Canada is moving closer to the legalization of recreational Cannabis
this summer. Federal legislation is awaiting Senate approval and all
the provinces have developed their implementation approach.
Governments across the country rarely agree on anything. But as we
embark on this change, they have been unanimous in agreeing that their
top policy objective is the protection of youth.
We know what the approaches and commitments have been from various
governments, so we are in a good position to know whether their
actions reflect their words. So far, the simple answer is no.
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U.S. prosecutors say their evidence against notorious Mexican drug
lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman includes killings, torture,
kidnappings, prison breaks and even an attempt to smuggle seven tons
of cocaine in cans of jalapenos.
A government memo filed Tuesday also says there's evidence that Guzman
was involved in a 1992 drug-gang shootout at a Puerto Vallarta,
Mexico, nightclub that left six people dead.
Guzman's lawyer, Eduardo Balarezo, said he was reviewing the memo and
would "respond in due course."
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Buds of marijuana are shown before being placed into packets for sale
at the San Francisco Medical Cannabis Clinic in San Francisco, Monday,
Oct. 19, 2009. [Associated Press]
A haul of marijuana, weighing 13,227.74 pounds (6,000 kg) had been
stored in a warehouse in Pilar, northwest of Buenos Aries, for two
years. When a new police commissioner took over for Javier Specia, he
noticed 1,191 pounds missing from the warehouse.
Specia told a judge that the missing marijuana was eaten by mice,
according to BBC. But the judge doesn't quite believe that story.
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Hemp, which was Kentucky's biggest cash crop for a century before
tobacco, is poised for a comeback thanks to bipartisan legislation
introduced Thursday in Congress. It's about time.
Regular hemp cultivation in this country was banned in 1937. That's
when federal law enforcement officials, who feared the repeal of
Prohibition would leave them nothing to do, launched the first war on
With a lot of "reefer madness" hype, the government banned marijuana.
Also swept up in that ban was industrial hemp, a botanical cousin in
the cannabis family that looks similar to pot but can't make you high
no matter how much you smoke.
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Researchers at the University of Minnesota are getting closer to
clinical trials of a vaccine for opioid addiction.
Three studies published in the past six months show incremental
success, including one in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental
Therapeutics that demonstrated that a vaccine could prevent oxycodone
and heroin opioid molecules from reaching the brain.
"We are getting closer," said Marco Pravetoni, the lead researcher who
has been studying a vaccine to treat addiction for 10 years.
A vaccine to confront addiction might sound unusual, but it would work
like any vaccine by stimulating the immune system to produce
antibodies. Instead of targeting influenza or poliovirus, the
antibodies would be coaxed to bind to opioid molecules and prevent
them from crossing the bloodstream barrier to the brain.
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SALT LAKE CITY -- The push for legalized marijuana has moved into Utah
and Oklahoma, two of the most conservative states in the country,
further underscoring how quickly feelings about marijuana are changing
in the United States.
If the two measures pass, Utah and Oklahoma will join 30 other states
that have legalized some form of medical marijuana, according to the
pro-pot National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana laws. Nine
of those states and Washington, D.C. also have broad legalization
where adults 21 and older can use pot for any reason. Michigan could
become the 10th state with its ballot initiative this year.
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Two very different things, both related to marijuana, happened in
Toronto last week. One mattered, and pointed to some of the challenges
still ahead with the legalization of marijuana later this year. The
other was the proverbial tempest in a teapot.
Allegations that workers were smoking pot on the job, forcing
Metrolinx to shut down work on a section of the $5.3-billion Crosstown
LRT project, was a serious matter.
But the uproar over the Toronto location for one of Ontario's first
government-run pot shops, which continued this week with comments from
Premier Kathleen Wynne, is way out of proportion.
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VANCOUVER - A government prohibition against mixing cannabis and
caffeine makes little sense, say some research scientists. There is
only speculation that the combination might pose a risk.
The practice, so common in the legendary pot capital of Amsterdam that
cannabis dispensaries are called "coffee shops," appears unlikely to
be coming to Canada anytime soon.
"It seems like the overriding philosophy for a lot of this is: ban
anything that might be a concern," said M-J Milloy, research scientist
with the B.C. Centre on Substance Use. "Then it's easier to un-ban
rather than trying to do it the other way around."
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On the eve of 4/20, CBC is hosting a panel to give kids and parents
the information they need before anyone tokes up.
Titled 4/19, the free evening event at Vancouver Technical secondary
hosted by CBC's Gloria Macarenko is aimed at informing teenagers and
their parents about the medical, social and legal impacts of cannabis
use for youth, with legalization in sight.
Experts range from youth workers and police officers to lawyers and
scientists, covering all aspects of this hazy issue.
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VANCOUVER - Vancouver city councillors agreed the city's approach to
harm reduction may appears extreme to those who haven't experienced
the overdose crisis' impacts first-hand.
But Coun. Hector Bremner told StarMetro he thinks those skeptical of
harm reduction simply haven't had an opportunity to learn how it
"The average person going about their day to day life, worrying about
their family and putting food on their table is not necessarily deeply
involved in these issues," Bremner said. "And so they go with what
they feel, or what they know, or what's the societal norm.
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"The 4/20 marijuana event will take place again this year in Sunset
Beach Park, against the wishes of the elected park board
commissioners. The board continues to have significant concerns about
the event's impact on residents, the park and facilities that serve
"The park board does not believe this event is an appropriate use of
park space because it violates our no smoking by-laws and has negative
consequences for park users and infrastructure. The Board has declined
to give organizers a permit as the event does not meet our criteria
for issuing a special event permit.
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A week after telling two interviewers her support for legalizing
recreational use of marijuana in New York was revenue-based,
Democratic candidate for governor Cynthia Nixon said Wednesday that
it's now foremost a racial justice issue for her.
The "Sex and the City" star posted a 90-second video on YouTube in
which she stated that it's time New York joined eight other states and
the District of Columbia in legalizing recreational use of marijuana.
"There are a lot of good reasons for legalizing marijuana, but for me,
it comes down to this: we have to stop putting people of color in jail
for something that white people do with impunity," Nixon said.
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The Trump administration is considering a plan that would allow states
to require certain food stamp recipients to undergo drug testing,
handing a win to conservatives who've long sought ways to curb the
safety net program.
The proposal under review would be narrowly targeted, applying mostly
to people who are able-bodied, without dependents and applying for
some specialized jobs, according to an administration official briefed
on the plan. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to
discuss internal deliberations, said roughly 5 percent of participants
in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program could be affected.
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TALLAHASSEE -- A Florida circuit court judge has ruled that a Tampa
man has the right to grow his own medical marijuana.
Leon County Judge Karen Gievers said on Wednesday that Joseph Redner
is entitled under state law to grow and use marijuana for juicing. The
77-year old Redner is in remission for lung cancer and is one of more
than 95,000 state residents who is registered as a medical marijuana
The ruling applies only to Redner but could open the door for others
who have said the state should allow whole-plant use.
The state's Department of Health immediately filed an appeal after the
ruling. Gievers also said in her ruling that the state continues to be
non-compliant in the implementation of Amendment 2. The amendment,
which passed in 2016, legalized medical marijuana in Florida.
SARASOTA COUNTY -- More medical marijuana is coming to the county
after the Sarasota County Commission on Wednesday approved the second
dispensary application in two days.
The County Commission voted 4-1 to allow Sarasota-based AltMed to open
a medical marijuana dispensary at 5077 Fruitville Road in the Cobia
Bay shopping plaza -- making it the second approved dispensary in
unincorporated county. Commissioner Mike Moran, who has concerns
medical dispensaries could be the gateway to legalizing recreational
marijuana in the state, cast the dissenting vote.
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Leon County Circuit Judge Karen Gievers has ruled that Tampa strip
club owner Joe Redner has the right to grow his own marijuana.
The ruling, released Wednesday morning, applies only to Redner,
The Florida Department of Health had said Floridians are barred under
state rules from growing cannabis for their personal use, including
those who are legally registered as medical marijuana patients.
But Redner and other critics across the state say the health
department continues to create barriers for more than 95,000
registered patients in Florida that could benefit from marijuana.
Redner is a stage 4 lung cancer survivor and a registered medical
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Former GOP House speaker John A. Boehner, a longtime opponent of
marijuana legalization, is joining a company that grows and sells
cannabis, he announced Wednesday.
He has been appointed to the board of advisers of Acreage Holdings,
which operates in 11 states, Boehner said in a statement.
Acreage Holdings was formerly known as High Street Capital Partners.
The company is a financial backer of Prime Wellness, which owns a
permit to cultivate medical marijuana in South Heidelberg near Reading.
"I have concluded descheduling the drug is needed so that we can do
research and allow [the Department of Veterans Affairs] to offer it as
a treatment option in the fight against the opioid epidemic that is
ravaging our communities," Boehner said.
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By the time Thomas Hodorowski made the connection between his
marijuana habit and the bouts of pain and vomiting that left him
incapacitated every few weeks, he had been to the emergency room
dozens of times, tried anti-nausea drugs, anti-anxiety medications and
antidepressants, endured an upper endoscopy procedure and two
colonoscopies, seen a psychiatrist and had his appendix and
The only way to get relief for the nausea and pain was to take a hot
He often stayed in the shower for hours at a time. When the hot water
ran out, "the pain was unbearable, like somebody was wringing my
stomach out like a washcloth," said Hodorowski, 28, a production and
shipping assistant who lives outside Chicago.
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CALIFORNIA SLOW TO ACCEPT PROP. 64
Recreational marijuana is legal in California, but it probably isn't
legal to buy in your city. Fewer than one in three cities in
California have approved any kind of cannabis industry, and only a
sliver of cities allow recreational pot shops. The Southern California
News Group has tracked the rules for every city and county in
California, to show the patchwork of rules governing a product that
became street legal four months ago. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group)
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In the first two months of cannabis legalization, consumers bought an
estimated $339 million worth of marijuana products from retailers in
California, 50 percent less than state projections, according to a
leading analytics firm.
The state has estimated that retail cannabis sales for the year would
be $3.4 billion, or $570 million every two months.
BDS Analytics of Boulder, Colorado, provided the firm's data to The
Bee. Greg Shoenfeld, vice president for operations, said the company
collects sales data from dispensaries and uses statistical modeling to
project statewide sales. BDS Analytics also collects and analyzes such
data in the three other states with recreational marijuana: Oregon,
Washington and Colorado.
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