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1CN QU: Quebec Unveils Rigid Pot LawsFri, 17 Nov 2017
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Valiante, Giuseppe Area:Quebec Lines:Excerpt Added:11/21/2017

Meanwhile, Alberta embraces private sector

MONTREAL * Forced into the pot business by the federal government, Quebec on Thursday tabled strict marijuana legislation, striving to give itself full control over the industry, push out the private sector and create a zero-tolerance policy for driving under the influence of all drugs.

"This is an important change to our society," Public Health Minister Lucie Charlebois said after tabling Bill 157. "The experts recommended we be prudent to start and then to see if we need to adjust. They asked us to be rigorous and to see how citizens evolve."

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2CN QU: Quebec Pot Bill Seeks Aresponsible ConsumptionaFri, 17 Nov 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Authier, Philip Area:Quebec Lines:Excerpt Added:11/21/2017

Liberal government to sell pot through SAQ subsidiary stores, price not set yet

Forced into the pot business by the federal government, the province of Quebec tabled a law Thursday that imposes a strict framework for the consumption, sale and distribution of marijuana.

Bill 157 - an act to constitute the Societe quebecoise du cannabis, or SQC - was formally presented in the legislature by the minister for rehabilitation, youth protection, public health and healthy living, Lucie Charlebois.

As expected after almost a year of testing the water with the public, Quebec has opted for a focus on averting potential social, health and safety problems that it fears could follow the liberalization of the use of the drug for recreational purposes.

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3CN QU: Responsible Consumption Is Theme Of Cannabis LawFri, 17 Nov 2017
Source:Montreal Gazette (CN QU) Author:Authier, Philip Area:Quebec Lines:Excerpt Added:11/21/2017

Forced into the pot business by the federal government, the province tabled a law on Thursday that imposes a strict framework for the consumption, sale and distribution of marijuana.

Bill 157 - an act to constitute the Societe quebecoise du cannabis or SQC - was formally presented in the legislature by the minister for rehabilitation, youth protection, public health and healthy living, Lucie Charlebois.

As expected after almost a year of testing the water with the public, Quebec has opted for the path of prudence with a focus on averting potential social, health and safety problems that it fears could follow the liberalization of the use of the drug for recreational purposes.

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4 CN QU: Quebec To Keep Strict Controls Over MarijuanaFri, 17 Nov 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Woods, Allan Area:Quebec Lines:108 Added:11/21/2017

Provincial legislation calls for government-run stores, zero tolerance for DUIs

MONTREAL- The rollout of legislation governing the legal marijuana regime in Quebec was likely a downer for pot enthusiasts in a province widely known for its European sensibilities and liberal mores.

To call it a buzzkill would set bloodshot eyes rolling, but the Quebec government unveiled plans to create what is likely to be one of the most restrictive regimes so far in the country.

In introducing the legislation to reporters, even Public Health Minister Lucie Charlebois admitted that the province was dragged out of the prohibition era much too quickly by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal government.

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5CN QU: Marijuana Plan Pleases Some, But Has Many DoubtersFri, 17 Nov 2017
Source:Montreal Gazette (CN QU) Author:Riga, Andy Area:Quebec Lines:Excerpt Added:11/21/2017

Safe-driving activists, pot dispensers and businesses all have their own views

Two cannabis activists aren't impressed with the marijuana legalization plan Quebec announced Thursday. But a group that works to decrease impaired driving praised the proposed legislation.

Here's a look at some of the reaction to Bill 157:

Marc-Boris St-Maurice, a longtime pot activist and founder of the Montreal Compassion Centre medical-marijuana dispensary:

"Their plan is still half-baked," he said, noting guidelines announced Thursday are in a draft bill that might change.

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6CN QU: Where Can I Buy Marijuana And Smoke It?Fri, 17 Nov 2017
Source:Montreal Gazette (CN QU) Author:Riga, Andy Area:Quebec Lines:Excerpt Added:11/21/2017

Quebec unveiled its pot plan Thursday. Here are some answers to key questions.

Here are answers to key questions as Quebec moves toward legalization of recreational marijuana by July 2018:

Q Who will be allowed to buy pot?

A Under the cannabis-legalization bill put forward Thursday, anyone over 18 would be able to purchase, possess and use cannabis in Quebec. The province's medical specialists wanted the minimum age set at 21.

Q Where will pot be sold?

A Quebec plans to create the Societe quebecoise du cannabis (SQC), which would sell pot via stores and a website.

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7CN QU: Not Perfect, But Cannabis Law Is Ready: CharleboisThu, 16 Nov 2017
Source:Montreal Gazette (CN QU) Author:Authier, Philip Area:Quebec Lines:Excerpt Added:11/21/2017

Bill will be tabled - and campaign on dangers launched - Thursday

Conceding it won't be perfect and more time would help, the Couillard government is to table its long-awaited framework law on Thursday outlining how the legalization of cannabis will work in Quebec.

"Would it be better if we had an additional year? I think so," Lucie Charlebois, the minister of rehabilitation, youth protection, public health and healthy living, told reporters Wednesday.

An extension would give her colleague, Finance Minister Carlos Leitao, the time to finalize negotiations with Ottawa over the distribution of future tax revenues.

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8 CN QU: Quebec Petitions Ottawa For Pot Law ExtensionThu, 16 Nov 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Perreaux, Les Area:Quebec Lines:87 Added:11/20/2017

Quebec is asking Ottawa for more time to set up an orderly transition to legal recreational marijuana - 24 hours before the province is expected to roll out a framework for sale and use of the drug.

The Quebec National Assembly adopted a motion Wednesday seeking an extra year from the Trudeau government beyond July 1, 2018, when marijuana is set to become legal.

The province says the process is being rushed artificially and the groundwork for issues ranging from law enforcement to taxation and revenue sharing are not ironed out.

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9 CN QU: Anti-Pot Activists Take Aim In MontrealSun, 05 Nov 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Lowrie, Morgan Area:Quebec Lines:69 Added:11/05/2017

Street ads for Weedmaps app under attack for illegality

MONTREAL- Ben Anson says he was outraged to see a large-scale billboard advertising Weedmaps, an app that lists local marijuana providers, crop up in a spot near several schools in Montreal earlier this year.

Recently, he contacted the company hosting the ad, asking them to take it down because of the presence of children in the area. He says they agreed, replacing that ad with a picture of a giraffe.

But the 47-year-old says he also filed a police complaint against the marketing firm handling Weedmaps' advertising, believing the other ads around the city encourage people to engage in illegal activity.

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10CN QU: Preventing ODs: Coalition Decries 'Systemic Barriers'Wed, 18 Oct 2017
Source:Montreal Gazette (CN QU) Author:Fidelman, Charlie Area:Quebec Lines:Excerpt Added:10/20/2017

With just enough methadone to last the trip home to Montreal, Melodie was in a panic that she'd missed her flight. She was in Paris, and her supply of prescription methadone, a medicine that helps lower cravings and withdrawal symptoms caused by opiate use, was about to run out. Without it, she worried about a relapse, going into the street in desperation, and doing something dangerous for a fix.

But an online search brought her to a Parisian mobile health clinic. And they welcomed her. They gave her the methadone that she needed to stay sober. There was no bureaucracy, no delay, and no prescription signed by someone in authority - just instant help.

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11 CN QU: LTE: Going Down Wrong Path On MarijuanaSat, 14 Oct 2017
Source:Montreal Gazette (CN QU) Author:Soliman, S. Area:Quebec Lines:29 Added:10/14/2017

Re: "Study finds pot use can boost violent behaviour" (Montreal Gazette, Oct. 11)

Despite the studies on the effects of pot on users, recreational marijuana is set to become legal in this country, and easily available to anyone over the age of 18 in Quebec.

Our federal and provincial governments should rethink the matter and make access to marijuana more difficult, especially for youths - our future leaders.

It is never too late to review an issue that negatively affects the great society in which we live.

S. Soliman, Brossard


12CN QU: Province Wants Bigger Chunk Of Pot Excise Tax RevenueThu, 05 Oct 2017
Source:Montreal Gazette (CN QU) Author:Authier, Philip Area:Quebec Lines:Excerpt Added:10/06/2017

Coderre says city also entitled to a share to finance resources that will be needed

Left holding the bag on the costs of implementing the policy, Quebec says it wants more than 50 per cent of potential cannabis excise tax revenues.

"It won't be 50-50," Quebec Finance Minister Carlos Leitao told reporters on his way out of a cabinet meeting. "This is just the opening shot. It will not be that at the end of the day."

A cautious Leitao refused to say what level of revenue will satisfy Quebec, noting that the actual price per gram - especially in the state-run system the provinces are creating to undercut organized crime - has yet to be determined.

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13 CN QU: Cannabis Capitalism Divides First NationsMon, 25 Sep 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Woods, Allan Area:Quebec Lines:135 Added:09/27/2017

As pot legalization looms, Indigenous communities are weighing benefits, risks

MONTREAL- Is it a cash crop to lift struggling First Nations out of poverty, or a vice posing a particular risk for a vulnerable population?

As Canada forges ahead with the legalization of marijuana, slated for July 2018, Indigenous people are split about what to do on their territory.

A number of First Nations have signed investment deals with marijuana producers, lured by the promise of profits and other benefits. Others have slammed on the brakes until they can draw up their own rules for growing and selling what is, for a few more months, an illegal drug.

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14CN QU: Marijuana On Construction Safety AgendaMon, 25 Sep 2017
Source:Montreal Gazette (CN QU)          Area:Quebec Lines:Excerpt Added:09/27/2017

'Zero tolerance' to remain in place despite legalization, companies say

If the repercussions from the legalization of cannabis by next July 1 are already preoccupying certain workplaces, the topic is of particular interest to areas of work in which health and security questions are omnipresent, such as construction sites.

"Our rule won't change," said Eric Cote, spokesperson for l'Association de la construction du Quebec (ACQ). "It will be zero tolerance for people working with weakened faculties," be they weakened by alcohol, cannabis or any other substance.

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15CN QU: Couillard Says Quebec Must Consider Pot Rules In OntarioFri, 22 Sep 2017
Source:Montreal Gazette (CN QU) Author:Authier, Philip Area:Quebec Lines:Excerpt Added:09/27/2017

Premier Philippe Couillard says setting the age to buy legal marijuana at 21 may not be realistic given Quebec's proximity to Ontario, which has set the age at 19.

And there are signs Quebec may be headed for a marijuana sales price of around $7 or $8 a gram in its stand-alone pot stores - again to stay close to the price Ontario is envisions, which is $10 a gram.

Both provinces are aiming to undercut the price organized crime charges.

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16 CN QU: Variety Store Chain Pushes For A Piece Of Weed Sales PieThu, 21 Sep 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Arsenault, Julien Area:Quebec Lines:61 Added:09/26/2017

Couche-Tard co-founder says it's a 'shame' Quebec won't even talk to them about sales

LAVAL, QUE.- Alimentation CoucheTard is still interested in selling marijuana, and its co-founder says he thinks provincial governments should stay out of selling this product.

Alain Bouchard, the executive chairperson of the Quebec-based chain of convenience stores, says Crown corporations getting involved in cannabis sales is a step backward after it becomes legal next year.

Couche-Tard would like to sell cannabis in some of the more than 2,000 stores it operates in Canada.

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17 CN QU: Editorial: Where There's Smoke ...Wed, 20 Sep 2017
Source:Record, The (CN QU) Author:Mcdevitt, Mike Area:Quebec Lines:135 Added:09/23/2017

It's been almost two full years since young Justin Trudeau and his Liberal party performed one of the most impressive revivals of a political party in Canadian history, regaining power from the Royal Canadian Harper Government and providing the country what was, in contrast, a progressive, marketing friendly face to the world. In addition, Young Justin has benefited from the stark contrast between his own public persona and that of the pustule of awfulness that has infested the American White House this year. For many progressives around the world, he has come not only to represent a kind of politics in direct opposition to his American counterpart and a signal of hope to ease the despair of those who see in Trump the moral, economic, and social failure that he represents.

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18CN QU: Legal Age To Buy Pot Should Be 18, PQ SaysWed, 20 Sep 2017
Source:Montreal Gazette (CN QU) Author:Authier, Philip Area:Quebec Lines:Excerpt Added:09/23/2017

Special branch of SAQ would handle sale, distribution

Adding its two cents to the raging debate, the Parti Quebecois has opted for a strict, state-controlled marijuana distribution system, but would set the legal age to buy it at 18.

The PQ also wants to see some controls on home crops, saying an individual would be limited to two plants not four as the federal government has proposed. And the owner of a building would have the option of banning their tenants from growing and consuming it.

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19CN QU: Quebec Health Department Should Sell Pot, Says Think-TankTue, 19 Sep 2017
Source:Montreal Gazette (CN QU) Author:Riga, Andy Area:Quebec Lines:Excerpt Added:09/20/2017

Forget the private sector and the Societe des alcools du Quebec. A Montreal think-tank says the government department that oversees hospitals should manage pot sales.

To generate bigger profits, private vendors would target young people, increase marijuana potency and press governments to relax pot laws, as seen in Colorado and Washington, the Institut de recherche et d'informations socioeconomiques (IRIS) says in a study published Tuesday.

And opting for stores run by the liquor-store monopoly could open the door to alcohol and marijuana (a dangerous combination, they say) being sold side by side, and to pressure from the SAQ's only shareholder - Quebec's finance department - to boost profits without regard to detrimental health effects, the study says.

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20CN QU: Editorial: Responding To FentanylSat, 16 Sep 2017
Source:Montreal Gazette (CN QU)          Area:Quebec Lines:Excerpt Added:09/20/2017

Up to now, Montreal has largely been spared the worst of the fentanyl crisis that has taken such a horrible toll in Vancouver and certain other parts of Western Canada. But the city's luck is starting to run out. The extremely powerful synthetic opioid is increasingly being found in street drugs in this city. As its presence increases, the result will be sadly predictable: more fatal overdoses by users, many of them unaware of its presence or of its power.

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21 CN QU: PUB LTE: Extend Alcohol Laws To MarijuanaThu, 14 Sep 2017
Source:Montreal Gazette (CN QU) Author:Malfara, Glen K. Area:Quebec Lines:33 Added:09/19/2017

Re: "Police say they're not ready for pot-smoking drivers" (Montreal Gazette, Sept. 9)

The Quebec government has known for some time that the legalization of recreational marijuana was coming, and yet it finds itself with its back against the wall. It has launched a public consultation process, but when I went on the site, it seemed overly complex. This is not rocket science. Existing laws that deal with tobacco, alcohol and impaired driving should extend to marijuana - including age restrictions.

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22 CN QU: Edu: Editorial: McGill Cannot Ignore The Fentanyl CrisisMon, 11 Sep 2017
Source:McGill Daily, The (CN QU Edu)          Area:Quebec Lines:71 Added:09/13/2017

Content Warning: drug use and overdose

Last week, public health officials in Montreal warned of an imminent fentanyl crisis that poses a serious risk to the city's drug users. Fentanyl is an opioid prescribed to relieve chronic pain, but its intensity is 40 times that of heroin, and its toxicity 100 times that of morphine. Fentanyl can be found in opiates, as well as party drugs such as cocaine, PCP, and MDMA. Because it's often present without the consumer's knowledge, it can easily cause a fatal overdose. In British Columbia, 706 overdose deaths from January to July 2017 involved fentanyl. In Montreal, there have been 24 confirmed drug overdose cases since the beginning of August 2017. Faced with this growing public health crisis, the McGill community must waste no time in supplying the tools and information necessary to keep students safe.

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23CN QU: OPED: Provinces Should Regulate Sale Of Edible MarijuanaTue, 12 Sep 2017
Source:Montreal Gazette (CN QU) Author:Charlebois, Sylvain Area:Quebec Lines:Excerpt Added:09/13/2017

Ontario's overly prudent new policy is short-sighted, Sylvain Charlebois says.

Ontario has become the first province to define how it intends to sell non-medicinal marijuana to the public. Around 150 stores across the province will open and will be operated by a division of the province's liquor board, the LCBO. Marijuana won't be sold alongside wine or liquor, but in separate, independent stores. The legal age for purchasing marijuana in Ontario will be 19, as it is for alcohol.

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24CN QU: Medical Community Split On Age For Legal PotFri, 08 Sep 2017
Source:Montreal Gazette (CN QU) Author:Riga, Andy Area:Quebec Lines:Excerpt Added:09/12/2017

Eighteen or 21? The age of legal pot consumption was a topic of debate at hearings on Thursday, with two medical associations at odds.

The Canadian Pediatric Society said 18 should be the minimum age to legally purchase recreational marijuana when the federal government legalizes it by July 1, 2018.

A few minutes later, the Federation des medecins specialistes du Quebec, representing medical specialists, said it should be 21.

The two groups were among dozens of organizations presenting briefs at a provincial public consultation in Montreal on Thursday and Friday.

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25CN QU: City Preparing For Opioid CrisisWed, 06 Sep 2017
Source:Montreal Gazette (CN QU) Author:Feith, Jesse Area:Quebec Lines:Excerpt Added:09/08/2017

Situation not yet an emergency, Coderre says

After meeting with police and public health officials, Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre said Tuesday the city is actively preparing to handle a coming opioid crisis.

"I was reassured about the status of the situation right now, but clearly it's an anticipated crisis that we have to address and face," Coderre said during a news conference at city hall.

The mayor's remarks came days after Montreal's public health department confirmed 12 overdose deaths in the city during the month of August. Another 24 people were saved by the use of naloxone, a medication that can be used to prevent fatal opioid overdoses.

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26CN QU: Gatineau Pot Firm Hires Ex-PoliticianFri, 01 Sep 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Miller, Jacquie Area:Quebec Lines:Excerpt Added:09/06/2017

Former B.C. health minister signs on as vice-president at Hydropothecary

A medical marijuana company in Gatineau has snagged a high-profile former politician to work for its growing operation.

Terry Lake, who until a few months ago was B.C.'s health minister, will take a job as vice-president at Hydropothecary Corp., the company announced Thursday.

Lake served eight years in the B.C. legislature, and was health minister in the Liberal government between 2013 and the spring of 2017. He didn't run in the provincial election in May.

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27CN QU: Column: Opium Has A Long And Colourful HistorySat, 02 Sep 2017
Source:Montreal Gazette (CN QU) Author:Schwarcz, Joe Area:Quebec Lines:Excerpt Added:09/02/2017

In 1805, German apothecary Friedrich Serturner revolutionized the practice of pharmacy by isolating morphine from opium.

Opium, the latex exuded by the bulb of the poppy plant on scoring with a sharp instrument, has a long history of use dating back to about 3400 BC.

The Sumerians, living in the region that is modern day Iraq, are known to have cultivated the poppy and were aware of the effects of consuming its juice, referring to it as the "joy plant."

Judging by artwork depicting Sumerian medicine men carrying poppies, they were also aware of opium's painkilling abilities.

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28 CN QU: Legal Pot, But At What Price?Tue, 29 Aug 2017
Source:Record, The (Kitchener, CN ON) Author:Valiante, Giuseppe Area:Quebec Lines:93 Added:08/31/2017

Provinces agree marijuana cost, quality and access must be competitive with black market: Blair

MONTREAL - There is an overwhelming national consensus that legal marijuana must be priced, taxed and made available competitively with the black market, the man tasked with leading the drug's legalization in Canada said Monday.

All the provinces agree more needs to be done to better protect children and to take away revenues from organized criminals, MP Bill Blair said in an interview Monday.

Canada plans on legalizing marijuana by July 2018 by allowing adults to possess up to 30 grams of legal cannabis in public, and to grow up to four plants per household.

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29CN QU: Public Hearings Seek Input On Regulating Legal MarijuanaTue, 22 Aug 2017
Source:Montreal Gazette (CN QU)          Area:Quebec Lines:Excerpt Added:08/25/2017

The Quebec government wants to hear from you about how legal marijuana should be regulated in this province.

Quebec Public Health Minister Lucie Charlebois announced Monday that public hearings will be scheduled throughout the province beginning Tuesday and continuing until Sept. 12.

In a statement made public Monday, the government says the hearings will "allow citizens to have their say, hear their opinions on what decisions should be taken and identify the necessary measures to ensure the protection of their health and safety."

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30CN QU: Column: Little Packets Of TroubleSat, 22 Jul 2017
Source:Montreal Gazette (CN QU) Author:Schwarcz, Joe Area:Quebec Lines:Excerpt Added:07/25/2017

So-called bath salts, other street drugs are not a safe way to seek pleasure

When someone offers a tiny packet of "bath salts" for sale with a price tag somewhere between $30 and $50, you know that it is not meant to be sprinkled into a bathtub. These "bath salts," commonly available in head shops, online and even in some convenience stores, may sport a label declaring "not for human consumption," but they are clearly designed to cater to the insides of the body rather than the outside.

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31 CN QU: Naloxone Tough To Get In GatineauWed, 12 Jul 2017
Source:Metro (Ottawa, CN ON) Author:Delamont, Kieran Area:Quebec Lines:47 Added:07/14/2017

For Ottawa residents, getting a naloxone kit to help protect against overdose deaths is as easy as finding a pharmacy and going through a 30-minute information session.

Across the river in Gatineau, however, the situation is much different.

The Ministry of Health and Social Services in Quebec does not provide funding for naloxone kits like its Ontario counterpart. Some municipal public health units, like Sante Montreal, provide kits, but only within that specific city.

For residents of cities like Gatineau, where neither the province nor the municipality provides coverage for naloxone, drug users may be left in the lurch.

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32CN QU: Pot-Smoking Teens Risk 'Psychotic' Episodes, Study SaysThu, 06 Jul 2017
Source:Montreal Gazette (CN QU) Author:Riga, Andy Area:Quebec Lines:Excerpt Added:07/10/2017

Fears legalization may 'normalize' use of marijuana

Teenagers who go from occasional pot smoking to weekly or daily use are two-and-a-half times more likely to have recurrent psychotic-like experiences, a new Montreal study says.

And with legalization of recreational marijuana in Canada less than a year away, the study's senior author says governments are ill-prepared for the fact that adolescents will interpret the policy change as proof it's OK to smoke pot.

"Our data show that transitioning to daily or weekly use of cannabis very significantly increases adolescents' risk of having more exaggerated and more frequent psychotic-like experiences," Patricia Conrod, a professor at the Universite de Montreal's psychiatry department, said in an interview.

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33CN QU: Parents Want Injection Site MovedWed, 21 Jun 2017
Source:Montreal Gazette (CN QU) Author:Loewen, Claire Area:Quebec Lines:Excerpt Added:06/21/2017

On school corridor and feared too close to Marguerite-Bourgeoys elementary

Parents at a downtown Montreal elementary school say a safe-injection site in their neighbourhood should be moved.

In September, Spectre de rue, an intervention centre for drug users, will begin operating a supervised injection site. The centre is on the corner of Ontario St. and Visitation Ave., about 200 metres from the Marguerite-Bourgeoys elementary school.

The parents are circulating a petition calling for the site to be moved to a location outside of the school corridor, a route designated by the city for children to walk safely to school.

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34CN QU: Drug Users Are In Safe Hands At CactusTue, 20 Jun 2017
Source:Montreal Gazette (CN QU) Author:Wilton, Katherine Area:Quebec Lines:Excerpt Added:06/20/2017

After years of lobbying for safe injection sites, outreach workers at Cactus Montreal have opened a facility that will allow people to use intravenous drugs under medical supervision.

Drugs users began entering the site on Berger St. in downtown Montreal on Monday afternoon, injecting drugs in the presence of a nurse and staff member.

"This is an important tool to reduce deaths and avoid infections," said Sandhia Vadlamudy, the executive director of Cactus. "We have been waiting for this for a long time."

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35CN QU: Legalizing Pot Prompts Sober Second ThoughtsTue, 30 May 2017
Source:Montreal Gazette (CN QU) Author:Hanes, Allison Area:Quebec Lines:Excerpt Added:05/30/2017

Montrealers have a well-earned reputation as a society of bon vivants with our abundant terrasses, fun festivals and depanneurs stocked with beer.

But with the countdown on to the legalization of marijuana in Canada, which is scheduled to happen just over a year from now, on July 1, 2018, Quebecers are raining on the parade.

It started with the Quebec government, expressing skepticism about the social costs versus the anticipated windfalls. Quebec's public health institute has raised red flags about potential harm from stoned driving or the effects of cannabis on developing brains. And now the concern apparently extends to ordinary citizens, who have expressed serious reservations about the implications of permitting recreational pot use compared to other Canadians.

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36CN QU: OPED: Needle Programs For Prisoners Increase SafetyMon, 15 May 2017
Source:Montreal Gazette (CN QU) Author:Elliott, Richard Area:Quebec Lines:Excerpt Added:05/19/2017

Drug use in jail is a reality and reducing harm is vital, say Richard Elliott and Rick Lines.

Almost one-third of federal prisoners reported using drugs during the past six months.

In December 2016, federal Health Minister Jane Philpott committed her government to a new national drug strategy that reinstates harm reduction as a non-negotiable pillar. It was a welcome announcement, signalling a modest shift away from the last decade's emphasis on prohibition and punishment - policies that continue to kill people who use drugs in Canada.

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37CN QU: Editorial: Just Ticket Pot For NowSat, 29 Apr 2017
Source:Montreal Gazette (CN QU)          Area:Quebec Lines:Excerpt Added:04/29/2017

If all goes according to the Liberal government's recently announced plan, marijuana will be legal for adults in Canada as of July 1, 2018. This is a welcome reversal of Canada's 80-year prohibition on pot, which has never managed to control the demand for the recreational drug and left a black market in the hands of organized crime. But while the necessary legislative and practical preparations are undertaken, it remains a crime for Canadians to possess even small amounts for personal consumption. This creates unnecessary problems. It is senseless to go ahead with criminal charges for an offence that will no longer be a crime in a matter of months, wasting precious court resources in a justice system already struggling to handle more serious cases in a timely manner. It is also grossly unfair. Saddling people with criminal records for something legislators are the process of legitimizing has devastating consequences. Yet that's exactly what's been happening for years. Prime! Minister Justin Trudeau has cited this injustice as one of the reasons for finally legalizing pot.

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38CN QU: OPED: Legalizing Cannabis Will Help SocietyFri, 21 Apr 2017
Source:Montreal Gazette (CN QU) Author:Golick, Jerry Area:Quebec Lines:Excerpt Added:04/25/2017

Far from putting Canadians at risk, the move will be beneficial, Jerry Golick says.

I would prefer to have a child experimenting with cannabis rather than with booze or tobacco.

Far from putting Canadians at higher risk, as Benjamin Anson suggested in his opinion article earlier this week ("Legalization of marijuana is courting disaster" April 18), the national legalization of cannabis will provide a much safer society, as well as innumerable other benefits.

The experience of jurisdictions that have legalized cannabis suggests there is little change in consumption rates post-legalization. Generally speaking, anyone wishing access to cannabis in a pre-legalization landscape can easily obtain it today. All we are changing is from whom it is purchased.

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39CN QU: Letter: Don't Complicate Legal Pot BusinessMon, 24 Apr 2017
Source:Montreal Gazette (CN QU) Author:Malfara, Glen K. Area:Quebec Lines:Excerpt Added:04/24/2017

Re: "City will ensure it gets share of taxes" (Montreal Gazette, April 20)

The ink is not even dry on the legislation to legalize marijuana and already Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre has plans to demand his share. It is time to send a clear message to all levels of government that we are all adults and do not need advice from self-serving politicians.

Let the government pass the legislation and then see how it is received. I suggest using the restaurant model. A permit is issued to sell the legal product and allowing the government to do spot inspections, to ensure the vendor is in full compliance with the law. Why Quebec has to complicate a simple situation is unbelievable.

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40 CN QU: Editorial: Smoke And MirrorsWed, 19 Apr 2017
Source:Record, The (CN QU) Author:McDevitt, Mike Area:Quebec Lines:127 Added:04/22/2017

When young Justin Trudeau announced during has election campaign that a Liberal government would legalize the personal possession of marijuana for recreational purposes, the overall political impact could best be described as a collective response somewhere between indifference to "it's about time." For most, the issue of marijuana legalization was pretty low on totem pole of concerns, given more pressing issues. At most, the proposal helped solidify young Justin's reputation as a hip, modern alternative to the depressing crankiness of his predecessor.

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41 CN QU: Column: New Pot for Old Farts: A GuideThu, 20 Apr 2017
Source:Record, The (CN QU) Author:Murray, Ross Area:Quebec Lines:117 Added:04/22/2017

So, you've decided you're going to start smoking pot again. Congratulations! First, though, stop calling it "pot." These days, the cool kids call it "weed," and that's 30 percent the point of this entire exercise, right? To be cool again, just like you were in your twenties when you wore a bandana and regularly smoking doobies.

Don't say "doobies." Or wear a bandana.

Getting the lingo down is just one of the many things you'll have to relearn after these many, many years since you last smoked the ganja. (Do not say "the ganja.")

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42 CN QU: Editorial: Legal Pot? Are We Tripping, Or What?Tue, 18 Apr 2017
Source:Record, The (CN QU) Author:Black, Peter Area:Quebec Lines:91 Added:04/19/2017

"Far out, man!" That's likely what teenaged me would have said if a visitor from the future had said Prime Minister Trudeau had legalized marijuana in 2018. Then I might have said "What? Trudeau is still prime minister?" Then, "Wow, this is some boss weed if I'm talking to some dude from the future." I might have added "Hey, visitor, when did the Leafs win their next Cup?"

Truth be told, your scribe was not much of stoner in his youth, though he effected some of the look and lifestyle. Long hair. Check. Tie-dyed shirts. Check. Bare-foot summers. Check. But a regular consumer of marijuana products? Pas a mon gout. Didn't really have the mental constitution for it. In fact, it's always been a mystery, and the subject of mountains of research, how people react differently when tetrahydrocannabinol hits their bloodstream.

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43CN QU: Barrette Wants Slice Of Pot PieTue, 18 Apr 2017
Source:Montreal Gazette (CN QU)          Area:Quebec Lines:Excerpt Added:04/19/2017

Tweets take aim at Ottawa

Quebec Health Minister Gaetan Barrette took to social media on Sunday to complain that Ottawa's marijuana legalization drops plenty of responsibilities on the provinces but little in the way of money.

Barrette, who has been decidedly cool to the Trudeau government's plan to legalize recreational marijuana use, wrote on his Twitter account that "Fed Libs political anthem: High visibility, low cost (to them). Always. Latest example? Pot legalization."

The minister then went on to muse over whether the provinces should get a share of any federal tax revenue generated by legal marijuana sales, writing "Pot: all consequences and responsibilities being imposed on PTs shoulders shouldn't fed taxes also be transferred to PTs!"

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44CN QU: OPED: Legalization Of Marijuana Is Courting DisasterTue, 18 Apr 2017
Source:Montreal Gazette (CN QU) Author:Anson, Benjamin Area:Quebec Lines:Excerpt Added:04/19/2017

As an employer and father, Benjamin Anson is alarmed

As an employer and father to three young children, I am alarmed by the federal government's plan to legalize marijuana.

There is already a deadly opioid crisis underway, but the government remains fixated on making marijuana freely available. The legalization of marijuana is a far more drastic, normalizing step than decriminalization would ever be.

Legalization will encourage marijuana use, thereby putting all Canadians at risk.

Marijuana is already being openly marketed in anticipation of legalization. If this statement sounds far-fetched, then look out for the billboards that already loom over Montreal streets advertising a website that indicates where marijuana can be bought.

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45CN QU: Legalization Advocates Are Not Impressed By BillTue, 18 Apr 2017
Source:Montreal Gazette (CN QU) Author:Curtis, Christopher Area:Quebec Lines:Excerpt Added:04/19/2017

Longtime advocate says legalization process puts 'fox in charge of hen house'

Jodie Emery fought the law and the law won.

At least, that's the short version of how things went down when Emery and her husband Marc tried to open five illegal marijuana dispensaries in Montreal last December.

Hours after the dispensaries' carnival-like grand opening, the Emerys were in handcuffs and police shut down all of their storefronts. Though Emery had escaped the initial crackdown, undercover officers caught up to her at a downtown hotel.

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46CN QU: Will There Be A Societe Du Cannabis Du Quebec?Sat, 15 Apr 2017
Source:Montreal Gazette (CN QU) Author:Riga, Andy Area:Quebec Lines:Excerpt Added:04/19/2017

Will you be able to pick up a bag of pot at a Societe du cannabis du Quebec, run by the same people who sell you wine and scotch?

Employees of the province's liquor stores - the Societe des alcools du Quebec (SAQ) - hope so.

But Montreal's public-health system is dead set against that idea, suggesting the SAQ should not be a model because it promotes the use of alcohol to fill government coffers.

On Thursday, Ottawa announced its long-awaited legalization plan, saying it wants to provide regulated access to recreational cannabis no later than July 2018.

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47CN QU: Quebec Gives Federal Pot Plan Cool ReceptionFri, 14 Apr 2017
Source:Montreal Gazette (CN QU) Author:Authier, Philip Area:Quebec Lines:Excerpt Added:04/16/2017

Province wants cash to implement new policing, prevention responsibilities

Show us the money. The Quebec government said Thursday it is disappointed in the federal government's long awaited plan to legalize recreational marijuana.

Not only is Ottawa's plan vague and full of holes, it off-loads a whole new series of responsibilities and problems - from the need for more policing to the creation of prevention programs - onto the provinces, said Public Health Minister Lucie Charlebois.

Worse, it fails to pledge the money to cover the enormous cost of applying the plan.

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48 CN QU: PUB LTE: Hazy Thinking On MarijuanaFri, 14 Apr 2017
Source:Montreal Gazette (CN QU) Author:Wilson, Alex Area:Quebec Lines:37 Added:04/16/2017

Re: "Trudeau's pot legalization a headache for Quebec" (Montreal Gazette, April 13)

Certain politicians seem not to be in touch with their constituents, or even reality, on the subject of marijuana legalization.

Some are saying legalizing pot would not reduce the effect of organized crime on this industry.

Are they for real?

If the federal government goes ahead with what's proposed and prices this product properly, the black market for pot will simply dry up.

It seems it's popular these days for politicians to say outlandish things so they can appear on TV instead of proposing reasonable ideas that are less sensationalistic.

Let's listen to our candidates - and vote them out of office when need be.

Alex Wilson, Montreal


49CN QU: Trudeauas Pot Legalization A Headache For QuebecThu, 13 Apr 2017
Source:Montreal Gazette (CN QU) Author:Authier, Philip Area:Quebec Lines:Excerpt Added:04/15/2017

Logistics are complicated, but province fears the social costs

The province will table its own legislation in response to Ottawa's plans to legalize recreational marijuana and is forming a common front with Ontario to draft an action plan to deal with the expected sweeping negative social consequences.

Emerging from a meeting of cabinet where the federal government's plan was analyzed at length, Public Health and Youth Protection Minister Lucie Charlebois said Quebec is moving rapidly to respond to deepening concerns - inside government and out - about the increased availability of pot.

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50 CN QU: Editorial: Smoke 'Em If Ya Got 'EmWed, 12 Apr 2017
Source:Record, The (CN QU) Author:McDevitt, Mike Area:Quebec Lines:130 Added:04/14/2017

Tomorrow, the Liberal Government of Justin Trudeau is expected to fulfill one of its most well-publicised campaign promises and present its much anticipated legislation to legalize the possession and use of cannabis for recreational purposes. Why they couldn't wait another week until April 20 (420) is a question worth pondering, but then again, that might have required a sense of humour.

The history of drug prohibition in Canada goes back to the early 20th Century when authorities became concerned about the use of certain substances among Asian immigrant communities. Marijuana was added to the ever-increasing list of banned substances in the 1920s and once again, race was an integral component. Drug use became associated with decadence, jazz, racial mixing, and sexual license - all things designed to send shivers through middle-class society and its concept of propriety.

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