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1 CN MB: Medicinal Marijuana Licence Lost In The MailWed, 14 Dec 2011
Source:Winnipeg Sun (CN MB) Author:Pritchard, Dean Area:Manitoba Lines:51 Added:12/14/2011

Gregory Schellenberg had already been approved to grow medicinal marijuana when police raided his Winnipeg home.

Unfortunately for Schellenberg, he didn't have a licence to show police, as it was lost in the mail, a casualty of last summer's postal strike.

Schellenberg pleaded guilty to one count of production of marijuana Tuesday and was fined $1,500.

"He had a licence," said defence lawyer Greg Brodsky. "What he didn't anticipate was that it wouldn't come because of a postal strike."

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2 CN MB: CN MB: LTE: No Solution At AllFri, 09 Dec 2011
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB) Author:Dowling, Michael Area:Manitoba Lines:28 Added:12/11/2011

Re: Robert Sharpe's letter (Regulate 'soft' drugs, Dec. 7) proposing the legal sale of marijuana while continuing the prohibition of hard drugs. Even if pot were legalized, drug peddlers would continue to sell it, as they do now, to children too young to buy it legally, while still exposing them to hard drugs. Selective legalization is equivalent to permitting the sale of wine and beer, while keeping spirits illegal. It leaves criminals in control of a lucrative market, while exposing addicts to all kinds of risks. Helping kids avoid drugs should be the responsibility of parents in conjunction with anti-drug public-service announcements.

Winnipeg

[end]

3 CN MB: Edu: Opposition Remains Strong Against Bill C-10Wed, 07 Dec 2011
Source:Manitoban, The (CN MB, Edu) Author:Petz, Sarah Area:Manitoba Lines:142 Added:12/08/2011

Over 500 New Prison Spaces Slated for Manitoba

As the federal government's bill C-10, aka the Safe Streets and Communities Act, is poised to make its way to the Senate, opposition of the omnibus crime bill shows no sign of slowing down.

The bill is currently in its third and final reading in the House of Commons, before going to a final vote on Monday.

On Nov. 25, Justin Pich=E9, an assistant professor of sociology at Memorial University, gave a lecture at the U of M via Skype titled =93Building Our Way Towards Safer Communities? Prison Capacity Expansion and the Need for an Alternative Approach.=94

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4 CN MB: PUB LTE: Regulate 'Soft' DrugsWed, 07 Dec 2011
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB) Author:Sharpe, Robert Area:Manitoba Lines:34 Added:12/07/2011

Re: the editorial Mr. Harper's marijuana pipe dream (Dec. 2). There is a big difference between condoning marijuana use and protecting children from drugs. Decriminalization acknowledges the social reality of marijuana and frees users from the stigma of life-shattering criminal records. What's really needed is a regulated market with age controls.

Separating the hard- and soft-drug markets is critical. As long as organized crime controls marijuana distribution, consumers will continue to come into contact with sellers of hard drugs such as cocaine and heroin. This "gateway" is a direct result of marijuana prohibition.

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5 CN MB: Editorial: Crime Bill Has Myriad Of CostsMon, 05 Dec 2011
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB)          Area:Manitoba Lines:53 Added:12/06/2011

There can be no illusion about the enormous costs of the Harper government's tough-on-crime agenda -- locking more people up for longer periods will add tens of millions of dollars more every year to the tab. Parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page, in fact, has estimated all the government's new measures combined, including the elimination of double credit for pre-sentence jail time, will cost billions more annually.

Attorney General Andrew Swan's demand now for more cash from Ottawa to share the cost of legal aid that will rise when the federal omnibus crime bill is passed is a sign of poor strategy. Manitoba's NDP government has been leading the charge for many of the amendments that will get tougher on criminals. Negotiating costs ought to have been part of the lobby early.

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6 CN MB: Editorial: Mr Harper's Marijuana Pipe DreamFri, 02 Dec 2011
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB)          Area:Manitoba Lines:61 Added:12/05/2011

Coincidental with word that a British Columbia seed company has won second place at the annual High Times Cannabis Cup in the Netherlands, comes news of a speech delivered by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Vancouver defending Canada's get-tough laws against the use of that drug.

The two countries could hardly have different approaches to how to deal with the problem of drugs. Both agree that drug use is a definite problem, just as the abuse of alcohol and tobacco is a problem. In Holland, however, the sale and use of marijuana and hashish are controlled and regulated -- one does not need to go to the Mob to buy, for example, Hydra, the hashish that was crossbred between the strains Warlock and Haoma and brought the silver medal to Canada this week.

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7 CN MB: Column: Victims Of Drug War Seek CeasefireThu, 24 Nov 2011
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB) Author:Dyer, Gwynne Area:Manitoba Lines:109 Added:11/29/2011

Like those generals who used to discover nuclear weapons were not a good thing about 20 minutes after they took off their uniforms and started collecting their pensions, we have had a parade of former presidents who knew that the war on drugs was a bad thing -- but only mentioned it after they were already ex-presidents. Now, at last, we have one who is saying it out loud while he is still in office.

President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia, the country that has suffered even more than Mexico from the drug wars, is an honest and serious man. He is also very brave, because any political leader who advocates the legalization of narcotics will become a prime target of the prohibition industry. He has chosen to do it anyway.

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8 CN MB: Rally Held Against Omnibus Crime BillTue, 08 Nov 2011
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB) Author:Owen, Bruce Area:Manitoba Lines:58 Added:11/13/2011

About 250 people rallied against the Harper government's omnibus crime bill outside the Manitoba Legislative Building today.

Speakers and people in the crowd said the anti-crime measures in the bill, currently before Parliament, will only put more people into jail for minor crimes and ratchet up prison costs at the expense of social programs.

Former city police officer Bill VanderGraaf, who now represents Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, said the bill is a form of bullying particularly against medical marijuana users.

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9 CN MB: PUB LTE: Surpassing StandardsThu, 03 Nov 2011
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB) Author:Elrod, Matthew M. Area:Manitoba Lines:46 Added:11/08/2011

Re: Tories put MDs on the hook for pot (Oct. 30). As a therapeutic herb, or natural health product, cannabis cannot be subjected to the sort of clinical trials applied to pharmaceuticals.

More important, herbs cannot be patented, so there is no incentive for private pharmaceutical companies to shepherd them through the expensive drug-approval process.

Cannabis, however, already surpasses the accepted standards for natural health products. According to the U.S. Institute of Medicine, the benefit-risk profile of cannabis is well within that of many commonly used pharmaceutical drugs. A far greater number of studies have already demonstrated the health benefits and safety of cannabis than exist for such medical standbys as Aspirin, penicillin and codeine.

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10 CN MB: PUB LTE: Kill The MonsterWed, 12 Oct 2011
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB) Author:White, Stan Area:Manitoba Lines:27 Added:10/12/2011

Craig Jones' commendable article Gang wars -- the law is to blame (Oct. 4) exposes prohibition's folly well enough. However, it's past time for governments to "commission" an "analysis" of how well prohibition is performing. Anyone who doesn't know prohibition is destructive, at every facet, may not be fit to run a government.

Prohibition, specifically cannabis (marijuana) prohibition, is a monster that must be put to death. Political leaders must stop feeding the monster. Citizens must stop feeding politicians who feed the monster.

Dillon, Co.

[end]

11 CN MB: OPED: Gang Wars - The Law Is To BlameTue, 04 Oct 2011
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB) Author:Jones, Craig Area:Manitoba Lines:68 Added:10/07/2011

Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz says, "We know that gangs are in Winnipeg, just like they are in every city in North America, big and small, and we're going to have to deal with it... I don't think they're going to go anywhere," (National Post, Oct. 2).

The mayor's fatalism is misplaced. It's true that gangs are ubiquitous in human communities, and always have been, but criminally violent gangs are a creation of failed public policy. They are the unintended, but completely predictable, consequences of drug prohibition -- just as they were the unintended but completely predictable consequences of alcohol prohibition in the 20th-Century. Why is this?

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12 CN MB: PUB LTE: 'Definition Of Insanity'Fri, 07 Oct 2011
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB) Author:Dowling, Michael Area:Manitoba Lines:35 Added:10/07/2011

Reading Craig Jones's Oct. 4 article, Gang wars -- the law is to blame, prompts me to expand on his observation that gangs resort to internecine violence to protect drug profits. While I completely agree with him, the corollary is worth mentioning.

Drug-related criminal behaviour is a frequent motivator for armed robbery, burglary and street muggings, committed by desperate addicts seeking funds for their next fix.

The ludicrous response from authorities who call for more police and harsher penalties is shown to be without any merit when one considers that police states such as Singapore impose the death penalty for possession of more than 15 grams of heroin, and yet still execute about two dozen people a year for drug offences alone.

The government's tough-on-crime stance relating to drugs reminds me of an Albert Einstein quote. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Michael Dowling

Winnipeg

[end]

13 CN MB: Column: Insite Ruling Goes To JailWed, 05 Oct 2011
Source:Winnipeg Sun (CN MB) Author:Akin, David Area:Manitoba Lines:89 Added:10/06/2011

Drug addicts in Vancouver's downtown east side now have the protection of the Supreme Court of Canada to avail themselves of a medical facility, the Insite clinic, where they may inject themselves with heroin under medical supervision.

Now: What about drug addicts in the country's prisons? Can they expect the court's ruling to change the way they are treated?

This is no academic question but one which the members of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Safety and Security may soon be seized.

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14 CN MB: Editorial: First Do Less Harm To AddictsMon, 03 Oct 2011
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB)          Area:Manitoba Lines:83 Added:10/04/2011

The Supreme Court of Canada on Friday shredded the Harper government's vacuous arguments for shutting down North America's first government-sanctioned safe-injection site and ordered Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq to immediately exempt Vancouver's Insite from federal drug laws. It was the third time a panel of jurists has ruled against Ottawa and its bewildering agenda to close a clinic that has cut disease and death among thousands of addicts in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.

After five years of fighting, the staff at Insite now can simply concentrate on doing their job. It is not easy work. Most Canadians can be led to see the value of a clinic that opens its doors to addicts who otherwise share needles to shoot up in darkened doorways and alleys. But how many could tolerate the sight of a pregnant woman frantic to find a good vein to deliver another hit of cocaine? Instinctively, Canadians expect swift intervention to protect the vulnerable.

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15 CN MB: Column: Harper Gets Tougher On Pot Growers Than ChildMon, 26 Sep 2011
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB) Author:Baron, Ethan Area:Manitoba Lines:83 Added:09/27/2011

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is getting tougher on pot growers than he is on rapists of children. Under the Tories' omnibus crime legislation tabled Tuesday, a person growing 201 pot plants in a rental unit would receive a longer mandatory sentence than someone who rapes a toddler or forces a five-year-old to have sex with an animal.

Producing six to 200 pot plants nets an automatic six-month sentence, with an extra three months if it's done in a rental or is deemed a public-safety hazard. Growing 201 to 500 plants brings a one-year sentence, or 11/2 years if it's in a rental or poses a safety risk.

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16 CN MB: 'Throw-Overs' Of Drugs Seen As Epidemic At StonySat, 24 Sep 2011
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB) Author:Mayes, Alison Area:Manitoba Lines:58 Added:09/27/2011

AUTHORITIES at Stony Mountain Institution are grappling with a sky-high number of drug packages being tossed in over the fence.

And they're asking the public to help thwart the "throw-overs."

In the past month at the medium-security federal prison, marijuana, hashish, cocaine and pharmaceuticals with a behind-bars value of more than $47,000 have been seized as a result of outsiders' attempts to lob packages into the exercise yard, the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) said.

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17 CN MB: Appeal Court Weighs Cops' Acquittal At Perjury TrialFri, 23 Sep 2011
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB) Author:McIntyre, Mike Area:Manitoba Lines:79 Added:09/27/2011

Manitoba's highest court is weighing whether to reinstate perjury charges against two Winnipeg police officers who walked free on an unusual legal technicality.

Const. Peter O'Kane and Const. Jess Zebrun were cleared last February of any criminal wrongdoing in a decision that likely saved their careers. Their lawyers successfully filed a motion for a dismissal of the case, saying the Crown attorney failed to have any of his witnesses properly identify the two accused in court, as required by law.

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18 CN MB: Column: Munch On ThisSun, 21 Aug 2011
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB) Author:Kives, Bartley Area:Manitoba Lines:134 Added:08/23/2011

Decriminalizing pot could help squelch gang rivalry, add to tax coffers

Depending on your perspective, the summer of 2011 is either the most amazing in recent memory or one of Winnipeg's worst.

On one hand, it's been so hot and sunny in the Red River Valley this summer, the mayor of Phoenix is probably thinking about spending a holiday in Winnipeg for a change.

The mosquitoes are all but non-existent. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are 6-1.

Even better, the Saskatchewan Roughriders are 1-7. According to a joke making the rounds on Twitter, Mosaic Stadium in Regina has been declared a tornado shelter, as touchdowns are considered so unlikely there.

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19 CN MB: Editorial: Tory Plan Weakens JusticeMon, 22 Aug 2011
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB)          Area:Manitoba Lines:56 Added:08/23/2011

Canada's association of lawyers is justifiably worried about the effect new sentencing laws will have on aboriginal offenders. The mandatory minimums for some offences in the federal government's proposed omnibus crime bill run contrary to the philosophy that reasonable, alternative measures to jail ought to be canvassed where appropriate. And with disproportionately more aboriginal people charged with crimes, they are likely to feel the effect disproportionately.

If Canada's jails begin filling up because the Harper Tories aim to throw more people found guilty of selling marijuana in the slammer -- one target of mandatory minimums -- they are bound to house more aboriginal people, particularly on the Prairies where native populations are higher.

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20 CN MB: Column: We Have Fewer Criminals, But Are Building JailsSat, 06 Aug 2011
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB) Author:Oleson, Tom Area:Manitoba Lines:55 Added:08/08/2011

THE prison population in Canada is expected to grow by more than 30 per cent in the next few years. Ironically, this is not because the crime rate is increasing. The crime rate is actually going down. It is because the federal government has concluded fewer people should spend more time in jail so that it can appear that Stephen Harper's Conservatives are getting tough on crime, as they have long threatened to do but were prevented from doing by their minority status.

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