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1US CA: On the Road: Marijuana Smoking, Consumption Now Illegal InSun, 31 Dec 2017
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) Author:Bentley, Amy Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:12/31/2017

Each new year brings new driving or transportation-related laws in California and 2018 is no exception. We'd like to share these new laws with readers in the next few columns.

Marijuana and edible cannabis use in vehicles, Senate Bill 65: Recreational marijuana/cannabis is now legal to be purchased and consumed in certain places, but that doesn't mean you can light up a joint on your daily commute.

Consuming cannabis while driving or while riding as a passenger in a vehicle in California is illegal. This new law is similar to the "open container" laws that outlaw drinking alcohol while driving, though having some alcohol in your system while driving isn't outlawed.

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2CN BC: First Nations Look To Pot Industry For Economic BoostFri, 29 Dec 2017
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Smith, Gemma Karstens- Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:12/29/2017

Vancouver - Canada's marijuana industry is expanding rapidly and some First Nations are looking to cash in on the emerging economic opportunities.

Phil Fontaine, an Indigenous politician turned marijuana executive, has spent the last year travelling the country and talking to First Nations about jobs, wealth and training opportunities the burgeoning marijuana business could bring.

"Everywhere we've been, it's been the same reaction, interest, excitement. First Nations are speaking about possibilities and potential. So it's been very encouraging," said the former national chief of the Assembly of First Nations.

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3 CN ON: County Has Questions About Pot LegalizationFri, 29 Dec 2017
Source:Daily Observer, The (Pembroke, CN ON) Author:Chase, Sean Area:Ontario Lines:54 Added:12/29/2017

Renfrew County councillors have more questions than answers when it comes to the impending legalization of marijuana by both the federal and provincial Liberal governments.

Earlier this month, legislation giving the provincial Liberals a monopoly on recreational marijuana sales in Ontario passed at Queen's Park. The bill creates a provincial agency that will distribute and retail pot through storefronts and online. It also creates stiff fines that could top $1 million against companies and people who sell marijuana in defiance of the government monopoly.

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4 CN NS: Local Dispenser Foresees Growing DemandFri, 29 Dec 2017
Source:News, The (New Glasgow, CN NS) Author:MacInnis, Adam Area:Nova Scotia Lines:64 Added:12/29/2017

Legalization of marijuana was a long time coming, but Carl Morgan believes the future is bright for selling the product in Nova Scotia.

Morgan is currently the owner of two medical marijuana dispensaries - Scotia Green Inc. on East River Road in New Glasgow and one on Spring Garden Road in Halifax.

While they've had some uphill battles, he believes the business will continue to grow into the New Year despite the fact that the province has made the decision that recreational marijuana will be sold at Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation outlets.

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5 CN MB: 'It Could Happen To Any Of Them'Fri, 29 Dec 2017
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB) Author:Macintosh, Maggie Area:Manitoba Lines:127 Added:12/29/2017

Grieving father warns kids about dangers of drugs after son's death

SMOKE from a smudging stick and the warm breath of friends and family of Jeremy Hobson filled the front yard of the house where the 21-year-old accidentally overdosed and died on the weekend, during a ceremony held Thursday.

Jeremy died after taking a pill, which he thought was OxyContin, at a gettogether with friends and cousins on Saturday night, according to his father Larry Hobson. Hobson said he thinks the pill that killed his son was laced with fentanyl.

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6CN PI: Weed ControlThu, 28 Dec 2017
Source:Guardian, The (CN PI) Author:McEachern, Terrence Area:Prince Edward Island Lines:Excerpt Added:12/28/2017

UPEI engineering students have designed and developed a THC breathalyzer device

A group of UPEI engineering students has come up with a way to help detect levels of marijuana in drivers.

The students designed and developed a prototype, handheld THC detection device.

But before they consider taking the product or a technological aspect to market, they have some unfinished business to take care of.

"We're going to concentrate on graduating first. And then after that, we'll see what happens," said Bryce Stewart of Wood Islands.

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7 CN ON: Pot Prices Cause ConcernThu, 28 Dec 2017
Source:Telegram, The (CN NF) Author:Ubelacker, Sheryl Area:Ontario Lines:161 Added:12/28/2017

Medical users fear legalized recreational marijuana may leave them behind in puff of smoke

For Mandy Mcknight, the benefits of cannabis oil to treat her son Liam's debilitating seizures seem almost miraculous - the nine-year-old has gone from being wracked daily by dozens of the life-threatening episodes to having days when he experiences none.

But like many Canadians authorized by doctors to use marijuana to treat a wide range of medical disorders, Mcknight is worried what will happen when recreational pot for adults becomes legally available through government-sanctioned retail outlets in July 2018.

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8 CN BC: Addicts Will Get Clean DrugsThu, 28 Dec 2017
Source:Georgia Straight, The (CN BC) Author:Lupick, Travis Area:British Columbia Lines:121 Added:12/28/2017

Vancouver has a history pioneering harm-reduction programs. In 2003, it opened North America's first supervised-injection facility, Insite. In 2014, it moved a prescription-heroin program beyond the confines of an academic study.

Now B.C. will launch its most radical drug program yet. It's a plan that one of the province's top doctors says could be a partial solution to the province's opioid crisis.

Tentatively scheduled to begin in March 2018, Vancouver will dispense hydromorphone-a synthetic opioid similar to heroin-in a way that, if all goes according to plan, will not require a doctor's visit and possibly not even a prescription for the powerful drug.

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9 CN ON: Six Nations Business Wants Answers On Pot SalesThu, 28 Dec 2017
Source:Hamilton Spectator (CN ON) Author:Moro, Teviah Area:Ontario Lines:104 Added:12/28/2017

Owner of Green Health for Six waiting to hear from Ottawa, council, and initiated survey

As far as Jeff Hawk is concerned, his marijuana dispensary is filling a void in Six Nations.

Potentially deadly opiates are widely available, but safe, medicinal marijuana is not, says Hawk, owner of Green Health for Six.

"There ain't really a large industry in pot anymore. That's what I'm worried about."

Hawk says his dispensary on Highway 54 just outside Ohsweken has a solid customer base for weed, edibles and oils.

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10 US CA: California Pot Shops Roll Out Hoopla As Recreational Sales SetThu, 28 Dec 2017
Source:Chicago Tribune (IL) Author:Spagat, Elliot Area:California Lines:118 Added:12/28/2017

Marijuana legalization arrives Monday in California with lots of hoopla, but only a handful of cities will initially have retail outlets ready to sell recreational pot.

By Thursday afternoon, California had issued only 42 retail licenses. Another 150 applications were pending and regulators planned to work a second straight weekend to review them.

Los Angeles and San Francisco were late to approve local regulations, meaning no recreational pot shops there will open their doors Monday.

The lucky few outlets with licenses -- mainly in San Diego, the San Francisco Bay Area, Palm Springs area and Santa Cruz -- think they have an edge being first out of the gate.

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11 CN BC: Cities Bracing For Weed LegalizationTue, 26 Dec 2017
Source:Metro (Vancouver, CN BC) Author:Li, Wanyee Area:British Columbia Lines:67 Added:12/27/2017

Feds have promised a deadline of July 1, 2018

The day marijuana advocates and enthusiasts have long been waiting for what will come in 2018 - recreational marijuana will be legalized on Canada Day.

But with federal legislation comes a host of logistical and revenue issues for provinces and cities across the country. Vancouver may appear to have a head start, as the city established a licensing program for marijuana dispensaries in 2015, but it will need to follow provincial rules on the issue as well.

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12CN AB: Chief Says Legalizing Cannabis Doesn't Mean Possession ChargesTue, 26 Dec 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Wakefield, Jonny Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:12/27/2017

Legalizing marijuana will tie up police resources and risks clogging the court system, Edmonton police Chief Rod Knecht says in a blunt assessment of Canada's plan to legalize the drug by next summer.

"I don't think we're going to be ready," Knecht said during a yearend interview at Edmonton Police Service headquarters. "There's a lot of work that's got to be done in the next few months."

Legalization is one of the biggest issues facing police services across the country next year. Police chiefs including Knecht have warned that the timelines are too tight and there are too many outstanding issues, including ambiguity around roadside tests for marijuanaintoxication.

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13CN AB: Pot Remains Illegal Despite Looming ChangesTue, 26 Dec 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Martin, Kevin Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:12/27/2017

Police use discretion when deciding whether to lay charges for possession

Despite the Liberal government's plan to legalize marijuana possession next July, the drug's possession remains illegal.

But while the law is still in place, police officers have discretion not to lay charges, a senior officer with the Calgary Police Service said.

Staff Sgt. Mark Hatchette, of the strategic enforcement unit, said officers have and will continue to have leeway when it comes to pot possession.

"We don't target (simple possession)," Hatchette said in a recent interview.

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14 US MA: Auburn Man Featured In High Times Faces Drug ChargesFri, 22 Dec 2017
Source:Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA) Author:Barnes, George Area:Massachusetts Lines:41 Added:12/27/2017

SPRINGFIELD - Two Central Massachusetts men were charged in federal court in Springfield Friday with commercial growing of marijuana.

Federal agents learned of their operation when one of them was featured in a magazine article talking about his business. Mr. Vallee was featured in an article in High Times published in February.

In the article, Eric Vallee, 38, of Auburn, spoke of regularly harvesting 10 pounds of marijuana per month. Based on that number, federal agents determined that he was harvesting a substantial amount of marijuana per year. The article also noted he worked with Peter Molle, 35, of Holland.

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15CN BC: Doctor Proposes Vending Machines For Opioid DrugsSat, 23 Dec 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Bains, Camille Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:12/27/2017

Making a safe opioid available in vending machines may be the next harm-reduction tool to fight the deadly overdose epidemic, says the executive medical director of the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

Dr. Mark Tyndall said he envisions a regulated system where drug users would be assessed, registered and issued a card to use in vending machines to obtain hydromorphone, a painkiller commonly marketed under the brand name Dilaudid.

"I'm hoping that it's kind of like supervised injection sites," he said of the program that could begin as early as next March. "At first it sounded a bit off the wall and now it's pretty well accepted."

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16 CN BC: Vancouver's Overdose Crisis, One Year LaterFri, 22 Dec 2017
Source:Metro (Vancouver, CN BC) Author:Denis, Jen St. Area:British Columbia Lines:109 Added:12/27/2017

New tools are helping - but more needs to be done

December 2016 is seared into the memory of people who live or work with people from the Downtown Eastside, the epicentre of B.C.'s opioid overdose crisis.

"People were going down in alleyways," Karen Ward remembers. "It was a year ago that nine people died in one weekend.

"I remember the night when three people died in my building."

"BC Ambulance had its busiest day in history, St. Paul's hospital was fully blocked up and we were seeing the highest rates of overdoses that we had seen in the emergency room and at Insite," Dr. Mark Lysyshyn recalls.

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17 Canada: Senators Tackle Legal Pot BillSun, 24 Dec 2017
Source:Toronto Sun (CN ON) Author:Pazzano, Sam Area:Canada Lines:58 Added:12/27/2017

Senator Tony Dean is quarterbacking the challenging, complicated marijuana bill come Jan. 31, 2018, when his fellow Senators get back to their posts.

But he has already armed his colleagues for informed debate amongst the 38 fellow Independent senators, 34 Tories and 15 Liberals.

"It's not a cold start, we've heard from some 100 witnesses at parliamentary committees about the nature of cannabis," said Dean in an interview this week.

"I don't believe the status quo (prohibition) is viable," said Dean, 64, a senator since Nov. 2016.

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18 Canada: Prohibition FalloutSun, 24 Dec 2017
Source:Toronto Sun (CN ON) Author:Pazzano, Sam Area:Canada Lines:85 Added:12/27/2017

Marijuana laws smouldering discontent: Critics

The marijuana prohibition era may be closing as early as Canada Day 2018, but pot users may still be burned by old drug laws, warn two veteran criminal defence lawyers.

The current effort at legalization is "so half-hearted" and simply doesn't deal with the fallout of decades of weed Prohibition, they say. Simple pot possessors - and pot growers - are still being prosecuted and given heavy sentences.

The Canadian government has not made any provision to pardon the thousands of people with simple possession convictions. Their criminal records prevent them from entering the U.S., say critics here.

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19CN AB: Head Shops Pipe Up Over Looming Pot LegalizationSat, 23 Dec 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Kaufmann, Bill Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:12/27/2017

With the coming switch to legal sales, shops hope to keep their market niche

After decades of trail-blazing cannabis-related retail - often under police scrutiny - Calgary head shops say legal recreational marijuana offers them a hazy future.

Despite a perception looming legislative changes might affirm their bong-and-roach-clip business model, those first in on cannabis monetization say the coming reality leaves them in uncharted waters.

It's not entirely clear what head shops' role will be in the sale of legal bud, or if coming pot dispensaries will burn their business by also selling accessories, said Fred Pattison, owner of the Next Level store. Even marijuana's mainstreaming and the expansion of e-retail poses a threat, he said.

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20CN AB: Since 2016, Over 120 Overdoses Reported In Alberta's JailsFri, 22 Dec 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Wakefield, Jonny Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:12/27/2017

Higher-potency opioids lead to concerns about how to keep inmates and staff safe

Alberta correctional facilities have recorded more than 120 overdoses in the past two years, and dozens more in federal prisons in the province, new statistics show.

Postmedia obtained the data after a string of overdoses at the Edmonton Remand Centre.

Since Nov. 29, at least three inmates at the remand centre have been found unresponsive in their cells after apparent overdoses, one of whom died.

Despite efforts to keep contraband out of correctional institutions - including the use of ion scanners, body scanners and detector dogs - the statistics show deadly opioids such as fentanyl are still getting in.

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