Re: "Plan for sex ed gets thumbs up, with some reservations" (Montreal
Gazette, Dec. 15) Sex education is a good thing. Even better would be
separate classes for boys and girls so everyone can feel free to ask any
question without being inhibited or fearful of being laughed at.
Not to mention boys and girls are at a different level of
I would suggest there be specially trained professionals who go from
school to school or teachers who get special training in-house.
[continues 92 words]
Mayor Valerie Plante said she had a 'very good' first meeting with
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, with the two discussing pot
legalization and her Pink Line vision.
Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante declared she had a "very good" first
meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday - an opportunity
she used to discuss the imminent legalization of marijuana as well as
Speaking to reporters at city hall afterward, Plante said she was
reassured by Trudeau's remarks on the legalization of marijuana,
scheduled for July 1.
[continues 223 words]
No one forced Junior Hernandez to swallow the fentanyl, his grieving
partner says, but did he understand it could kill him?
Part Four in a series of profiles about the escalating opioid crisis
Before his partner Junior Hernandez died of a fentanyl-related overdose,
Christophe Cote says he didn't know much about the drug.
Just before dawn, Junior Hernandez and his sky-is-the-limit friends
spilled out of a downtown bar.
They were heading to a friend's place to continue the revelry -
drinking, doing coke and ecstasy. Once the drugs ran out, they called
a dealer, hopping a taxi to his place. There, they found a stash of
tiny, unfamiliar pills called fentanyl. The party ended hours later
with Hernandez, 35, lying on a cold slab in a Montreal morgue.
Hernandez didn't see the end coming. Neither did his friends.
[continues 1346 words]
While details deserve review, it's crucial not to wait for the
legalization of cannabis, Marc Gold writes.
Bill C-46 would allow police to demand that a driver suspected of
having a drug in their body provide a saliva sample.
Every holiday season, volunteers for Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Canada (MADD) distribute red ribbons to remind us of the lives lost
due to impaired driving. Look around over the next few weeks, and
you'll find them on key chains, car antennas and pinned to jackets.
[continues 607 words]
Part One in a series of profiles about the escalating opioid crisis in
Martin Pare's fascination with syringes started as a child at a
racetrack. He saw a veterinarian stick a needle in a horse's neck.
What's he doing? the boy asked his father. It's to make the horse run
faster, his father replied. After the horse won his race, the boy
furtively took the needle and empty vial from the garbage. At home, he
filled his syringe with water and began injecting his toy stuffed animals.
[continues 1658 words]
MONTREAL - McGill University law professor Daniel Weinstock says he
heartily recommends his students take up criminal law in order to take
advantage of the country's new, strict cannabis laws.
"There is going to be a steady stream of customers," Weinstock said,
referring to the influx of people he estimates will be moving through
the justice system.
The professor's comments were partly made in jest but serve to
illustrate a larger point: upcoming marijuana laws - in response to
domestic and U.S. politics - will be a boon for lawyers.
[continues 487 words]
The prospect of legalization opens up Pandora's box overflowing with
A few years ago, after a heated argument with a friend at a party, I
decided that I would never/ever write about whether marijuana should
But since this-bud's-for-you (or not), colloquially called skunk,
(a.k.a. mary jane), is being legalized real soon, I have decided to
unbutton my loose lip and (gently) lower my big toe into the bath
water. This is primarily because it is a headline topic that will
deeply (I think) affect the West Island. (I promise not to take sides
because that would only get me crappy letters. I am not threatened by
my capacity for being weak-kneed nor my addiction to the errant
exploitation of parentheses.)
[continues 706 words]
MONTREAL - As provinces begin drafting laws for the control and sale
of cannabis on their territories, an upcoming Supreme Court of Canada
case is threatening to derail their plans.
Ontario and Quebec, for instance, want to create provincial cannabis
monopolies. As a consequence, Quebecers and Ontarians would be
prohibited from mailordering recreational cannabis from licensed
producers outside their home province or buying pot from anyone other
than their provincial government.
But on Dec. 6, the Supreme Court begins hearing arguments in a case
that could mean the end of state-run monopolies as they apply to
another favourite Canadian vice: alcohol.
[continues 532 words]
Quebec's proposed legislation regarding the regulation of
marijuana-set to be legalized federally on July 1, 2018-will likely be
the harshest in the country, amassing much criticism since it was
tabled on Nov. 16. On one side, the Quebec Liberal Party has come
under attack from news sites, such as Vice, and marijuana activists
for being too strict; on the other, opposing parties, like the
Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ), have called Bill 157 too permissive.
Yet, as they stand, Quebec's proposed weed laws strike an advantageous
balance between mitigating the potentially dangerous aftershocks of
marijuana legalization-like a spike in youth consumption and DUIs-and
being liberal enough to accommodate for responsible consumers and
decrease the incentive for the retention of a significant black
market. Bill 157 is strict, but not without reason.
[continues 603 words]
Few Quebec police officers are trained to determine whether drivers
are under the influence of marijuana, a federation of cop unions says.
"Police services are simply not ready" for cannabis legalization,
Robin Cote, president of the 4,500-member Federation des policiers et
policieres municipaux du Quebec (FPMQ), said on Friday.
The FPMQ issued a plea for more training a day after the provincial
government presented its pot-legalization bill.
Under Quebec's plan, there would be zero-tolerance for driving under
the influence of marijuana.
[continues 162 words]
Beaconsfield resident Ben Anson wants the city to take a stand and
prohibit the sale of recreational marijuana within its borders.
With the federal government's July 1, 2018, deadline to legalize
recreational marijuana looming and the Quebec government in the throes
of hammering out the finer details of tabled Bill 157 - the
legislation that will govern pot sales in the province - Anson wants
the public to pay attention to what he sees as the potential social
and public health problems.
[continues 413 words]
Re: "Police not ready to test drivers for pot: unions" (Montreal
Gazette, Nov. 18)
Having enforced Canada's drug laws for over three decades, I can
sympathize with police across Canada. At least Quebec's legislation,
unlike the federal plan, bans the growing of marijuana at home.
It's been reported that road deaths in Colorado and Washington doubled
after recreational pot was legalized in those states. That and the
fact there is no easy roadside test for THC levels should raise alarm
[continues 58 words]
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."
[continues 668 words]
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,
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.
[continues 720 words]
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,
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.
[continues 950 words]
Provincial legislation calls for government-run stores, zero tolerance
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.
[continues 593 words]
Safe-driving activists, pot dispensers and businesses all have their
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.
[continues 849 words]
Quebec unveiled its pot plan Thursday. Here are some answers to key
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.
[continues 536 words]
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.
[continues 718 words]
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.
[continues 519 words]
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
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.
[continues 268 words]
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.
[continues 538 words]
Re: "Study finds pot use can boost violent behaviour" (Montreal Gazette,
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
It is never too late to review an issue that negatively affects the
great society in which we live.
S. Soliman, Brossard
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
"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.
[continues 510 words]
As pot legalization looms, Indigenous communities are weighing
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.
[continues 894 words]
'Zero tolerance' to remain in place despite legalization, companies
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.
[continues 393 words]
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
[continues 347 words]
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.
[continues 260 words]
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.
[continues 994 words]
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.
[continues 429 words]
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.
[continues 281 words]
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.
[continues 361 words]
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
[continues 53 words]
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.
[continues 426 words]
Ontario's overly prudent new policy is short-sighted, Sylvain
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.
[continues 574 words]
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.
[continues 565 words]
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.
[continues 353 words]
Former B.C. health minister signs on as vice-president at
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
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.
[continues 733 words]
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
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.
[continues 744 words]
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.
[continues 460 words]
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."
[continues 215 words]
So-called bath salts, other street drugs are not a safe way to seek
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.
[continues 908 words]
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
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.
[continues 147 words]
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.
[continues 411 words]
On school corridor and feared too close to Marguerite-Bourgeoys
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.
[continues 440 words]
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
"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."
[continues 432 words]
Montrealers have a well-earned reputation as a society of bon vivants
with our abundant terrasses, fun festivals and depanneurs stocked with
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.
[continues 699 words]
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.
[continues 590 words]
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.
[continues 263 words]
Far from putting Canadians at risk, the move will be beneficial, Jerry
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.
[continues 565 words]