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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Vancouver - Canada's marijuana industry is expanding rapidly and some
First Nations are looking to cash in on the emerging economic
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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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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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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Grieving father warns kids about dangers of drugs after son's
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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UPEI engineering students have designed and developed a THC
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
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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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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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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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
Hawk says his dispensary on Highway 54 just outside Ohsweken has a
solid customer base for weed, edibles and oils.
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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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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
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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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
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Police use discretion when deciding whether to lay charges for
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
Staff Sgt. Mark Hatchette, of the strategic enforcement unit, said
officers have and will continue to have leeway when it comes to pot
"We don't target (simple possession)," Hatchette said in a recent
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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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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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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
"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
"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
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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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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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With the coming switch to legal sales, shops hope to keep their market
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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Higher-potency opioids lead to concerns about how to keep inmates and
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
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
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