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1 CN ON: Oped: Safety Top Priority In New Cannabis LawsThu, 20 Apr 2017
Source:Tribune, The (CN ON) Author:Goodale, Ralph Area:Ontario Lines:73 Added:04/22/2017

If your objectives are to protect public health and safety, keep marijuana out of the hands of minors and cut illegal profits flowing to organized crime, then the law as it stands today has been an abject failure.

From the very beginning, health and safety objectives have been in the forefront of our approach to cannabis. The new legislation we introduced last week reflects that - to do a better job of protecting our kids and fighting crime.

We have benefited from the thorough, balanced and thoughtful advice of an expert task force which gathered the best available data, medical and legal input, the experiences of other jurisdictions around the world and the views of a vast array of Canadians. Our proposals are in line with their recommendations.The new law would create a strong framework for legalizing, strictly regulating and restricting the use of cannabis:

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2 CN ON: LTE: We Need More Weed Like Hole In HeadThu, 20 Apr 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Pomian, Rafal Area:Ontario Lines:32 Added:04/22/2017

Everyone agrees that legalizing marijuana will increase its use. Other places that have done it confirm the trend. Doesn't that mean there will be more drug users, more drivers under the influence and more health problems?

So why are we doing it? Has the federal government discovered new money that it will have to give to the provinces who are stuck implementing it? Or is this yet another ill-thought election promise that is hitting the fan?

Especially the young are at risk, and the age limit of 18 is a joke. Kids can get it now when it's illegal, so how much easier will it be to get when it's legal?

Weed is an additional health risk that Canadians need like a hole in the head.

Rafal Pomian, Ottawa

[end]

3CN ON: Police To Continue To Enforce Marijuana LawsWed, 19 Apr 2017
Source:Windsor Star (CN ON) Author:Samba, Mugoli Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:04/22/2017

Chief says officers will arrest and charge users since pot not legal until July 2018

Windsor police Chief Al Frederick says that police will keep enforcing current marijuana laws - including during "4/20" celebrations planned in Windsor on Thursday - despite the Trudeau government's intention to legalize its use.

"Today, marijuana is illegal," Frederick said in a scrum with reporters following the unveiling of Windsor police's 150th anniversary cruiser Tuesday. "And anybody who (illegally) possesses or traffics marijuana today is subject to prosecution. No question."

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4 CN ON: 4-20 Needed More Than Ever: ActivistsThu, 20 Apr 2017
Source:Metro (Ottawa, CN ON) Author:May, Drew Area:Ontario Lines:49 Added:04/22/2017

Weed community isn't fully behind legalization plans

With marijuana legalization tabled - and ahead of April 20, as promised by the governing Liberals - some Ottawa activists say they aren't confident the new laws will reflect the concerns of the cannabis community.

Mike Foster, owner of Crosstown Traffic, a sponsor of Ottawa's 4-20 event, said there will be mixed emotions at the April 20 event on Parliament Hill.

"Some people are going to be celebrating this, what they perceive as a newfound liberation," Foster said. "Anyone who actually reads the whole document is going to realize there's not much there to celebrate."

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5 CN ON: LTE: 18 Is Too Young For MarijuanaThu, 20 Apr 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Garner, Mike Area:Ontario Lines:22 Added:04/22/2017

There seems to be little discussion about the minimum age, 18, proposed in the new marijuana legislation. Most senior students in high school are 18. If they are legally allowed to buy and use pot, then it will also be exposed to the 17, 16, 15, and 14-year-olds. Some students are 19. Perhaps the minimum should be set at 20 to keep it out of the high-school student population.

Mike Garner, Kanata

[end]

6 CN ON: Column: Controlled SubstanceWed, 19 Apr 2017
Source:Kenora Daily Miner And News (CN ON) Author:Fallis, Jay Area:Ontario Lines:96 Added:04/22/2017

Regulated and legal marijuana limits capacity for criminal organizations to profit

Whether or not you have smoked marijuana, you could probably identify the scent of its smoke. You can smell it everywhere: parks, streets, concert venues, and even on occasion, the lawns of Parliament Hill. It has become an unauthorised part of life in Canada.

However, it seems that it's unauthorized status could soon be changing. In the wake of a report issued by the Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation this past November, the Liberal Government recently tabled marijuana legislation in the House of Commons. So, with the idea of legalization quickly gaining traction, I talked with Conservative MP Bruce Stanton to get a better understanding of the implications.

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7 CN ON: LTE: Drug Users Are LosersThu, 20 Apr 2017
Source:NOW Magazine (CN ON) Author:Andely, Joe Area:Ontario Lines:23 Added:04/22/2017

Why is the press giving so much positive coverage to a drug pusher? The government will be putting them all out of business.

I hope all the taxes they collect will cover all the medical treatments that all the drug losers, er, users will cost the taxpayer in the long run.

Joe Andely

[end]

8 CN ON: OPED: Proposed Pot Legislation Prohibits And PunishesWed, 19 Apr 2017
Source:London Free Press (CN ON) Author:Emery, Jodie Area:Ontario Lines:92 Added:04/22/2017

The Liberal government finally introduced its highly anticipated marijuana legalization legislation. But this proposal is not legalization - it is continued criminalization, with new harsher laws designed to punish even more people.

Canadians want marijuana to be legal because they grew tired of seeing family and friends arrested and charged, then denied job opportunities and travel rights. They became frustrated seeing police spend their tax dollars every year going after people for pot, when they should be solving serious crimes.

Decades of studies note that the multi-billion-dollar marijuana industry already exists in Canada despite decades of prohibition. People grow it, sell it, and consume it in massive quantities. And they're not gangsters; in fact, justice department court statistics acknowledge 95 per cent of growers are otherwise law-abiding citizens with no connection to organized crime.

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9 CN ON: LTE: Jodie Emery's 15 MinutesThu, 20 Apr 2017
Source:NOW Magazine (CN ON)          Area:Ontario Lines:23 Added:04/22/2017

Re Jodie Emery's Marijuana Mission In Life, by Kieran Delamont (NOW, April 13-19).

Enjoy your 15 minutes, Jodie. Have you been so high you couldn't read the medical studies detailing the hazards of smoking up for anyone under 25? Do you just not care? Or is it all just a big conspiracy to prevent your making money? I can't imagine you ran a non-profit and sold at cost?

MB

[end]

10 CN ON: Editorial: Liberals Must Make Drug-Impaired DrivingWed, 19 Apr 2017
Source:Ajax/Pickering News Advertiser (CN ON)          Area:Ontario Lines:63 Added:04/21/2017

Legalized use of marijuana is on the doorstep as the federal Liberals have started the legislative process in earnest. Bills introduced on Parliament Hill last Thursday will establish the legal parameters for the production, sale, distribution and possession of marijuana.

Now, with marijuana to be fully legalized by Canada Day in 2018, there needs to be great care taken by the Liberals to craft legislation that not only provides serious consequences for the sale of the drug to minors, but also for using marijuana and driving.

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11 CN ON: PUB LTE: Reflecting On Marijuana LegislationTue, 18 Apr 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Whitworth, Colin Area:Ontario Lines:38 Added:04/21/2017

Re Where will Canadians buy their marijuana?, April 15

I applaud the move to legalize recreational marijuana. It was made illegal decades ago without any health studies that deemed it harmful, and since we've learned that marijuana is far less harmful than tobacco or alcohol, both legal.

There's no reason to treat marijuana differently than we treat booze and cigarettes. Most opposition to this is based on decades of propaganda that linked marijuana to hard, addictive drugs like heroin, which is laughable.

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12 CN ON: OPED: The stone cold truth: Marijuana Clouds RealityTue, 18 Apr 2017
Source:Record, The (Kitchener, CN ON) Author:Stockland, Peter Area:Ontario Lines:115 Added:04/19/2017

There's something quasi quaint about the federal government introducing legislation to legalize marijuana.

News reporting on the budding bill has generously employed terrible puns to create a sense of giggling excitement about it. A Canadian Press story advised that all of Ottawa is "buzzing" at the audacity that dope represents.

Buzzing? Among the permanently buzzed, perhaps.

Clearer eyes can't help recognizing the stale nature of the gesture, like watching poor old drunken Uncle Boo being shuffled into a cab long after the other guests have left the party.

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13 CN ON: Editorial: A Pot Revolution Comes To CanadaTue, 18 Apr 2017
Source:Record, The (Kitchener, CN ON)          Area:Ontario Lines:88 Added:04/19/2017

In case you missed it, the federal government has just sown the seeds for a full-blown social revolution in Canada.

Last Thursday, just before the Easter long weekend started, the Liberals tabled legislation that will legalize and regulate the production, sale and use of recreational marijuana in this country starting in the summer of 2018.

Then, in the blink of an eye and with the flick of a lighter, adults will begin legally indulging in a previously forbidden - and outlawed - - pleasure, while an entirely new and legitimate marijuana industry worth billions of dollars a year will be satisfying those cravings.

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14 CN ON: LTE: Marijuana Legalization A Dangerous MoveMon, 17 Apr 2017
Source:Intelligencer, The (CN ON) Author:Comeau, Larry Area:Ontario Lines:50 Added:04/19/2017

Anyone who has visited Amsterdam or Seattle has a good idea of what marijuana legalization will do the degradation of inner city, with stoned young people all over the place.

Sadly, Trudeau's theory that legalization of marijuana is the best way to keep it away from young people, by keeping organized crime out of black-market sales, is right out of fantasyland.

Everywhere it has been legalized organized criminal groups have quickly gotten involved to take part in huge profits and little risk of serious jail time. In Ontario, OC already have networks in place to distribute cigarettes and other commodities, meaning selling pot will be an easy transition. Recent arrests of Hell Angels involved in blackmarket sales of medical marihuana show how out of touch Trudeau's views are with reality.

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15 CN ON: LTE: Legalizing Marijuana Will Harm Our YouthMon, 17 Apr 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Summers, Catharina Area:Ontario Lines:45 Added:04/19/2017

Re: Fat chance pot bill will do any good, DiManno, April 13

Thank you, Rosie DiManno. You raise a serious concern about the impact the legalization of marijuana will have on our youth.

It is basically legitimizing a drug that is harmful for adolescents at the same time as telling them that their parents can grow four plants in your home, can smoke up, etc.

But you can't have any, unless you find another source.

Today's youth have been finding another source for many years and, considering that our youth are among the highest users in the world, they have been very successful at it.

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16 CN ON: LTE: Will Pot Law Address Impaired Driving?Sun, 16 Apr 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Fedor-Baan, Ida Area:Ontario Lines:31 Added:04/19/2017

Re Liberals introduce long-awaited bill to legalize marijuana, April 13

As a pedestrian and school crossing guard, I find the legalization of marijuana a frightening proposition. Marijuana, like alcohol, is an intoxicant known to impair users' judgment.

Spot checks are regularly done to ensure drivers' and pedestrian safety when alcohol impairment is suspected. Will the government ensure the same controls are in place when the marijuana legislation is passed?

How many drivers will be charged with endangering the public because of a foggy disposition caused by smoking pot? How many pedestrians/drivers will be their victims? Time will tell.

Ida Fedor-Baan, Toronto

[end]

17 CN ON: LTE: Will Pot Law Address Impaired Driving?Sun, 16 Apr 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Lockman, Rick Area:Ontario Lines:29 Added:04/19/2017

I have not in my lifetime seen a more irresponsible political decision than the legalization of marijuana. More addictions on the way. More overdoses. More impaired driving. More deaths. More young people who never get the chance to get their lives on track to success, due to introduction to drugs before they understand the damage they can do.

Young people need to be encouraged to deal with life with clear heads, not drink or self-medicate when problems confront them. And any talk that legalization will lead to more responsible drug use, or that fewer young people will use drugs, is nonsense.

Sadly, our political leaders are the biggest addicts in our country - addicted to finding new sources of tax revenue, no matter the cost.

Rick Lockman, Orillia

[end]

18 CN ON: London 420 Rally To Fete Budding LegalizationTue, 18 Apr 2017
Source:London Free Press (CN ON) Author:Carruthers, Dale Area:Ontario Lines:94 Added:04/19/2017

The vibe at this year's 420 rally in London will be more celebration than demonstration.

Hundreds of marijuana activists plan to gather Thursday at Victoria Park for the yearly event that champions cannabis culture and pushes for the drug's legalization.

Held on April 20 in cities across North America, the event comes on the heels of the federal government introducing its long-awaited legislation to legalize and regulate marijuana for recreational use.

With pot set to be legal next year, combined with last year's hands-off police approach at Victoria Park, London organizers say they're expecting the largest turnout in recent years.

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19CN ON: Fighting Fire With FireMon, 17 Apr 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Miller, Jacquie Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:04/19/2017

Medical marijuana may assist in keeping addicts off dangerous opioids.

The patients at Dr. Mark Ujjainwalla's methadone clinic are trying to beat their addiction to heroin, narcotic painkillers and other opioid drugs, but most of them still smoke pot.

He estimates that 90 per cent of his patients at the Recovery Ottawa clinic on Montreal Road already use marijuana, and he's begun writing prescriptions so they can buy it legally.

Medical marijuana, used appropriately, can reduce insomnia, anxiety and cravings for opioids, says Ujjainwalla. Marijuana cannot replace methadone or suboxone, the drugs he uses to treat addicts, he says.

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20 CN ON: Column: If Pot Plan Goes Wrong, Trudeau Will Be The DopeMon, 17 Apr 2017
Source:Record, The (Kitchener, CN ON) Author:Stevens, Geoffrey Area:Ontario Lines:110 Added:04/19/2017

In times past, when the government had a really big deal to announce, or an item of long-awaited legislation, it would pull out all the stops.

Parliament would be primed. The prime minister would look on proudly while the sponsoring minister(s) explained in lavish terms how the new measure would dramatically improve the lives of ordinary Canadians and make the nation stronger, safer and more prosperous. Hype like that. That's not what happened last week when the Justin Trudeau government honoured its signature campaign commitment to legalize the possession and recreational use of marijuana.

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21 CN ON: Column: Buy Low And Sell HighMon, 17 Apr 2017
Source:Sault Star, The (CN ON) Author:Bonokoski, Mark Area:Ontario Lines:106 Added:04/19/2017

In the bull-bear world of stock-market traders, the smell of fear ultimately tightens sphincter muscles and triggers sell-offs.

Within minutes of Justin Trudeau's Liberals tabling their pot legislation, for example, the TSX began dumping some of its publicly traded marijuana stocks.

The lack of clarity in the Liberals' spanking-new Cannabis Act got speculative investors nervous, which led to a feeling of financial uncertainty, which led to an unloading of stock.

Whether pot or pork bellies, a commodity is a commodity.

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22 CN ON: Editorial: Pot Rules Should Go Light On MarketingSat, 15 Apr 2017
Source:Packet & Times (CN ON)          Area:Ontario Lines:64 Added:04/19/2017

f you're old enough, you may remember a time when buying alcohol in Ontario involved walking into a bland, warehouse-like building, filling out a slip of paper and handing it to a clerk who disappeared behind locked doors to retrieve the booze you were looking for. No flashy signs, no staff recommendations for libation of the month. No critics' choice signs dotting the gleaming rows of bottles.

Depending on what's in federal legislation expected Thursday, initial legal sales of marijuana may look something like those old days.

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23 CN ON: Column: Pot Legalization Shrouded In Rhetoric About ProtectingSun, 16 Apr 2017
Source:Ottawa Sun (CN ON) Author:Krayden, David Area:Ontario Lines:88 Added:04/19/2017

For a while, it appeared that I was attending the wrong news conference on Thursday. The usual Liberal government suspects were there, with their typical tendentious talk, including Health Minister Jane Philpott and Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale.

But I was waiting to hear about the legalization of marijuana, and all these people wanted to advertise was how some new legislation was going to "protect children" and "make safer communities" and even obviate organized crime.

What was this announcement all about? It all started with Liberal MP and parliamentary secretary Bill Blair, who led the public relations charge and hit every talking point with an ease and skill that you might not expect from a former Toronto police chief.

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24 CN ON: Police Will Be Ready For LegalizationSat, 15 Apr 2017
Source:Record, The (Kitchener, CN ON) Author:Mercer, Greg Area:Ontario Lines:135 Added:04/19/2017

Chief Larkin says 'home (pot) farmers' a worry, as Liberal, Tory MPs at odds

WATERLOO REGION - Waterloo Region's top law enforcement official says "society has spoken" and his officers will be ready for the legalization of recreational marijuana by next summer.

But Waterloo Regional Police Chief Bryan Larkin still has concerns about the challenges to police trying to catch people who toke and drive - and keep an eye on all the potential "home farmers" who might want to grow their own marijuana plants.

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25 CN ON: Marijuana Not Legal Yet, Youth LearnsSat, 15 Apr 2017
Source:Observer, The (CN ON) Author:Bowen, Neil Area:Ontario Lines:78 Added:04/19/2017

Teen marijuana smoker declares, in Sarnia court, it's legal

A 17-year-old teen who said he's been a long-time user of marijuana announced Thursday in Sarnia court that the narcotic was legal, on the same day federal legislation was introduced.

The youth pleaded guilty to a probation violation and to possession of under 30 grams of marijuana. "It's legal now," the youth said. Justice Mark Hornblower said while changes in legislation may be made by the federal government, marijuana use will remain illegal for those who are the teen's age.

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26 CN ON: Where There's SmokeSat, 15 Apr 2017
Source:Toronto Sun (CN ON) Author:Artuso, Antonella Area:Ontario Lines:65 Added:04/19/2017

Smugglers will quickly switch from butts to pot, group says

Ontario's massive contraband tobacco industry can and will easily switch to the manufacture of contraband marijuana when the product becomes legal, the head of the Ontario Convenience Stores Association predicts.

With no apparent political will to shut down illegal cigarette factories on Ontario reserves, and the likelihood of high taxes on pot, the drug is poised to join the distribution system already in place to move contraband tobacco, OCSA CEO Dave Bryans said Friday.

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27CN ON: Column: Time To Stop Laying Charges For Having PotSat, 15 Apr 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Sibley, Marcus Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:04/19/2017

Minister concedes current law is a mess, says

Bill C-45, also referred to as the Cannabis Act, outlines the federal government's "robust regulatory framework" for legal marijuana.

It makes several amendments to the Criminal Code, including provisions aimed at loosening penalties around possession and home cultivation (for personal use) as well as tightening laws that address impaired driving and youth access to marijuana.

Government officials did not comment this week on the specifics of how provinces will execute a distribution plan, how cannabis will be taxed, and what kinds of revenues are expected to be generated.

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28 CN ON: It's High Times For T.O.'s Only Purely Pot LawyerSat, 15 Apr 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Powell, Betsy Area:Ontario Lines:116 Added:04/19/2017

It's 'exciting being involved in a lot of the action,' says Paul Lewin after feds move on legalizing weed

Toronto lawyer Paul Lewin jokes that he has been "ranting and raving" about the evils of drug prohibition for years but no one, outside the cannabis community, paid much attention to what he had to say.

That changed after Justin Trudeau's Liberal government came to power in 2015, promising to legalize marijuana. The government tabled the enabling legislation Thursday.

Since the Liberal win, Lewin's client list has swelled both with would be pot sellers looking for advice and people accused of criminal and bylaw offences after Toronto police raids targeting dispensaries. This fall, he will be in court fighting a forfeiture order injunction aimed at closing Canna Clinics, a B.C.-based company in the crosshairs of the city's licensing division.

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29 CN ON: Editorial: Three Questions So Far On The Marijuana BillSat, 15 Apr 2017
Source:Daily Observer, The (Pembroke, CN ON)          Area:Ontario Lines:71 Added:04/19/2017

The Liberal government's pot legislation looks like a handdrawn roadmap of how marijuana will be legalized, instead of the efficient GPS system it should be.

It offers tougher criminal penalties in some cases. It expands some police powers. It downloads a lot of responsibility on to provinces and municipalities. Yet it doesn't address important aspects of legalization.

In short, legislators know what they want to do: protect children and reduce illegal sales of pot. How they're going to do it, well, details are either hazy, missing or highly debatable. Here are three outstanding issues:

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30 CN ON: Editorial: Don't Just Rubber Stamp Pot BillSat, 15 Apr 2017
Source:Ottawa Sun (CN ON)          Area:Ontario Lines:61 Added:04/19/2017

It all sounded so easy when Justin Trudeau, then leader of the third party, announced his plans to legalize marijuana. But with any complicated legislation, the devil is in the details.

This is the point Canada finds itself at now, following the Liberal government's Thursday announcement of their proposed Cannabis Act law.

There were no big surprises in the law. We'd heard a lot of it before: The minimum age to purchase pot will be 18, and the provinces can make it higher. Adults can grow up to four plants but broader production and distribution would remain illegal, unless they're done by a federally licensed producer.

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31 CN ON: Mixed Reaction To Marijuana BillsSat, 15 Apr 2017
Source:Standard Freeholder (Cornwall, CN ON) Author:Hale, Alan S. Area:Ontario Lines:125 Added:04/19/2017

The federal government's long-awaited legislation to legalize the recreational use of marijuana was finally tabled in the House of Commons on Thursday.

The pair of bills layout the groundwork for how legal cannabis use will be regulated and introduces a variety of new criminal offenses for things such as driving while stoned and selling to minors. Much of the fine details, such as how it will be sold and how old users will have to be to purchase it, is being left up to individual provinces to decide.

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32CN ON: Drug Test Slower, Not As Reliable As Alcohol Breath TestFri, 14 Apr 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Spears, Tom Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:04/19/2017

Testing to see who's too stoned to drive is a cumbersome system that results in few convictions, says a law professor who has studied cannabis impairment.

The federal Liberals have tabled legislation to legalize marijuana while having severe penalties for drug-impaired driving. But Robert Solomon of Western University says that enforcement of laws involving pot and driving can be difficult.

First, forget about a handy roadside breath test like the test for alcohol, he advises.

"There is some preliminary research indicating that a breath test can be developed for cannabis. It's slow, expensive and not yet reliable," he said. "So we're a long way from a breath test for cannabis ... (despite) some promoters out there who have been touting miraculous, easy, cheap" breath tests.

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33 CN ON: Police Raid Georgia Peach Pot DispensarySat, 15 Apr 2017
Source:Hamilton Spectator (CN ON) Author:Thorpe, Ryan Area:Ontario Lines:58 Added:04/19/2017

Hess Village enterprise back in business Thursday, day after visit by drug squad

Hamilton police have seized about $21,000 in products from a Hess Village marijuana dispensary and charged a 49-year-old man with four drug-related offences.

The Hamilton police vice and drug unit executed a search warrant at Georgia Peach Dispensary on Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. The shop is located at 105 George St.

Police allege the owner of the dispensary was "committing the criminal acts of possession for the purpose of trafficking marijuana and THC" by selling or giving marijuana or marijuana derivatives to clients.

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34CN ON: OPED: The Case For Legalization Is Sound A But We Don't NeedFri, 14 Apr 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Fischer, Benedikt Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:04/16/2017

Resist pot marketing, write Dr. Benedikt Fischer and Jean-Francois Crepault.

From a public health perspective, there is a strong case for legalizing cannabis, as initiated by the legislation tabled on Thursday. We at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) have been making that case for years. Legalization provides the opportunity - - and is in fact a prerequisite - for the implementation of regulatory measures that mitigate the health risks of cannabis use.

Boiled down to its essentials, the argument goes like this: Cannabis use is risky - and some individuals are particularly vulnerable - but criminalizing it has not succeeded in preventing cannabis use. Canada has among the highest cannabis-use rates in the world. Nor has criminalization reduced health harms; on the contrary, it has exacerbated them and entailed costly social harms as well. Decriminalization alone would reduce those social harms, but does not provide the authority to deal with the health risks of cannabis use. Legalizing and strictly regulating cannabis allows for essential control over many of the risk factors associated with cannabis-related harm.

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35 CN ON: Column: Sunny Haze Descends On Liberals' Pot PlansFri, 14 Apr 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Hebert, Chantal Area:Ontario Lines:105 Added:04/16/2017

Legislation aims to restrict access, but key questions left unanswered

Justin Trudeau wants Canadians to see his plan to legalize marijuana as a massive government intervention to save the country's youth from the perils of cannabis.

"We want to make it more difficult for kids to access marijuana. That is why we are going to legalize and control marijuana," the prime minister proclaimed in the Commons on the day before his government tabled two bills to implement his election promise.

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36CN ON: Column: Liberals Are Fighting A Futile War With LegalizationFri, 14 Apr 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Reevely, David Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:04/16/2017

Proposed law doesn't recognize hard fact governments can't control growth of plants

Justin Trudeau campaigned on legalizing marijuana as if he thought it was a good idea. Instead we're getting the most grudging piece of legislation since the Paul Martin Liberals legalized same-sex marriage with the Supreme Court's gun to their heads.

The law proposed Thursday is a steaming turd of a bill that doesn't acknowledge the hard fact that governments cannot effectively control the growth of plants.

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37CN ON: OPED: Marijuana Bill Wispy On Essential DetailsFri, 14 Apr 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Valleriani, Jenna Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:04/16/2017

Jenna Valleriani wonders about equal access and people already convicted of minor crimes.

Thursday, the federal government tabled its long-awaited legislation for the legalization and strict regulation of cannabis. Almost four years have passed since Justin Trudeau first announced the Liberal party's intention to legalize and strictly regulate cannabis. Canada hasn't seen a shift like this since the end of alcohol prohibition in the 1920s. While the tabled legislation represents a great first step, there is still a lot left up in the air - responsibility that falls predominantly on the provinces and territories. This also underscores concern over equal access to cannabis for adults across Canada.

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38 CN ON: Lawyer Doubts Impaired Driving Bill Will PassFri, 14 Apr 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Gallant, Jacques Area:Ontario Lines:75 Added:04/16/2017

Proposal gives officers power to test drivers for alcohol without reasonable suspicion

Legalizing marijuana was of course the main focus in Ottawa on Thursday, yet at the same time that it announced proposed legislation on the issue, the federal government also indicated it will toughen the laws around driving when impaired by alcohol.

Under the proposed legislation, a police officer will be able to conduct a saliva test on a driver following a legal roadside stop "if they reasonably suspect that a driver has drugs in their body."

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39 CN ON: Editorial: Big Challenges Still To Come For Cannabis LawFri, 14 Apr 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON)          Area:Ontario Lines:121 Added:04/16/2017

The true test of Justin Trudeau's commitment to his sound pot policy will be how his government handles the hurdles to come

By tabling legislation to overturn Canada's 94-year-old prohibition on pot, the Trudeau government has put forward its first truly bold bit of public policy. And it's a good one. The ban on marijuana has brought a great deal of misery, while delivering few benefits. Yet legalization is far from a fait accompli. The true test of Justin Trudeau's commitment to this policy will be how his government handles the hurdles to come.

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40 CN ON: Column: Fat Chance Pot Bill Will Do Any GoodFri, 14 Apr 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:DiManno, Rosie Area:Ontario Lines:179 Added:04/16/2017

Tell me what is the difference between a gangster in a stairwell and a licensed retailer in a pot shop?

I mean, if you get down to the nub of the thing, it's all just window-dressing, pretending that one is less exploitive than the other.

The retailer will be taxed, although none of those head-banging details were included in the marijuana legalization bills tabled by the federal government Thursday. The illegal dealer will be charged, most harshly if selling to a minor, under new Criminal Code provisions.

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41CN ON: Editorial: Cannabis QuestionsFri, 14 Apr 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Dawson, Tyler Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:04/16/2017

The Liberal government's pot legislation looks like a hand-drawn roadmap of how marijuana will be legalized, instead of the efficient GPS system it should be. It offers tougher criminal penalties in some cases. It expands some police powers. It downloads a lot of responsibility to provinces and municipalities. Yet it doesn't address important aspects of legalization.

In short, legislators know what they want to do: protect children and reduce illegal sales of pot. How they're going to do it, well, details are either hazy, missing or highly debatable.

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42 CN ON: Editorial: Pot Rules Should Go Light On MarketingFri, 14 Apr 2017
Source:Enterprise-Bulletin, The (CN ON)          Area:Ontario Lines:61 Added:04/15/2017

If you're old enough, you may remember a time when buying alcohol in Ontario involved walking into a bland, warehouse-like building, filling out a slip of paper and handing it to a clerk who disappeared behind locked doors to retrieve the booze you were looking for. No flashy signs, no staff recommendations for libation of the month. No critics' choice signs dotting the gleaming rows of bottles.

Depending on what's in federal legislation expected Thursday, initial legal sales of marijuana may look something like those old days.

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43 CN ON: Editorial: Good Start, But Pot Law Needs WorkFri, 14 Apr 2017
Source:Ottawa Sun (CN ON)          Area:Ontario Lines:56 Added:04/15/2017

The federal government's proposed bill for legalizing marijuana expands police powers, sets new mandatory penalties for illegal possession, and boosts prison sentences for lawbreakers. That all sounds pretty tough.

But the legislation also downloads some difficult decision-making on to provincial authorities, and from there on to municipalities and local police. That part's going to be tougher.

For example: Where will legal cannabis be sold? The 130-page federal bill leaves this crucial detail to the province. Will it be in your local LCBO? (Unlikely.) At a corner store but hidden, like cigarettes? From some other outlet? Mail order only? And how close to a school or youth centre can sales take place? About all we know is you can't sell cannabis from a vending machine.

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44 CN ON: Column: Blazing Trail For CrimeThu, 13 Apr 2017
Source:Ottawa Sun (CN ON) Author:Bonokoski, Mark Area:Ontario Lines:98 Added:04/15/2017

Rushed pot law could have criminals lighting up

In their madness to table reefer legislation, the Trudeau Liberals had to jump the gun on 4/20.

The April 20 pot head holiday falls on next Thursday, not this Thursday. But because of the advent of Parliament's spring break, the Liberals had to undershoot the tabling by a week.

Such a shame for the Trudeauites who wanted the world of see them as progressive hipsters, only to have something as uncool as a parliamentary calendar buzzkill their moment.

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45 CN ON: Column: Legal Pot Needs LimitsThu, 13 Apr 2017
Source:Packet & Times (CN ON) Author:Fallis, Jay Area:Ontario Lines:98 Added:04/15/2017

Whether or not you have smoked marijuana, you could probably identify the scent of its smoke. You can smell it everywhere: parks, streets, concert venues and even, on occasion, the lawns of Parliament Hill. It has become an unauthorized part of life in Canada.

However, it seems its unauthorized status could soon be changing. In the wake of a report issued by the Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation this past November, the Liberal government is expected to table marijuana legislation sometime this week. So, with the idea of legalization quickly gaining traction, I talked with Simcoe North Conservative MP Bruce Stanton to get a better understanding of the implications.

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46 CN ON: Editorial: A Futile Fight With Legal PotThu, 13 Apr 2017
Source:Hamilton Spectator (CN ON) Author:Roe, John Area:Ontario Lines:93 Added:04/15/2017

Once again, federal Conservative leadership candidate Kellie Leitch is receiving massive public attention for a massively bad idea.

On Tuesday, just two days before Justin Trudeau's Liberals were to unveil long-awaited legislation to legalize recreational marijuana, Leitch abruptly announced she would outlaw this use of the drug if she ever became prime minister.

That's right. The woman who wants to screen immigrants to ensure they have "Canadian values" would roll back an initiative most Canadians support because it makes perfect sense.

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47 CN ON: Police Train For Rise In Drugged Driving After PotThu, 13 Apr 2017
Source:Record, The (Kitchener, CN ON) Author:Casey, Liam Area:Ontario Lines:87 Added:04/15/2017

TORONTO - Ontario's two largest police services have stepped up training for their officers to better detect drugged driving as legislation on legalizing marijuana looms in Ottawa.

Both Toronto police and Ontario Provincial Police are waiting to pore over the federal government's much-anticipated pot bill, which is expected to be tabled on Thursday, with a keen eye on provisions around impaired driving related to the drug.

In Toronto, about a dozen officers are being trained each month in field sobriety testing, a series of physical movements used by police to test for drug impairment, according to Const. Clint Stibbe of the service's traffic services. There are already about 200 officers trained in that area, he said.

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48 CN ON: Cops Prepare For Legalized Pot UseWed, 12 Apr 2017
Source:Niagara Falls Review, The (CN ON) Author:Benner, Allan Area:Ontario Lines:96 Added:04/14/2017

With the federal government's legalization of marijuana planned for July 1, 2018, if not sooner, Niagara police hope to have technology in place to catch stoned drivers before that date.

"I'd say it would be foolhardy not to be ready if you're going to legalize something, and not give police services the tools to enforce that," said Niagara Regional Police Staff Sgt. Rome Di Egidio.

While roadside testing has been done for decades to determine if a driver has been drinking alcohol, he said police are currently wondering how their jobs will be impacted by the pending legalization of marijuana.

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49CN ON: Niagara Cops Preparing For Legalized Pot UseWed, 12 Apr 2017
Source:Standard, The (St. Catharines, CN ON) Author:Benner, Allan Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:04/14/2017

With the federal government's legalization of marijuana planned for July 1, 2018, if not sooner, Niagara police hope to have technology in place to catch stoned drivers before that date.

"I'd say it would be foolhardy not to be ready if you're going to legalize something, and not give police services the tools to enforce that," said Niagara Regional Police Staff Sgt. Rome Di Egidio.

While roadside testing has been done for decades to determine if a driver has been drinking alcohol, he said police are currently wondering how their jobs will be impacted by the pending legalization of marijuana.

[continues 502 words]

50 CN ON: Jodie Emery's Marijuana Mission In LifeThu, 13 Apr 2017
Source:NOW Magazine (CN ON) Author:Delamont, Kieran Area:Ontario Lines:204 Added:04/14/2017

The queen of Canada's movement to legalize marijuana has not been afraid to cultivate her undeniable girl-next-door charm - or invite controversy - for the cause. And now, an escalating series of police raids that have shut down the Cannabis Culture chain

Jodie Emery types eagerly on her iPhone. "This is a good one," she says. We're barely a minute into our interview at a small Ethiopian restaurant near the gay village, and she's on Twitter calling out Toronto police. It's absurd, she says, that they're spending resources raiding marijuana dispensaries with legalization just around the bend. Where the TPS is concerned, Emery can be forgiven for seeming a bit spiteful. It's just shy of three weeks since she and her husband, Marc Emery, who's riding shotgun tonight, were arrested at Pearson International Airport (on their way to a marijuana expo in Spain) and slapped with a string of marijuana-related offences - 15 for him, five for her, ranging from trafficking to possession of the proceeds of crime to conspiracy - after raids on their Cannabis Culture stores.

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