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1CN BC: Pot Rally Remains 'Protestival' Despite Dawn Of LegalizationFri, 21 Apr 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Fumano, Dan Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:04/26/2017

Cannabis users still believe restrictions unjust compared to alcohol's controls

Despite legalization on the horizon, organizers of the annual Vancouver 4/20 cannabis rally say there's little reason to end their battle to free the weed.

Last week, the federal government tabled long-awaited legislation to legalize recreational cannabis, promising a "strict legal framework" for the production, sale, distribution and possession of pot starting July 2018.

But after decades of protesting to legalize it, B.C. cannabis advocates argue the framework proposed will give rise to yet more dissent.

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2CN BC: 'Everything Beautiful' At 4-20 Pot RallyFri, 21 Apr 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Reid, Michael D. Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:04/26/2017

Flying a Canadian flag in celebration, Barrett Blackwood reflected on a time when the prospect of hundreds of pot smokers gathering in Centennial Square to collectively partake would have been out of the question.

"This is unprecedented to me, to be here and see no police," said Blackwood, 43. "When I first came here [from Nanaimo] in 1980, you couldn't come to this square and have a cigarette, let alone a joint. The police station was right there [on Fisgard street] and they'd come through the parkade and shoo you away."

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3 CN BC: Oped: Marijuana Bill Leaves Unanswered QuestionsMon, 24 Apr 2017
Source:Daily Courier, The (CN BC) Author:Albas, Dan Area:British Columbia Lines:103 Added:04/25/2017

Last week, the Liberal government introduced the much anticipated marijuana legalization bill, technically known as Bill C-45, The Cannabis Act.

First let me state that the Liberals clearly campaigned on legalizing marijuana and I have heard from several citizens who indicated this was one of the primary reasons they voted Liberal in the last election. I mention this point as I believe the Liberal government does have a democratic mandate to move forward with this legislation.

From a quick overview, this bill takes a similar approach I used with my wine bill that removes federal barriers, but still allows provinces to enact and adopt their own rules and regulations with respect to marijuana legislation.

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4CN BC: OPED: Cannabis Use Can Harm Minds Of Young PeopleFri, 21 Apr 2017
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Beck, Gail Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:04/25/2017

Every day in the youth program at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre, my colleagues and I see young people whose illnesses are complicated by the use and abuse of cannabis or a dependence on this drug. We provide these youths and their families with information on the effect of pot on the developing brain. We are often able to convince young people to decrease their marijuana consumption or, in many cases, to stop using it.

Unfortunately, legislators may not be as aware of the risks of cannabis on the developing brain as mental health professionals are.

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5CN BC: Legal Bud Won't Butt Out 'Protestival'Fri, 21 Apr 2017
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Fumano, Dan Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:04/25/2017

4/20 rally organizers vow to maintain their fight to free the weed

Despite legalization on the horizon, organizers of the annual Vancouver 4/20 cannabis rally say there's little reason to end their battle to free the weed.

Last week, the federal government tabled long-awaited legislation to legalize recreational cannabis, promising a "strict legal framework" for the production, sale, distribution and possession of pot starting July 2018.

But after decades of protesting to legalize it, B.C. cannabis advocates argue the framework proposed will give rise to more dissent.

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6CN BC: City Council Wants Answers From Province On MarijuanaSat, 22 Apr 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Cleverley, Bill Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:04/24/2017

With a steady stream of cannabis retail operations working their way through city rezoning and licensing processes, the City of Victoria wants some idea from the province of what its plans are for the burgeoning marijuana industry.

Victoria council formally resolved to ask the province when it anticipates publishing draft regulations and legislation relating to distribution, regulation and taxation of cannabis. It will also ask that the province work with City of Victoria staff on the marijuana file.

"Specifically [we're asking] when can we expect to see those drafts," said Coun. Ben Isitt, who proposed Mayor Lisa Helps write the province seeking information. "I think industry would be happy to hear that; obviously members of the public [would] and maybe this will help invite a discussion," Isitt said.

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7CN BC: Distribution For Local Pot Growers Still On Foggy SideSat, 22 Apr 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:DeRosa, Katie Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:04/24/2017

Even with last week's tabling of the marijuana legalization bill, it's still unclear what the distribution system will look like, says Shawn Galbraith of Evergreen Medicinal Supply Inc. His company recently received approval from Health Canada to be a licensed producer of medical cannabis.

"Basically, as far as distribution, it's up to each province to decide how they want to distribute it and tax it, so there's a whole bunch of different models being floated out there right now," Galbraith said.

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8CN BC: Column: The Headline Writes Itself: Keep Hippies Off The GrassSat, 22 Apr 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Robinson, Matt Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:04/24/2017

It's up to 4/20 organizers and city officials to determine a proper place to hold event

Vancouver's annual 4/20 pot protest and farmers market may be a ridiculous event, but it's one that's so popular and well-attended that the city simply needs to suck it up next year and find a suitable location and issue permits to organizers.

Early Friday, park board staff announced they'd need to close Sunset Beach Park for five weeks to let the grass regrow after Thursday's smoke-in.

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9CN BC: Editorial: Pot Rally Organizers Should PaySat, 22 Apr 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC)          Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:04/24/2017

The annual marijuana protest at Sunset Beach this year left an adjacent field in ruins. It will be fenced off and closed to the public for up to a month while park board staff restore it. Park board officials said much of the damage could have been prevented if organizers had installed a turf protector as they had promised.

The event also led to 66 visits to St. Paul's emergency department. Of these patients, 10 were under the age of 20. The youngest was 14. Patients mostly had consumed edibles that brought on complaints of nausea, vomiting and dizziness. An additional 25 people were seen at satellite first aid stations set up to ease the burden on St. Paul's., while 62 people were seen at a first aid station that 4/20 organizers set up.

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10 CN BC: LTE: Too Many Rights For Law BreakersFri, 21 Apr 2017
Source:Penticton Herald (CN BC) Author:Creech, Mavis Area:British Columbia Lines:47 Added:04/24/2017

Dear Editor: I am somewhat confused as to why the pot smokers in Vancouver are allowed a special day each year (April 20th) on which they thumb their noses, and bongs, at law enforcement while they blatantly disregard the law regarding illegal use of marijuana.

Why do they get to commit this illegal activity, in public, in front of the police? Because it's their "right?" If that's the case, why don't other law breakers have their special day? Hunting during the day within city limits; driving through red lights; packing a gun wherever they go, etc.

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11 CN BC: Marijuana Entrepreneur To Tell City Council That Banning PotSat, 22 Apr 2017
Source:Daily Courier, The (CN BC) Author:Seymour, Ron Area:British Columbia Lines:77 Added:04/24/2017

Continuing to ban pot shops with marijuana legalization on the horizon just helps organized crime, Kelowna city council will hear next week.

A would-be retailer of the drug says Kelowna will "suffer the consequences" if it moves forward with a plan to explicitly prevent the sale of marijuana in local shops.

"To keep cannabis out of the hands of children, and the profits out of the hands of criminals, regulating access to cannabis should be a high priority," says information given to the city by Mark Conlin, on behalf of a firm called Starbuds.

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12 CN BC: Editorial: No Pardons For Past Pot PossessionThu, 20 Apr 2017
Source:Alberni Valley News (CN BC) Author:Quinn, Susie Area:British Columbia Lines:44 Added:04/24/2017

Should the federal Liberals create a blanket pardon for past pot possession, if legislation passes to legalize marjuana in Canada?

Heck no.

Possessing or selling marijuana is illegal at the moment, and people caught breaking the law will be punished. One can't operate on the premise that 'oh, possession of marijuana is probably going to be legalized next year, so no one's going to mind if I walk around with a few joints in my pocket.'

The law doesn't work that way. Law enforcement officers aren't going to slack off just because some politicians are debating something that may change as law in 2018.

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13 CN BC: Editorial: Clark Bobs, Weaves Like A ProSat, 22 Apr 2017
Source:Prince George Citizen (CN BC) Author:Godbout, Neil Area:British Columbia Lines:88 Added:04/24/2017

What a difference four years makes. When Premier Christy Clark sat down for her exclusive election interview with The Citizen in April 2013, there was a grim urgency to her visit and it was reflected in the cover shot chosen to accompany the story. She was down in the polls and there was chatter that the Liberal caucus was kicking her to the curb the instant the results were in. Locally, Pat Bell had abruptly dropped out of the race in February, leaving Mike Morris to step in as the Prince George-Mackenzie candidate with no notice.

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14 CN BC: Is This Pot Prohibition 2.0?Fri, 21 Apr 2017
Source:Nelson Star (CN BC) Author:Johnson, Will Area:British Columbia Lines:190 Added:04/22/2017

Nelson-Creston candidate calls federal legislation announcement 'draconian'

The stakes are high.

Members of the Kootenay craft cannabis community are worried federal legalization will leave them out in the cold, and are concerned the new laws will be invasive and draconian - leading some to dub the Cannabis Act "Prohibition 2.0."

With the cannabis industry making up an estimated 25 to 35 per cent of the local economy, the potential effects of legalization on the Nelson community will be far-reaching. Sensible B.C.'s local representative Herb Couch is one of the voices speaking out against elements of the new law and calling on both provincial and municipal politicians to take action.

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15 CN BC: Column: Is Marijuana The Miracle Drug Pot Pushers Claim?Thu, 20 Apr 2017
Source:Vancouver 24hours (CN BC) Author:Slivinski, Ada Area:British Columbia Lines:54 Added:04/22/2017

There are some pretty substantial medicinal claims around marijuana. Children who no longer have seizures thanks to cannabis oil, symptoms of multiple sclerosis stalled or in some cases reversed thanks to the drug.

I've spoken with many people who say marijuana has drastically changed their lives for the better and that they would not be functioning at anywhere near the level they are today without it.

I spent one afternoon with Chris Nelson, the coowner of Weeds South Van, and he spoke openly and frankly about the desperation that led him to try giving his wife cannabis oil and the drastic way it has changed both of their lives for the better. While I was at the shop I also met a young man who became addicted to opioids after his leg was amputated and doctors prescribed him meds for the pain. He credits pot with helping him kick the habit by easing some of the downsickness that comes with withdrawal. He now works at Weeds and says many of the people who come through the door have used marijuana for the same reason.

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16CN BC: Column: Why Are Provincial Politicians Staying Mum OnWed, 19 Apr 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Leyne, Les Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:04/22/2017

Campaigning provincial politicians have dozens of changes in mind for B.C., but they are scarcely talking about the major adjustment that's coming, regardless of who wins the May 9 election.

For all the competing visions being outlined by provincial leaders, the federal government's move to legalize marijuana is going to be the single biggest revamp on the social and political scene. It was introduced last week and could be in effect by next summer. Still, Liberal, NDP and Green campaigns have scarcely taken notice.

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17 CN BC: Editorial: 4/20 A Headache For TrudeauThu, 20 Apr 2017
Source:Prince George Citizen (CN BC) Author:Godbout, Neil Area:British Columbia Lines:120 Added:04/22/2017

April 20 is 4/20 on the calendar, the numerical slang long used by marijuana enthusiasts to signify lighting up. This year's 4/20 has major significance because this will be the last year the current laws of the land apply. By this day next year, recreational use of marijuana by Canadian citizens 19 years and older will be legal.

More than any other, this election promise made by Justin Trudeau's Liberals shows that Team Sunny Ways didn't really believe they'd win the 2015 federal election.

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18 CN BC: 4/20 Organizers Say Protests Still NecessaryThu, 20 Apr 2017
Source:Georgia Straight, The (CN BC) Author:Lupick, Travis Area:British Columbia Lines:110 Added:04/22/2017

With Canada now well on its way to legal recreational marijuana, what is there left for activists to protest at Vancouver's annual 4/20 event?

Plenty, according to organizers of the massive gathering, which is scheduled to happen this Thursday (April 20) at Sunset Beach in the city's West End.

In a telephone interview, Canada's most prominent advocate for marijuana reform, Jodie Emery, was highly critical of legislation the Liberal government tabled in Parliament on April 13.

"It is prohibition 2.0," she told the Georgia Straight. "It is not legalization. It is a continuation of the kind of criminalization that we've seen before, with the introduction of even harsher laws that will victimize even more peaceful Canadians."

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19 CN BC: Maple Ridge Doctor Wants Limits On Recreational MarijuanaWed, 19 Apr 2017
Source:Maple Ridge News (CN BC) Author:Melnychuk, Phil Area:British Columbia Lines:124 Added:04/22/2017

Limit potency and amount for ages 21-25

Maple Ridge psychiatrist Dr. Biju Mathew is joining others in his profession in calling for the federal government to make legal age for smoking marijuana 21.

"Marijuana shouldn't be used on kids below 25," Mathew said.

The Cannabis Act, introduced by the federal government last week, calls for the minimum age forusing recreational marijuana to be 18, although provinces have the option to raise that.

"They have [proposed to] legalized pot, and they've also come up with stricter regulations, but they have lowered the age to 18, which is very disturbing," Mathew, president of the B.C. Psychiatric Association, said of the federal government.

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20 CN BC: Editorial: Legal WeedTue, 18 Apr 2017
Source:North Island Gazette (CN BC) Author:Harding, John Area:British Columbia Lines:90 Added:04/22/2017

When the smoke clears we will all have a better understanding about the details of the federal government's new marijuana laws.

Right now, we know this about the proposed legislation, tabled in the House of Commons last week by the Liberal government:

* Adults 18 and older will be allowed to possess up to 30 grams of dried cannabis in public, share up to 30 grams with other adults, and buy cannabis or cannabis oil from a provincially regulated retailer.

* Selling cannabis to a minor will become a specific offence, for the first time in the history of the Criminal Code.

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21 CN BC: Police, Organizers Ready For 4-20 RallyThu, 20 Apr 2017
Source:Metro (Vancouver, CN BC) Author:Li, Wanyee Area:British Columbia Lines:76 Added:04/22/2017

Beach Avenue along Sunset Beach closed Thursday

The stage is set for today's 4-20 pot rally at Sunset Beach in Vancouver and organizers say the annual protest is here to stay despite the federal government's intention to legalize pot next year.

The unpermitted event, which drew 25,000 people to the beach last year, will feature more than 300 vendor booths and live music.

Park board commissioners voted against giving 4-20 event organizers a permit for this year's event but that hasn't changed things on the ground, said marijuana advocate, Dana Larsen.

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22 CN BC: LTE: Lock Up The Drug AddictsTue, 18 Apr 2017
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Lopez, Charles Area:British Columbia Lines:28 Added:04/22/2017

Recent Province articles reported on addicts overdosing as many as three times a day. Besides the harm and risk the addicts are doing to themselves, their behaviour also places great strain on our emergency response and emergency medical systems.

One solution would be to lock them up for a period of about 30 days on either legal or mental-health grounds. It would give them a chance to dry out and for social workers to work with them to try to cure their addiction.

I know this wouldn't be cheap to implement, but if all the current costs are added up, the status quo isn't cheap either.

Charles Lopez, Cherryville

[end]

23 CN BC: Column: B.C. Leaders Lie Low On Legal Highs AheadThu, 20 Apr 2017
Source:Penticton Herald (CN BC) Author:Leyne, Les Area:British Columbia Lines:106 Added:04/22/2017

Campaigning provincial politicians have dozens of changes in mind for B.C., but they are scarcely talking about the major adjustment that's coming, regardless of who wins the election.

For all the competing visions being outlined by provincial leaders, the federal government's move to legalize marijuana is going to be the single biggest revamp on the social and political scene.

It was introduced last week and could be in effect by next summer (just in time to help cope with Peter Mansbridge's retirement). Still, Liberal, NDP and Green campaigns have scarcely taken notice.

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24 CN BC: LTE: Proposed Pot Laws Will Give Kids Easier Access To DrugTue, 18 Apr 2017
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Davis, Bill Area:British Columbia Lines:25 Added:04/21/2017

So the new liberal marijuana laws legalizing the drug will protect our "youth," Liberal cabinet ministers say, noting their proposed increased penalties for providing pot to minors.

Could they not have just increased and enforced these laws, anyway?

Also, now that we will be able to have three plants in the homes, the kids will be able to pick off a leaf or two instead of finding it outside. How convenient!

Bill Davis, New Westminster

[end]

25 CN BC: Marijuana Legalization Won't Happen Overnight: MPTue, 18 Apr 2017
Source:Cranbrook Daily Townsman (CN BC) Author:Crawley, Trevor Area:British Columbia Lines:152 Added:04/21/2017

The federal Liberal government released their plan to legalize marijuana last week in Ottawa, however, anyone thinking that it is going to happen overnight is in for a rude awakening.

Kootenay Columbia MP Wayne Stetski says the legislation actually contains two bills - one bill on marijuana legalization and another bill amending the criminal code to enact harsher impaired driving penalties, for both marijuana and alcohol.

First, the legislation has to be introduced into Parliament for first and second reading, before going to an all-party committee meeting. That committee can call in experts ranging from doctors to lawyers to police to testify on the merits or shortcomings of the bill. From there, recommendations are sent back to Parliament, which are rolled into a third reading.

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26 CN BC: Nelson Anticipates Cannabis LegalizationWed, 19 Apr 2017
Source:Nelson Star (CN BC) Author:Johnson, Will Area:British Columbia Lines:184 Added:04/21/2017

Cannabis is one step closer to being legal.

According to the Cannabis Act introduced by the federal government last Thursday, legalization of the controversial plant will come into effect July 2018 - and now it's up to the provinces and territories to sort out distribution and regulation.

The act sets a personal possession limit of 30 grams of legal dried cannabis, gives the province the power to set age limits, and calls for the creation of a carefully controlled supply chain complete with consistent rules and routine inspections.

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27 CN BC: Island Health Cracking Down On Marijuana EdiblesFri, 14 Apr 2017
Source:Victoria News (CN BC) Author:Roth, Pamela Area:British Columbia Lines:101 Added:04/19/2017

Health authority prepared to start fining pot shops

Dr. Richard Stanwick has received a lot of angry emails as of late.

Some have told him to butt out of the marijuana edible business. Others have challenged the right for the health authority to enforce legislation on pot shops selling the products.

As the chief medical health officer for Island Health, Stanwick has tried to explain that the health authority has an obligation to respond to complaints from the public. So far Island Health has received three complaints about marijuana edibles sold at pot shops in the region. The most recent came Monday after someone got sick.

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28 CN BC: LTE: Marijuana Proposal Has A Serious ConsequenceSun, 16 Apr 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:McColl, Pamela Area:British Columbia Lines:35 Added:04/19/2017

One in 10 deaths around the world is caused by smoking, according to a new study, and this dire statistic comes as Canada stands on the brink of legalizing marijuana as a smoked commercial product.

That 28 per cent of those who die a second-hand-smoking death are children and that marijuana smoke is just as toxic, if not more so than that of tobacco products, has been lost in the government's unsubstantiated argument that legalization will reduce use by youth and control the black market.

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29CN BC: Editorial: Trudeau Opens The Door To PotSun, 16 Apr 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)          Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:04/19/2017

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has kept his promise to legalize recreational marijuana, so the law will finally catch up with reality. Now Canadians have a new set of questions and problems to deal with.

The federal government introduced its legislation on Thursday, giving governments, police, producers, retailers and everyone else involved just over a year to build a new, legal industry in place of the long-standing illegal one.

Only a dreamer would think it will be as easy as flipping a switch from illegal to legal. The fact that the legislation is 143 pages long hints at the complexity.

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30CN BC: One Year Later, 919 More DeathsSun, 16 Apr 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Petrescu, Sarah Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:04/19/2017

Health officer says situation is worsening despite bold initiatives, partly due to rise in carfentanil in B.C.

It's been a year since provincial health officer Dr. Perry Kendall declared the spike in overdose deaths a public health emergency.

But despite major efforts and resources, there is no end in sight.

"I had hoped for a different outcome," Kendall said. "Tragically, in that 12-month period, we have seen an additional 919 deaths."

A total of 922 people died from illicit drug-related overdoses in B.C. last year, compared with 513 in 2015 and 366 in 2014. This year could be even worse: In January and February alone, 219 people died.

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31CN BC: City Oks First Pot Shop RezoningSat, 15 Apr 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Smart, Amy Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:04/19/2017

Trees Dispensary has become the first cannabis retailer to be rezoned under the City of Victoria's new rules.

Council voted unanimously in favour of a rezoning application for Trees' location at 546 Yates St. following a public hearing on Thursday night.

Mayor Lisa Helps said the city did not co-ordinate with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to rezone its first pot retailer on the same day that he announced legislation to legalize recreational marijuana.

"I can certainly say it does give me great comfort." Helps said.

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32CN BC: Family Doctors Key To Screening For Addiction In Fight AgainstSat, 15 Apr 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Bains, Camille Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:04/19/2017

A tag hanging from a dead man's left toe says the cause of death was an overdose of fentanyl, "unknowingly taken with other drugs."

The cadaver draped in a white sheet is displayed in transit ads funded by the Vancouver Police Foundation and represents 922 people who died in British Columbia from drug overdoses last year alone.

A spiralling number of deaths, often involving the painkiller fentanyl, prompted the provincial government to declare a public health emergency on April 14, 2016, and to launch its own awareness campaign on TV, radio, Facebook, transit and at bars and restaurants.

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33CN BC: B.C. Politicians Answer Questions On Pot ReformFri, 14 Apr 2017
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Penner, Derrick Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:04/16/2017

Feds aim to make it legal to smoke weed by next Canada Day

The federal government on Thursday tabled bills to make the possession of marijuana for recreational purposes legal in Canada by July 1. Postmedia News asked the leaders of British Columbia's main political parties what system they favoured for the distribution of legal pot in B.C. and whether the province or local governments should share in the tax revenue.

B.C. Liberal Leader Christy Clark

Clark said she would consult an expert panel of health officials and law enforcement on how to distribute marijuana safely. She noted the federal panel that advised government recommended against selling pot through the liquor distribution branch and that no U.S. state that has legalized pot allows it to be sold where you can buy alcohol.

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34CN BC: B.C. Dispensaries Want Piece Of Pot PieFri, 14 Apr 2017
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Fumano, Dan Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:04/16/2017

Association says homegrown 'cottage industry' will help local economy and create jobs

With the federal government taking a major step Thursday towards cannabis legalization, the outlook for B.C.'s flourishing retail pot industry remains hazy.

The federal Liberals introduced bills to regulate recreational marijuana in Canada (with legalization expected to come into force by July 2018). But the legislation leaves several key elements of the plan especially around the distribution and sale of the product - up to provincial and territorial governments to figure out.

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35CN BC: Column: Pot Still A Hazy Issue, Despite Liberals' BillFri, 14 Apr 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Mulgrew, Ian Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:04/16/2017

The face of legal marijuana in Canada remains veiled in spite of the legislative dance Thursday by a chorus of federal Liberal cabinet ministers.

Accompanied with strident rhetoric about risks to kids and the abject failure of the Drug War, the government reassuringly proposed ending the near century-old pot prohibition with new tough criminal laws widening the impaired-driving net and "strict" regulations targeting those who exploit or entice youth with cannabis.

For instance, an 18-year-old selling a reefer to a 17-year-old could conceivably be facing 14 years in prison.

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36 CN BC: Local Candidates Await LegislationThu, 13 Apr 2017
Source:Daily Courier, The (CN BC) Author:Peacock, Andrea Area:British Columbia Lines:106 Added:04/15/2017

Uncertainty clouds legalization of marijuana, but all parties favour laws to protect public

The federal government today will introduce legislation to legalize marijuana by July 2018, but local candidates in the May 9 provincial election remain largely unsure of what that will mean for Kelowna.

"We're all waiting in anticipation to see what the federal government does and what legalization looks like at that level," said Alison Shaw, Green candidate for Kelowna-Lake Country.

It will be up to provincial governments to decide how marijuana is bought and sold.

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37 CN BC: Edu: Column: Long Overdue LegalizationMon, 10 Apr 2017
Source:Capilano Courier, The (CN BC Edu) Author:Svensrud, Connor Area:British Columbia Lines:107 Added:04/13/2017

What will happen to Canada's cannabis industry once the upcoming recreational laws take effect?

There was a point in the earlier half of the 20th century that came to be known as the Prohibition Era. Alcohol, along with several other substances, became illegal under the thumb of the government of the time, turning it into a black market good until the ban was lifted in 1933. But, according to dispensary operator Ray Nikiel, the Prohibition seemed to move from one substance to another, with cannabis becoming illegal not long afterwards.

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38 CN BC: Edu: Column: Deadly DopingMon, 10 Apr 2017
Source:Capilano Courier, The (CN BC Edu) Author:Beyleveldt, Christine Area:British Columbia Lines:138 Added:04/13/2017

Knowing the signs of an overdose can save someone's life, especially with inconspicuous opioids like Fentanyl lurking in common street drugs. It begins with high-like symptoms - euphoria, relaxation and drowsiness, and cedes to shortened breath, a slowed heart rate and unconsciousness. The effects of Fentanyl set in quickly. The trouble is, anyone can fall prey because the opioid often goes undetected until it's too late.

Fentanyl is laced into illicit street drugs to enhance their effect. Originally a pain medication used as an anaesthetic, it's 50 to 100 times stronger than Morphine. Because it's so potent, the drug comes in small doses, often concealed in silica gel sachets discreetly marked that can't be seized at the Canadian border.

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39 CN BC: Hodge Opposes Limits On Pot ShopsTue, 11 Apr 2017
Source:Daily Courier, The (CN BC) Author:Seymour, Ron Area:British Columbia Lines:87 Added:04/13/2017

Kelowna city councillor argues pot shops should be treated like other retail outlets

The City of Kelowna shouldn't try to restrict the location of pot shops once marijuana becomes legal, Coun. Charlie Hodge says.

Imposing such controls, Hodge said Monday, is an "archaic" approach that would create a "stigma" around the sale and use of pot.

Hodge said he, like many other Kelowna residents, has a licence to use marijuana for various medical problems.

"Doesn't mean I'm doing it, but I am legally allowed to do it," Hodge said. "I don't want to feel I'm sliding in the back door in some alley somewhere to pick up my medication.

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40 CN BC: PUB LTE: Don't Shut Out Compassion Clubs On The March To LegalizationSun, 09 Apr 2017
Source:Daily Courier, The (CN BC) Author:Fiddler, Darrin LR Area:British Columbia Lines:97 Added:04/13/2017

Editor: One must ask the lawmakers and backers, "Whose side are you on?"

Each time a cop busts a compassion club, they hand power back to the underground economy. I don't believe this is the effect they were aiming for. What does kicking in the door of compassion say about our laws and their views on medical care?

Under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPRR), a patient can acquire any source of cannabis material, but recently only from licensed producers (LPs). There are currently almost 130,000 Canadians registered in the program. When these doors are shut, patients are left out on the street at risk of purchasing contaminated or spiked cannabis to treat their condition.

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41CN BC: Dispensaries Fight Edible Cannabis BanSun, 09 Apr 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:DeRosa, Katie Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:04/13/2017

Island Health's ban on edible cannabis products is arbitrary and unconstitutional, says the lawyer representing several marijuana dispensaries on Vancouver Island.

Kirk Tousaw, who has represented several clients in marijuana access cases, wrote a letter objecting to the ban, addressed to Dr. Richard Stanwick, Island Health's chief medical health officer.

"The patients that access edibles from dispensaries need that access for their health and quality of life," Tousaw wrote.

"Dispensaries need to trust that Island Health is committed to working progressively toward appropriate and fact-based access to cannabis edibles, not to be threatened with possible business licensing sanctions by Island Health."

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42CN BC: Opioid Crisis Has Gone ProvincewideThu, 13 Apr 2017
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Fumano, Dan Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:04/13/2017

In 2016, 11 regions have gone beyond 15 overdose deaths, medical officials say

Health experts painted a grim picture Wednesday morning as they updated Vancouver's mayor and council on an ongoing opioid crisis that has spread from its "epicentre" in the Downtown Eastside to touch every part of the province.

Provincial health officer Dr. Perry Kendall addressed a sombre Vancouver council chamber Wednesday, almost a year to the day after he announced a public health emergency in response to what he called at the time, "the recent surge of overdoses."

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43 CN BC: Feds Move Too Slow In Crisis: VCHThu, 13 Apr 2017
Source:Metro (Vancouver, CN BC) Author:Kieltyka, Matt Area:British Columbia Lines:73 Added:04/13/2017

Consumption sites should be up to provinces: Medical chief

Not enough is being done to speed up critical decisions that can save lives a year into British Columbia's overdose crisis, according to Vancouver Coastal Health's chief medical health officer.

Dr. Patricia Daly and provincial health officer Dr. Perry Kendall were at Vancouver city hall Wednesday to brief council on the progress to date since Kendall first declared a public health emergency on April 14, 2016.

Last year, 922 people died in the province of illicit drug overdoses - three times the number of people who died in motor vehicle accidents.

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44 CN BC: Pending Cuts Could Cripple Fentanyl FightThu, 13 Apr 2017
Source:Castlegar News (CN BC) Author:Novak, Chelsea Area:British Columbia Lines:205 Added:04/13/2017

In the midst of the fentanyl crisis, a local organization that provides overdose training and harm reduction is bracing for the loss of a major chunk of its funding.

ANKORS (AIDS Network Kootenay Outreach and Support Society) was founded in 1992 at the height of the HIV/AIDS crisis and provides services around HIV and Hepatitis C, harm reduction and prevention education. Originally established in Castlegar, the organization now has offices in Cranbrook and Nelson, and between the two may soon lose five employees and a significant part of its funding.

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45 CN BC: Services Save Lives, Says Interior Health OfficialFri, 07 Apr 2017
Source:Daily Courier, The (CN BC) Author:Peacock, Andrea Area:British Columbia Lines:58 Added:04/12/2017

More drug users accessing care, says chief medical health officer

Drug overdose deaths remain high, but Interior Health is reaching more drug users and saving more lives through its overdose prevention services, says chief medical health officer Dr. Trevor Corneil.

In February, there were 15 overdose deaths across the Interior Health region, down from 18 in January and 29 in December. On Tuesday, Corneil provided an update on the local drug overdose response to the IH board of directors, focusing on the success of overdose prevention services.

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46 CN BC: Not Just Anywhere Could Go To PotFri, 07 Apr 2017
Source:Daily Courier, The (CN BC) Author:Seymour, Ron Area:British Columbia Lines:68 Added:04/12/2017

Special zoning, prohibited areas proposed for sale of pot in Kelowna

Pot shops could be banned along Bernard Avenue, Ellis Street and Pandosy Street even after the drug is legalized, Kelowna city council will hear Monday.

City staff recommend that "prohibited areas" be created, in which the drug could not be sold even if the federal government moves forward as expected with its plan to legalize marijuana.

People wanting to sell pot commercially would need to obtain a special zoning for their property, similar to regulations already in place for privately owned liquor outlets, staff suggest.

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47CN BC: Interprovincial Trade Deal Tills Soil For Legal MarijuanaThu, 06 Apr 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Blatchford, Andy Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:04/08/2017

OTTAWA - Governments across Canada will unveil an internal-trade agreement Friday designed to not only knock down domestic business barriers, but also lay the groundwork for talks to eventually establish a cross-country marijuana market.

Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains said the long-awaited deal, meant to boost economic growth, will also establish a clear process to help provinces and territories regulate the trade of recreational pot. Those discussions can only come, of course, once the federal government legalizes marijuana with legislation that government insiders have said would be introduced next week.

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48 CN BC: Column: Productive Town Hall Meeting Held On The RecreationalWed, 05 Apr 2017
Source:Nelson Star (CN BC) Author:Stetski, Wayne Area:British Columbia Lines:89 Added:04/08/2017

There was not a room in Kootenay-Columbia big enough to accommodate the 3000+ people that took part in the Town Hall I hosted on Marijuana Legalization in Canada. Conveniently most of the participants were sitting comfortably in their own living rooms taking part over the phone!

Since being elected in 2015, I have received hundreds of questions and comments about Justin Trudeau's election commitment to Legalize Marijuana. Since the Prime Minister's cynical retreat from his promise of democratic reform, it is difficult to know how many more promises the Liberal government might break. With that being said, we know that the issue of Marijuana Legalization is a complex one; it will undoubtedly have effects on our health, our local economies, and our law enforcement.

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49CN BC: Many Young Pot Users Are Driving: StudyWed, 05 Apr 2017
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Fayerman, Pamela Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:04/08/2017

RISKS: Expert urges boost to funding for raising awareness of 'potential harms'

A major B.C. study has found that a high proportion of young adults who consume marijuana admit they either drive while stoned or get into vehicles with drivers who've used marijuana.

Canadian studies have shown increased crash risks when drivers consume pot, and the high frequency of risky behaviour in the current study demonstrates a failure of approaches and the need for urgent action on the prevention and public-awareness front, the study says. This is especially relevant because of Canada's plan to legalize recreational marijuana, according to lead author Bonnie Leadbeater, a University of Victoria psychology professor whose study is published in the journal Paediatrics and Child Health.

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50CN BC: Sd43 Is Planning For Legal WeedWed, 05 Apr 2017
Source:Tri-City News (Port Coquitlam, CN BC) Author:Strandberg, Diane Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:04/08/2017

Schools aren't expecting more students to show up high if the federal government moves on plans to legalize marijuana on or before July 1, 2018, says a School District 43 official.

But assistant superintendent Rob Zambrano says the months leading up to eventual legalization will be an opportunity for schools, parents and community leaders to have conversations about what is acceptable behaviour.

School District 43 already has a code of conduct that prohibits "illegal acts," including the use or trafficking of drugs, alcohol or restricted substances, and cannabis won't be allowed on school grounds. And while it's not known yet what the legal age of permitted use will be in B.C., students who are stoned, regardless of the legality of the product, won't be allowed in classrooms. (The federal government is expected to make 18 the legal age of possession.)

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