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1 CN ON: Editorial: Ontario Should Open Up On Pot PlanningMon, 19 Jun 2017
Source:Beacon Herald, The (CN ON)          Area:Ontario Lines:63 Added:06/21/2017

With pot legalization about a year away, we can conclude that the Ontario government is working on a plan. Or at least a plan for a plan.

And yes, the "Legalization of Cannabis Secretariat" exists and, apparently, is busily holding meetings. With whom, it won't say. But not the public. Not yet, anyhow.

This doesn't inspire much confidence. Other provinces are puffing along nicely: New Brunswick is holding public hearings this summer; Quebec's convening a meeting of experts this month, with draft legislation in hand by the fall. Alberta's got an entire website chock-full of information. In other words, many jurisdictions are talking openly to their citizens about pot.

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2 CN MB: OPED: Province Should Control Marijuana SalesMon, 19 Jun 2017
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB) Author:Bird, Malcolm G. Area:Manitoba Lines:136 Added:06/21/2017

THE Trudeau government is set on legalizing marijuana by the summer of 2018. While they will enjoy the political payoff of appearing progressive on this matter, all of the associated problems and the logistics of doing so will fall on the shoulders of the provincial governments and their civic counterparts.

I suggest the Manitoba provincial government draw lessons from the last time an illegal substance was legalized following Prohibition in the late 1920s, as well as from the current public health efforts to eliminate tobacco use in Canada as a means to guide their policy on marijuana.

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3 CN BC: Column: Downtown Eastside Tours Objectify Those Living WithThu, 15 Jun 2017
Source:Vancouver 24hours (CN BC) Author:Slivinski, Ada Area:British Columbia Lines:53 Added:06/19/2017

Vancouver seems to have two seasons: Rain and tourists. Just as we make our way out of one, the other hits us full force. Nowhere is the throng of tourists thicker than Gastown, where they scramble for selfies with the steam clock.

Trying to get away from those tourists while out for a quick post-lunch walk, I wandered further into the Downtown Eastside than I normally do and was surprised to see the camera-wielding crowd didn't stop there. In front of me were a man and woman - her stopping to snap photos of people lying on the street and him loudly explaining what he saw as the reason those addicted to drugs and living in the area didn't try to help themselves and turn their lives around.

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4 CN NS: OPED: How Prepared Are Police For Drug-Related ImpairedFri, 16 Jun 2017
Source:Amherst News (CN NS) Author:Gannes, Geoff de Area:Nova Scotia Lines:76 Added:06/19/2017

Canada's law enforcement agencies, MADD Canada and other first responders took to the country's roads and highways recently in their annual campaign to promote safety on our highways over the summer holiday season.

Adding to the complexity of addressing the issue of impaired driving is the steady increase in the numbers of drivers who have been stopped for drug impairment.

Law enforcement is also concerned that the impending legalization of marijuana by the Trudeau Government will compound the problem.

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5 CN NS: Column: How To Best Treat Society's Most Vulnerable?Fri, 16 Jun 2017
Source:Amherst News (CN NS) Author:Jones, Walter Area:Nova Scotia Lines:62 Added:06/19/2017

Two questions: What drug is the most addictive and can give you a condition that can kill you?

What other drug has the worse withdrawal effects and can destroy your brain? Answers! No. 1 is nicotine. It is so addictive because no matter how much you ingest your body still craves more and as it leaves your body the craving gets more intense.

Over time it can cause lung disease. Answer No. 2 is alcohol/ Longtime excessive use can lead to brain damage. It even has a name - Korsakoff Syndrome. You can also die from the DTs if you go cold turkey and are not under a doctors care.

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6 CN BC: Editorial: Uncertainty Lies Ahead On Marijuana IssueFri, 16 Jun 2017
Source:Peace Arch News (CN BC)          Area:British Columbia Lines:53 Added:06/19/2017

Regardless of whether one agrees with the decision to legalize marijuana, that train has left the station and is scheduled to roll down the track on July 1, 2018.

The focus now must shift to how those changes will affect the rights of citizens, law enforcement and the courts.

Once the smoke clears, there must be clarity and consistency in how police and the courts deal with offenders under the federal government's proposed new impaired-driving legislation.

A ruling by Justice Nigel Kent on May 18 quashed a charge of impaired driving against a Vancouver man who, according to the police report, had "glassy red eyes," a "strong odour of marijuana" on him and pot grinders in plain sight in his vehicle.

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7CN ON: Editorial: Pot Plan Needs ClaritySat, 17 Jun 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON)          Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:06/19/2017

With pot legalization about a year away, we can conclude that the Ontario government is working on a plan. Or at least a plan for a plan. And yes, the "Legalization of Cannabis Secretariat" exists and, apparently, is busily holding meetings. With whom, it won't say. But not the public. Not yet, anyhow.

This doesn't inspire much confidence. Other provinces are puffing along nicely: New Brunswick is holding public hearings this summer; Quebec's convening a meeting of experts this month, with draft legislation in hand by the fall. Alberta's got an entire website chock-full of information. In other words, many jurisdictions are talking openly to their citizens about pot.

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8 CN BC: Editorial: Making P.G. Pot CentralThu, 15 Jun 2017
Source:Prince George Citizen (CN BC) Author:Godbout, Neil Area:British Columbia Lines:108 Added:06/19/2017

Five hundred years ago, back when Scotch was just whisky, almost everybody in Scotland could make and sell it. It was only 200 years ago, when the government started taxing sales, allowed the licensed distilleries to grow and shut down the bootleggers that Scotch started to become a thing. Today, of course, whisky is made around the world but only whisky from Scotland is allowed to call itself Scotch.

The similarities between whisky in Scotland in the 18th and 19th centuries and marijuana in Prince George in 2017 are many. The residents of a somewhat isolated northern region that's not too far from major cities are heavy producers and consumers of a beloved intoxicant. The government decides to legalize the product, partly to recognize the will of the people, but mostly to turn it into a lucrative tax revenue stream.

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9CN AB: OPED: Let's Keep Legalized Cannabis Profits At HomeThu, 15 Jun 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Mooij, Jeff Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:06/19/2017

Stand-alone stores can lower prices while creating jobs, says Jeff Mooij.

The Alberta government has wisely begun a broad consultation process so the public can provide their input on the upcoming legalization of cannabis.

As both the provinces and the federal government attempt to implement new laws and regulations across the country, Alberta has the opportunity to get it right and become a leader in the safe, informed and responsible recreational consumption of cannabis.

Alberta can build from the strengths and avoid the pitfalls experienced by other jurisdictions that have already legalized recreational use. It was encouraging to see both Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley and Finance Minister Joe Ceci visit Denver to learn from their processes.

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10 CN NS: Editorial: More Concerns, Few AnswersWed, 14 Jun 2017
Source:News, The (New Glasgow, CN NS)          Area:Nova Scotia Lines:79 Added:06/19/2017

Many have noted the federal government's vision on recreational marijuana regulations remains notably blurry. With legalization anticipated about a year from now, the questions continue, as do recommendations about where to draw certain lines.

The legal age to possess and partake is right up there among concerns. To that end, the New Brunswick Medical Society has weighed in this week, saying the bar should be set at 21. They add that the legal age for tobacco purchase and consumption should also be 21.

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11 CN ON: Editorial: Decriminalize ImmediatelyFri, 09 Jun 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON)          Area:Ontario Lines:88 Added:06/14/2017

Pot smokers are not known for getting things done in a hurry, but legislators seeking to revamp our marijuana laws shouldn't follow their lead.

In fact the federal government should hurry up and decriminalize possession of recreational marijuana immediately.

The Liberal government plans to legalize, regulate and restrict cannabis by July 2018. The promise was part of the election platform that propelled the party to a majority government.

The current laws are not working - and a strong majority of Canadians support legalization. Too many people are ending up with minor criminal records, leaving the court system clogged and futures blighted. Young people are especially vulnerable.

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12 Canada: Column: The Smoke Between Neighbourly RightsMon, 12 Jun 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Eddie, David Area:Canada Lines:115 Added:06/14/2017

I am a long-time closeted cannabis user and I am looking forward to the legalization of pot next summer. But until then, my question has to do with my rights as a homeowner and a pot smoker versus the rights of my neighbour to not smell said marijuana. Now, I don't spend the whole day out there smoking, just one joint here or there. Yesterday afternoon, they smelled my J and proceeded to speak loudly to each other within earshot of me as to how rude this is. Is it rude Dave? Am I allowed to indulge in a smoke in my own yard? Legalization is going to change how much smoke you smell walking down the street, I think it's already changed. Whether we want it or not, it's coming … stinky smoke and all. Who's got the right though?

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13CN AB: Editorial: A Program That WorksFri, 09 Jun 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB)          Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:06/14/2017

Every government-funded program should be so lucky as to have Julia Carriere as an exemplar of its good work.

The 21-year-old woman was seven-months pregnant and addicted to drugs when she was arrested for trafficking in March 2016. Getting picked up by police turned out to be the second chance she needed and a timely blessing for her then-unborn son Richard, now one year old.

Carriere is the latest graduate of the Edmonton Drug Treatment Court Service, a program that delays sentencing after an offender pleads guilty to a criminal offence related to drug addiction.

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14 CN ON: Column: Pot Possession Charges Are A Sign Of HypocrisyWed, 07 Jun 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Harper, Tim Area:Ontario Lines:111 Added:06/07/2017

It's long been apparent that the Liberal legalization of marijuana in this country is not going to provide the mellow buzz the government had sought.

We're more than a year out from promised legislation, but there's smoke on the horizon.

The Canadian Medical Association has condemned the legal age of 18 being set by the federal Liberals, citing data that shows early marijuana use leads to everything from depression and anxiety to a lifetime dependency rate of 17 per cent for those who start smoking as teenagers. That's almost double the rate of those who begin use after their brains mature at age 25.

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15CN AB: Column: Alberta Takes Important Step In Fight To Stop OpioidThu, 01 Jun 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Braid, Don Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:06/06/2017

There, the NDP finally said it. Alberta's fentanyl deaths are an "emergency."

That's pretty obvious after 113 fatalities already in the first three months of this year, after 363 in 2016. Overdoses now kill more people in Alberta than traffic crashes and homicides combined.

In 2011, there were only six deaths from this scourge. Opioids have become an undeniable public emergency.

It's also a suburban problem, not just a blight on the inner city. Last year, 80 per cent of Calgary deaths were outside the city core.

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16 CN BC: Editorial: Legal Pot Poses Legal QuestionsWed, 31 May 2017
Source:Goldstream Gazette (Victoria, CN BC)          Area:British Columbia Lines:57 Added:05/31/2017

A consistent model for enforcement will be needed once marijuana is legalized

Whether you agree with the decision to legalize marijuana or not, that train has left the station and is scheduled to roll down the track on July 1, 2018. The question we need to focus on now is how it will affect the rights of citizens, law enforcement and the courts.

Once the smoke settles, there must be clarity and consistency in how the police and the judiciary deal with offenders under the federal government's new impaired driving legislation aimed at reducing carnage on our roads.

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17 US: Editorial: Gov. Walker Would Drug Test The PoorWed, 31 May 2017
Source:New York Times (NY)          Area:United States Lines:52 Added:05/31/2017

As he prepares to run for a third term, Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, ever the devotee of low-road, right-wing politicking, is hoping the Trump administration will allow his state to be the first in the nation to mandate the drug screening of childless individuals who apply for Medicaid help.

"It borders on immoral," Lena Taylor, a Democratic state senator, warned, accusing Mr. Walker of indulging in a "meaningless contest to see how cruel and discriminatory we can be to the poor."

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18 CN BC: OPED: Bill C-244 Could Help Save LivesThu, 25 May 2017
Source:Penticton Herald (CN BC) Author:Albas, Dan Area:British Columbia Lines:65 Added:05/29/2017

As much as the House of Commons is often viewed as an adversarial environment there are also those times, albeit rare, when there is unanimous support for the passage of a Bill.

In the last Parliament I was fortunate to have unanimous support for the passage of my Bill to remove a prohibition era Federal restriction preventing the personal movement of wine across provincial borders.

Later the government would expand on this bill to also include beer and spirits. Recently in the House of Commons another private member's bill has received unanimous support and has also passed through the Senate and recently received Royal Assent.

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19CN BC: OPED: Our Approach To Opioid Addiction Isn't WorkingFri, 26 May 2017
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Oviedo-Joekes, Eugenia Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:05/29/2017

"Yes, and how many deaths will it take till he knows, That too many people have died?" - Bob Dylan, Blowin' in the Wind

Beginning in 1993, Justice Horace Krever led a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the tainted-blood scandal in Canada. Inquiries were held in other countries. One of the key questions was why people with hemophilia were forced to continue to inject blood products that were not screened for HIV, when newer and safer products were already available.

Criminal charges were laid in a number of settings. The Canadian Red Cross pleaded guilty to the crime of distributing a contaminated drug and made a large donation in exchange for six criminal charges being dropped.

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20 CN NS: Editorial: Time To Get ReadyWed, 24 May 2017
Source:Truro Daily News (CN NS)          Area:Nova Scotia Lines:71 Added:05/29/2017

If all goes according to plan, Canada's new marijuana law will take effect in July 2018.

It's what happens between now and then that is critical, especially when it comes to safeguarding young Canadians who are the most vulnerable to the potential harms of marijuana use.

Studies have shown adolescents are particularly at risk due to the fact their brains are continuing to develop and at a rapid pace. It's wise to take into consideration that research has shown that chronic marijuana usage is linked to memory and attention difficulties, prominently among individuals who started use while in early adolescence.

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