Thousands Light Up For 4/20 Event
At first whiff, Bob Marley would have been pleased.
The late reggae singer and arguably the world's most famous smoker of
marijuana would have felt right at home among the estimated 3,000 who
congregated on the lawns of the Legislative Building on Monday
afternoon to mark 4/20 -- a worldwide celebration of pot and a
protest against anti-marijuana laws.
But the legendary Rastafarian, who regularly sang about the benefits
of marijuana, would no doubt have been disheartened by the large
number in the crowd who saw 4/20 as nothing more than a day to get
stoned in public and not get in trouble rather than an opportunity to
convince governments to legalize -- or at least decriminalize -- the
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The whole issue of marijuana legalization demonstrates the insanity
and hypocrisy inherent in our society.
These 4/20 people are asking that a herb with dozens of medical
applications be legalized and regulated into the legitimate economy
- -- not just so they can enjoy it, but also so it will reduce the
profits reaped by gangsters due to the prohibition on it, and reduce
the public violence and soaring costs associated with it. These
"potheads" want something that is unregulated and subsidizing
gangsters to be regulated and taxed.
Yet the potheads get labelled as the crazy ones.
(Another sin tax, just what we need.)
THE official grand opening of a head shop near a high school was a
tempest in a weed pot.
"T-shirts and posters are our biggest sellers," said Lara
Edwards-VanMuijen behind the counter of LaMota on Portage Avenue,
kitty-corner from St. James Collegiate. The shop has been open for
two months, selling marijuana pipes and other pot-related paraphernalia.
"Business has been good," said Edwards-VanMuijen. The owner of the
store, Alejandro Chung, was unavailable for comment.
LaMota was packed at 1 p.m. Monday for its official grand opening on
4/20 -- the 20th day of the fourth month and the traditional rallying
day for marijuana proponents.
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The St. James-Assiniboia school board thinks locating a head shop
close to a St. James Collegiate will encourage more high school
students to smoke pot.
Truth be told, the board might be right, but putting any effort into
restricting where such shops can set up is a waste of time.
High school students are going to smoke pot whether they have to go
to the nearby head shop to buy pipes and bongs, or whether they have
to go to the head shop across town.
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As pot smokers celebrated their unofficial annual 4:20 holiday
outside the Manitoba Legislature and elsewhere yesterday, a new St.
James head shop was holding its grand opening -- much to the chagrin
of the area's school board chair.
A store called La Mota, which is Spanish slang for marijuana,
officially opened its doors yesterday at 1859 Portage Ave., a
stoner's throw from St. James Collegiate.
Head shops like La Mota typically sell smoking implements like pipes,
bongs and rolling papers, as well as counterculture books, posters,
clothing and other goods.
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Selling pot is illegal. Selling pot paraphernalia is legal. To kids
especially, that is a mixed and dangerous message. Every year, we
raise over $50,000 to help kids teach each other about drug
awareness. When these kids leave their school, they invariably pass
by one of these stores. They now have a mixed message. "After all, a
store can sell me a bong!" It may be legal, but is it right? When
does "right" finally win?
TJ's Gift Foundation
It sure doesn't take long for the potheads to complain when anyone
criticizes their beloved weed. Well, let me inject some reality into
After working in high schools for over 20 years, I can state without
hesitation that students who are daily, chronic smokers of pot almost
always begin a pattern of non-attendance as their use progresses,
show a steady decline in their marks over a full range of subjects
and usually end up dropping out of school altogether.
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Re: Flin Flon trustees consider drug tests (April 14). Why not do
strip searches and drug test every kid every morning before school?
"Pee in the cup, junior, or you don't get to learn anything today."
It will create jobs, but better yet, it will stifle any ideas the
kids might have about privacy and fairness.
These in-school drugs tests will do little to curb drug use, but
then, that isn't the point. The point of this kind of testing is to
scare kids into obedience and compliance, and accustom the next
generations to an ongoing and ever-present police presence in daily
life. By the year 2030, people will accept the government's ownership
of their bodies and minds, and the very notion of privacy will be a
thing of the past. Orwellian police states don't pop up overnight,
they creep in slowly.
Flin Flon school trustees could decide tonight whether to launch
Manitoba's first in-school alcohol and drug testing for students.
Whether the testing is legal, how accurate the tests are, how great a
need there is for testing, and who'll conduct and analyse the tests
- -- are issues that are still uncertain, Flin Flon school board chair
Trish Sattelberger acknowledged Monday.
"We haven't implemented any program -- it's in the draft stage,"
Sattelberger said. "It's hard to say when it could be implemented. It
would be a division-wide thing, it wouldn't just necessarily be the
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Want City Council To Take Action
A drug paraphernalia shop about to open a block away from St. James
Collegiate and George Waters Middle School has school trustees
imploring city council to keep drug-related businesses away from schools.
St. James-Assiniboia School Division has asked city council to review
its bylaws and regulations "to prevent drug paraphernalia businesses
from establishing in proximity to schools."
The business will open next week on Portage Avenue just east of Ferry Road.
"We were voicing a concern about it being so close to a school," said
superintendent Ron Weston.
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RE: Canada's forgotten war on drugs (April 6).
The U.S. and its psychotic laws against marijuana are what is causing
all of this misery around the world. The rest of the world needs to
tell these pushy bullies to grow up and legalize pot so that people
can grow their own. Then the demand for Canadian and Mexican pot would
disappear, along with the crime and violence associated with it.
But the U.S. doesn't want to end the war on plants because it keeps
their privately owned jails full to the brim. It is all a scam.
Manitoba justice officials are not seeking a jail sentence against a
medical marijuana crusader found guilty of trafficking pot to several
clients across Canada.
Grant Krieger feared he would die behind bars after jurors found him
guilty during his high-profile Queen's Bench trial last fall. But the
Calgary resident returned to Winnipeg for sentencing Wednesday and
learned the Crown agrees he can remain free in the community under a
conditional sentence. The judge has reserved her decision until next month.
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Manitoba justice officials are not seeking a jail sentence against a
medical-marijuana crusader found guilty of trafficking pot to clients
Grant Krieger said he feared he would die behind bars after jurors
found him guilty during his high-profile Queen's Bench trial last
fall. But the Calgary resident returned to Winnipeg for sentencing
Wednesday, and learned the Crown agrees he can remain free in the
community under a conditional sentence.
The judge has reserved her decision until next month.
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YUCATAN, Mexico -- The Canadian guy at the swim-up bar seemed ready to
fall off his stool and float away.
In an effort to help him focus, I asked him about Canada's involvement
in Mexico's brutal drug war.
"What involvement?" he said.
And that's the problem. A lot of Canadians don't know about our stake
in Mexico's war against drug lords, which now has a higher death rate
than the war in Iraq.
The war's statistics are staggering: More than 7,000 people killed
this year and last; 50,000 Mexican troops and federal police battling
five big drug cartels armed with rocket-launchers, machine guns,
grenades and armour-piercing sniper rifles over a drug trade valued at
$50 billion a year.
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I would like to express my opposition to the bill requiring mandatory
minimum sentences, especially in regards to the cultivation of
marijuana. In light of the fact that a Senate committee report on
marijuana found that marijuana is relatively harmless to society
especially when compared to alcohol and other drugs. I ask that Canada
decriminalize its use and production, in small amounts for personal
Let me make it clear that I do not want to see my fellow citizens
serving six months in prison for growing a plant. It is clear to me
and many other citizens that the marijuana issue is, and always has
been, a victim of politics, and not reason or scientific principle.
While I do not claim that using marijuana is particularly beneficial
to all people, it is certainly less harmful than most other drugs
including tobacco and alcohol, and less addictive as well.
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To many people, United States Secretary of State Hillary Rodham
Clinton was simply stating the obvious when she acknowledged last week
that American demand for illegal drugs has fortified Mexican
narco-mafias and fuelled that country's drug violence. But Mexico had
not heard such a high-level U.S. official accept shared responsibility
for generating and solving the drug wars, and the positive reviews
Clinton has been getting remind us that a little mea culpa goes a long
The day before she arrived in Mexico City, on her first visit as
secretary of state, the Obama administration promised to address the
problem of southbound weapons trafficking and money laundering.
Clinton also sought to quell fury over recent U.S. intelligence
assessments that Mexico risks becoming a "failed state" along with
other countries riven by violence, such as Pakistan. President Felipe
Calderon had grown accustomed to unqualified praise from the former
administration of George W. Bush, which sought to bolster the
remaining right-of-centre governments in Latin America, and was
blindsided by the sudden talk of no-go areas in Mexico coming from
U.S. military and law enforcement quarters. In a joint meeting with
Clinton, Mexican Foreign Secretary Patricia Espinosa pointedly noted
that there are many places in both countries where the two women
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Case Stayed After Two Accused Of Fabricating Evidence In Drug Case
At first glance, it must have looked like an open-and-shut case -- a
Winnipeg man apparently caught red-handed with a stash of cocaine and cash.
But now it is the arresting officers, not the suspected drug dealer,
who are before the courts facing serious criminal allegations.
The Crown attorney stayed charges of trafficking and proceeds of
crime against the 20-year-old accused based on information that
surfaced at his preliminary hearing last fall, according to court
documents. That surprise development triggered an internal Winnipeg
police investigation that ended this week with the arrests of the two
officers who arrested the young man in May 2008 following a search of
an inner-city home.
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The United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) is meeting in
Vienna this week, seeking a new course for the international war on
drugs. A strategy session was held last week and will continue at
lower levels until the end of this week as envoys try to work out a
document that would replace a 10-year program adopted in 1988 aiming
at eradicating all illegal drugs, from marijuana to heroin, under the
slogan "A Drug-Free World -- We Can Do It."
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President Barack Obama's youthful drug use, including cocaine, seems
to have had little effect on the support he enjoys while leading the
free world through the most troubling times in recent history.
Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps has not been as fortunate. The
now-famous photo of Phelps smoking from a bong ended with a contract
termination and his picture being yanked off the Kellogg's Corn Flakes box.
With such confusing messages is it any wonder that there is little
consensus among stakeholders in the war on drugs?
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Violent crime is going up and more people severely beaten
So we're No. 2.
Frankly I'm a little surprised we aren't No. 1, and I'm not talking
Slurpee capital either.
In a recent article Maclean's magazine, it listed Winnipeg as the
second most dangerous municipality in the country.
Of course some say the stats are misleading, or out of date, but if
Maclean's had said we were the second safest place in the nation, I'm
sure those critical of the article wouldn't be so hung up on slamming
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