


31 CN AB: Docs Warming To Marijuana, Though No Definite Reason WhySat, 24 Feb 2018
Source:Medicine Hat News (CN AB) Author:Slade, Gillian Area:Alberta Lines:92 Added:02/27/2018

It is hard to pinpoint reasons for a large increase in the number of physicians authorizing the use of medical marijuana, but a local pain specialist has some theories.

"Cannabinoids are showing great promise as medicines, especially in the myriad of non specific conditions like anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, mild to moderate pain, unhappiness, recurrent stress and dysphoria conditions which pharmacotherapy has offered little and doctors are ill equipped to treat," said Dr. Gaylord Wardell, anesthesiologist and pain specialist, Sante Surgi, Medicine Hat. "Patients are dissatisfied with their doctors and their drugs."

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32 CN AB: Council Dials Back Pot RestrictionsThu, 22 Feb 2018
Source:Metro (Calgary, CN AB) Author:Pike, Helen Area:Alberta Lines:69 Added:02/26/2018

A number of on-the-fly changes were proposed

Calgary city councillors have proposed a number of relaxations on proposed cannabis retailer rules.

On Wednesday, during a council committee, administration presented their land use bylaw rules to ready the city's policies ahead of marijuana legalization. But just like rolling your first joint, the process wasn't easy. The rules will now be smoothed over and sent to an April council meeting before being passed into official law.

If council approves the changes made at the committee level, cannabis stores won't be restricted by distance when it comes to opening up shop near post-secondary institutions.

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33 CN AB: Cannabis Bylaws To Be TweakedFri, 23 Feb 2018
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Alam, Hina Area:Alberta Lines:67 Added:02/26/2018

Much like a self-learning robot that improves with every step, Edmonton city hall hopes to tweak recreational cannabis bylaws now, and after it is legalized.

"We're still in a little bit of a state of confusion or complexity as to the way it'll all shake down as far as where can the stores be located," Ward 6 Coun. Scott McKeen said Wednesday. "I suspect we'll continue to struggle with these for a couple of years as we tweak the regulations and make sure we get things right."

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34 CN AB: Store Rules More Strict On CannabisWed, 21 Feb 2018
Source:Metro (Calgary, CN AB) Author:Pike, Helen Area:Alberta Lines:68 Added:02/26/2018

Retailers watch on as city drafts regs on where shops can open

The cans and can'ts for Calgary cannabis retailers are taking shape this month, but some prospective shops are pointing out that perception could still be tainting the city's proposed bylaws.

On Wednesday, councillors will see administration's land use amendments to add cannabis retail store rules to the city's bylaws. These tweaks will go before the council in an April public hearing.

Out of three options, the city's going with one that would treat cannabis retailers a little like liquor stores - but not entirely the same as booze businesses.

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35CN AB: Column: There Was No Reason To Fuss Over Legalization OfTue, 20 Feb 2018
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Breakenridge, Rob Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:02/25/2018

For all the hand-wringing that we were rushing into cannabis legalization, and that there wasn't enough time to get it right, it turns out that it wasn't that hard to figure out, after all.

Proponents of legalization have long argued that it makes far more sense to regulate cannabis similar to how we regulate alcohol. All along, then, the model for cannabis retail was staring us right in the face, and the Alberta government deserves credit for not missing the glaringly obvious.

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36 CN AB: PUB LTE: No Link Between Pot And Car CrashesTue, 20 Feb 2018
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Schrader, Alvin M. Area:Alberta Lines:37 Added:02/25/2018

I am quite suspicious about the headspace of the Journal editor who captioned a brief article about a U.S. survey with the headline "Pot holiday linked to fatal car crashes" (Feb. 13). Maybe their attention span allowed them to only get as far as the first paragraph.

The next one explicitly stated that the survey being reported had found absolutely no evidence of a link between pot smoking and car crashes on the one day of the year studied from 1992 to 2016, which was April 20, the day of the year adopted by activists to push for the decriminalization of cannabis.

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37 CN AB: Editorial: No Need To Rush To PotTue, 20 Feb 2018
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB)          Area:Alberta Lines:60 Added:02/23/2018

Ontario Senator Tony Dean, sponsor of the Trudeau Liberals' pot bill in the Upper Chamber, is upset that Canadians will not be able to legally light up their spliffs until long after Canada Day.

He says time is of the essence, and that the government does not have the luxury of biding it.

Why is this? Why, after more than 100 years of marijuana being illegal, does the good senator think pushing back the smoke date by a few weeks is the wrong thing to do?

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38 CN AB: Medical Marijuana Users Wait For CoverageTue, 20 Feb 2018
Source:Metro (Edmonton, CN AB) Author:Maimann, Kevin Area:Alberta Lines:104 Added:02/23/2018

Patients still struggling to get covered by insurance plans

As Alberta moves forward on retail applications for recreational marijuana, those who use the drug for medical reasons still wait for coverage.

Most forms of medical cannabis do not have a Drug Identification Number (DIN) in Canada, which leaves it subject to tax and exempts it from most health coverage plans.

"We're not talking about drug users using this to get high, we're talking about patients that need it to be able to function and be part of a working society," said Scott Bladon, an Edmonton man who has legally used cannabis for three years to treat psoriatic arthritis.

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39CN AB: Editorial: Sage Advice On CannabisSat, 17 Feb 2018
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB)          Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:02/22/2018

Calgarians are demonstrating strong common sense when it comes to offering advice on how marijuana should be regulated. The drug will be legalized by the federal government on July 1, but it's been left to cities to determine where pot smoking will be permitted. A survey prepared for the city by Environics Research finds that approximately 55 per cent of Calgarians believe marijuana consumption should be treated more like alcohol, rather than regarded as a product similar to tobacco.

Such a conclusion is prudent and would mean that pot couldn't be smoked in public, just as imbibers can't drink beer and other alcohol in public. It's difficult to imagine people walking down the street with a glass of wine in their hand - it's equally troublesome to picture a group of Calgarians sharing a joint as they meander down the road.

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40 CN AB: Editorial: Alberta Cannabis Retail Rules Show SenseSun, 18 Feb 2018
Source:Calgary Sun, The (CN AB)          Area:Alberta Lines:78 Added:02/22/2018

The Notley government rolled out more of its marijuana retail regulations on Friday and, we must say, they continue to stay ahead of other provinces.

The only way this year's legalization of bud is going to work is if obtaining legit weed is reasonably close in convenience and price to buying the illegal stuff. The Alberta NDP government seems to be making a reasonable stab at doing just that.

When you can walk into just about any bar in the province and in a few minutes pick up a couple of joints at a reasonable price, it won't automatically be easy for legal retailers to compete.n Users might have to drive further and pay more for the straight stuff.

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41CN AB: Easy Money In Marijuana Retailing? Think Again, Expert SaysSat, 17 Feb 2018
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Kent, Gordon Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:02/22/2018

Panel warned of supply problems, tight margins

A Vancouver cannabis retailer whose company plans to open 10 Alberta stores this year says anyone rushing into the field shouldn't expect to find a pot of gold.

"People definitely see it as a potentially very profitable business, or cash cow. It's not," Andrew Gordon, director of operations for Aura Cannabis, said Friday following a panel discussion sponsored by the Leduc Regional Chamber of Commerce.

"The margins are very similar to other retailers … There's (also) a potential of real shortages facing our business right out the gate in the first 18 months. We have seen that in jurisdictions down south."

[continues 359 words]

42CN AB: 250 Cannabis Stores Possible In First Year Of Legalized PotSat, 17 Feb 2018
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Kaufmann, Bill Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:02/22/2018

Alberta could be the site of 250 cannabis stores in the first year of legalization, with retailers able to offer discount prices on bud and marijuana oil, provincial officials said Friday.

No one business or person will be able to own more than 15 per cent of the locations, or a maximum of 37 stores, the government said, and the outlets must be located no closer than 100 metres from schools and health-care facilities.

"This is a brand new market and we want to ensure everyone can participate, from the very small to the very large entities," said Alberta Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley, adding there's no shortage of prospective retailers.

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43CN AB: Guideline Calls On Doctors To Rethink Pot PrescriptionsFri, 16 Feb 2018
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Derworiz, Colette Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:02/20/2018

A new medical guideline suggests family doctors should think twice before prescribing medical marijuana to their patients.

The Simplified Guideline for Prescribing Medical Cannabinoids in Primary Care, published Thursday in the medical journal Canadian Family Physician, says there is limited evidence to support the reported benefits of medical marijuana for many conditions.

It adds that any benefit could be balanced, or even outweighed, by the potential harm.

"While enthusiasm for medical marijuana is very strong among some people, good, quality research has not caught up," project leader Mike Allan, director of evidence-based medicine at the University of Alberta, said in a news release.

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44 CN AB: Stirring Pot In CalgaryFri, 16 Feb 2018
Source:Metro (Calgary, CN AB) Author:Pike, Helen Area:Alberta Lines:67 Added:02/20/2018

Survey suggests renters more likely to smoke marijuana

An advocacy group for renters say a city survey is needlessly pitting homeowners and landlords against a vulnerable community.

This week, the City of Calgary put out their citizen cannabis survey, which included data about how Calgarians feel about impending legalization along with some pointed policy questions to help the city as they draft new rules for weed.

The survey found that renters are more likely to currently smoke marijuana at 32 per cent when compared to 12 per cent homeowners reporting they currently puff. When it comes to home growing, the city found that of those who were likely to grow marijuana plants inside their home 68 per cent of those were living in rented town homes or apartments. In Calgary particularly, the term renter has become a dirty word - especially when it comes to the politics of putting in secondary suites. The divisive term is often in the middle of council discussions.

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45 CN AB: Focus Put On Education As Marijuana Legalization LoomsThu, 15 Feb 2018
Source:Medicine Hat News (CN AB) Author:Slade, Gillian Area:Alberta Lines:71 Added:02/20/2018

Public awareness of possible harm from marijuana use will be part of a public campaign in the coming days as July approaches when the federal government will legalize the use of the drug.

"We will have a public education campaign around the legalization of cannabis," a spokesperson for the Alberta Cannabis Secretariat said in an email. "However, the details of public education coming from the federal government have not yet been finalized."

Federal government details are necessary first in order to ensure there are no duplicated efforts at the provincial level.

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46 CN AB: Doobie-Dos And Don'tsSat, 17 Feb 2018
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB) Author:Bennett, Dean Area:Alberta Lines:96 Added:02/17/2018

Alberta outlines specifics on cannabis sales

Alberta expects to issue 250 licences for cannabis stores this year, and says anyone who wants to run a weed shop will first undergo an exhaustive check ranging from tax records to mob ties. "We believe that our regulations will strike the right balance," Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley said Friday in Calgary as she unveiled the new regulations for marijuana distribution.

"The system that we are putting in place in Alberta will create an environment in which retailers can legally sell cannabis and provide access to safe products while keeping the health and safety of Albertans in mind."

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47 CN AB: LTE: Reckless To Allow Anyone Under 18 To Use CannabisFri, 16 Feb 2018
Source:Medicine Hat News (CN AB) Author:Rose, Alan Area:Alberta Lines:36 Added:02/16/2018

I just spent the morning reading Bill C-45, the new cannabis law. I discovered under the section for possession, it states that a youth (12 to 18) who possesses more than five grams of dried marijuana will be charged under the Youth Criminal Justice Act but does not mention anything about amounts under five grams or under age 12.

Given all the science-based facts on the effect of cannabis on developing brains I find this to be a very careless section. The argument concerning ruining a young person's life with a record is made moot since the offence is dealt with under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

[continues 81 words]

48 CN AB: PUB LTE: Cafes The Answer?Tue, 13 Feb 2018
Source:Calgary Sun, The (CN AB) Author:Rhoads, David Area:Alberta Lines:28 Added:02/13/2018

In regards to legalization of marijuana, I think that we should take a similar approach to Amsterdam in the sense that it is frowned upon to smoke in public but there are designated 'coffee shops' where smoking is allowed and encouraged I feel like many small businesses could profit from becoming a 'smoke bar,' similar to some of the hookah bars around town and that will keep people out of the busy streets and away from vulnerable people, children, disabled, etc.

David Rhoads

(Plenty of people are against anyone smoking up in public spaces.)


49CN AB: Majority Want Pot Regulated Like Alcohol, City Poll FindsMon, 12 Feb 2018
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Hudes, Sammy Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:02/12/2018

Only 32 per cent of respondents favour restrictions like those on smoking

It's not like tobacco and those who want to treat it like tobacco are probably the ones who want to smoke it anywhere.

More than half of Calgarians believe the way public consumption of cannabis is regulated and enforced should more closely resemble controls on drinking alcohol than those on smoking tobacco.

That's according to the city's Cannabis Research Combined Study, prepared by Environics Research and released Friday.

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50 CN AB: Grieving Mom To Show Students The Faces Of Opioid CrisisSun, 11 Feb 2018
Source:Calgary Sun, The (CN AB) Author:Cole, Yolande Area:Alberta Lines:70 Added:02/11/2018

Following the death of her son Conner in 2013, Yvonne Clark has been sharing her story with students and parents across the region.

In presentations to young people ranging from Grade 6 to Grade 12, Clark talks about her family's experience, about the dangers of fentanyl, and about the growing number of Albertans who have died of opioid overdoses.

What she hopes to include soon as part of that presentation is a series of images that will put a face to the fentanyl statistics. Clark is appealing to other Albertans who have lost a loved one to an opioid overdose to send her a photo of the victim, with the aim of educating young people across the province about the crisis.

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