Nelson-Creston candidate calls federal legislation announcement
The stakes are high.
Members of the Kootenay craft cannabis community are worried federal
legalization will leave them out in the cold, and are concerned the
new laws will be invasive and draconian - leading some to dub the
Cannabis Act "Prohibition 2.0."
With the cannabis industry making up an estimated 25 to 35 per cent of
the local economy, the potential effects of legalization on the Nelson
community will be far-reaching. Sensible B.C.'s local representative
Herb Couch is one of the voices speaking out against elements of the
new law and calling on both provincial and municipal politicians to
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Edmonton's police chief says he doesn't expect a larger than usual
4/20 gathering Thursday as the city prepares for legal marijuana.
"I imagine we'll get a few people there, but nothing that's really on
the radar we're concerned about," Chief Rod Knecht said Wednesday.
The annual smoke-up at the Alberta legislature could be one of the
last under existing marijuana laws, as the Trudeau government prepares
to legalize the drug.
The Liberals introduced bills this month to legalize and regulate
marijuana by July 2018.
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With legalization on the horizon, today's 4/20 gathering will be a
For as long as anyone can remember, the annual 4/20 gathering at the
Manitoba legislature grounds was about protesting the country's harsh
marijuana laws. Police would be out in force to keep an eye on a
rag-tag group of stoners, rarely arresting anyone unless things got
out of hand.
This year's event, which begins at noon today, has a much more
celebratory tone since legislation is in the works to legalize the
recreational use of pot.
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If your objectives are to protect public health and safety, keep
marijuana out of the hands of minors and cut illegal profits flowing
to organized crime-then the law as it stands today has been an abject
Law enforcement agencies in Canada spend an estimated $2-3 billion a
year trying to fight pot, yet Canadian teenagers are among the
heaviest users in the western world. And criminals walk away with $7-8
billion every year in illicit proceeds. We have to do better.
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Chief says officers will arrest and charge users since pot not legal
until July 2018
Windsor police Chief Al Frederick says that police will keep enforcing
current marijuana laws - including during "4/20" celebrations planned
in Windsor on Thursday - despite the Trudeau government's intention to
legalize its use.
"Today, marijuana is illegal," Frederick said in a scrum with
reporters following the unveiling of Windsor police's 150th
anniversary cruiser Tuesday. "And anybody who (illegally) possesses or
traffics marijuana today is subject to prosecution. No question."
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Weed community isn't fully behind legalization plans
With marijuana legalization tabled - and ahead of April 20, as
promised by the governing Liberals - some Ottawa activists say they
aren't confident the new laws will reflect the concerns of the
Mike Foster, owner of Crosstown Traffic, a sponsor of Ottawa's 4-20
event, said there will be mixed emotions at the April 20 event on
"Some people are going to be celebrating this, what they perceive as a
newfound liberation," Foster said. "Anyone who actually reads the
whole document is going to realize there's not much there to celebrate."
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OTTAWA - The federal government's plans for legalizing recreational
marijuana has many would be players looking to carve out a role for
themselves in the emerging market, including pharmaceutical
distributors who already ship drugs across the country.
The Canadian Association for Pharmacy Distribution Management - a
supplier of medicine for pharmacies and hospitals - says it has a
ready-made system for marijuana distribution that they say is far
superior to mail-order pot.
Pharmaceutical distributors offer a more appropriate vehicle for the
recreational marijuana market, CEO David Johnston said in an interview
Wednesday, noting they already have the infrastructure in place to
handle potential recalls, be it in downtown Toronto or remote northern
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Other Conservative candidates have expressed mixed reactions to the
Liberals' proposal to overturn prohibition of the drug
Conservative leadership candidates are split over marijuana policy,
with Kevin O'Leary the only serious contender voicing support for
legalization and Maxime Bernier refusing to say whether he'll vote in
favour of the Liberal legislation to lift the prohibition on the
recreational use of cannabis.
Mr. O'Leary said up to 30 per cent of the population uses the drug
medicinally and recreationally, and he believes the Conservative Party
membership understands it has to embrace "a much larger
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With Canada now well on its way to legal recreational marijuana, what
is there left for activists to protest at Vancouver's annual 4/20 event?
Plenty, according to organizers of the massive gathering, which is
scheduled to happen this Thursday (April 20) at Sunset Beach in the
city's West End.
In a telephone interview, Canada's most prominent advocate for
marijuana reform, Jodie Emery, was highly critical of legislation the
Liberal government tabled in Parliament on April 13.
"It is prohibition 2.0," she told the Georgia Straight. "It is not
legalization. It is a continuation of the kind of criminalization that
we've seen before, with the introduction of even harsher laws that
will victimize even more peaceful Canadians."
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Marijuana should be sold through independent retailers rather than
provincially owned outlets to eliminate conflicts of interest between
public health and profit imperatives, the C.D. Howe Institute urges in
a new letter to be released Thursday.
Research fellow Anindya Sen's letter to the Liberals' marijuana point
man Bill Blair argues against provincially owned marijuana outlets, a
model not used in any other recreational market.
Some provincial governments, including British Columbia, Ontario and
Manitoba, have expressed support for selling marijuana through
provincially owned liquor outlets. That could raise questions about
whether they'd have incentive to encourage marijuana use to bolster
provincial revenues, the way some advertise for their provincially
owned alcohol outlets, Sen, who is also an economics professor at the
University of Waterloo, wrote in the letter to Blair.
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Last week the Liberal government tabled its long awaited legislation
to legalize marijuana but provinces and municipalities are already
concerned with the costs and responsibilities associated with it.
St. Albert MP Michael Cooper and Mayor Nolan Crouse are both concerned
that the federal government is downloading the responsibilities to the
provinces and municipalities without providing any financial support.
The bills tabled on Thursday outline the federal government's
guidelines for legalization, which they plan to achieve by July 1,
The government plans to legalize the possession of 30 grams of dried
cannabis for Canadian adults over the age of 18. Provinces have the
option to raise the age if they see fit. Canadians will be able to buy
the cannabis through the mail or at provincially regulated retail spaces.
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OTTAWA - Legalizing marijuana shows a "disregard" for public health
and safety, Canada's Catholic bishops charge.
The bishops' statement came one day before the Liberal government
announced the introduction April 13 in the House of Commons of the
Cannabis Act, which will eventually "legalize, regulate and restrict
access" to marijuana.
"From the standpoint of public health, not only does this course of
action appear to be unwise, it is potentially dangerous," said the
statement signed by the president of the Canadian Conference of
Catholic Bishops (CCCB), Bishop Douglas Crosby of Hamilton. "The very
significant health risks associated with the use of cannabis are
widely recognized, particularly in young people."
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Cannabis Clubs of Canada to be community focused hub for marijuana
Since the Liberal's announcement of marijuana legislation, the media
has been in an absolute frenzy, attempting to answer the question of
what regulation in Canada will look like. In this pot-centric media
storm no one has really approached the question of how recreational
use will happen in a community setting.
Enter the Cannabis Clubs of Canada. Much like Spain's underground
cannabis club scene, these collective hubs will allow people to
consume marijuana on club property without worry.
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It's going to be challenging to get the province ready for the federal
government's deadline of July 1, 2018, for legalized marijuana in the
country, says Premier Rachel Notley.
Bills tabled Thursday in the House of Commons in Ottawa kickstart a
national move toward legalization of recreational pot for people 18
A lot of decisions in the "very ambitious project" will be left to
provinces to figure out before the law takes effect, Notley told
reporters Thursday at the Alberta legislature.
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Limit potency and amount for ages 21-25
Maple Ridge psychiatrist Dr. Biju Mathew is joining others in his
profession in calling for the federal government to make legal age for
smoking marijuana 21.
"Marijuana shouldn't be used on kids below 25," Mathew
The Cannabis Act, introduced by the federal government last week,
calls for the minimum age forusing recreational marijuana to be 18,
although provinces have the option to raise that.
"They have [proposed to] legalized pot, and they've also come up with
stricter regulations, but they have lowered the age to 18, which is
very disturbing," Mathew, president of the B.C. Psychiatric
Association, said of the federal government.
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Like clockwork, buds burn on April 20-but in light of the federal
government's marijuana legalization plans, the organizer of Winnipeg's
4/20 event says the tone has changed.
"For the longest time, cannabis-related events were
protests-especially 4/20-that had kind of hit a stalemate," said local
cannabis advocate Steven Stairs. "We show up once a year,
(authorities) let us do this, and we're probably showing up next year
because nothing's changing
"Well, this year things are actually changing."
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How drug units deal with fentanyl
The death toll for fentanyl continues to rise in 2017, with nearly
double the number of deaths being reported in the first six weeks of
According to Health Canada, from Jan. 1 to Feb, 11, 51 people died
from overdosing on fentanyl. In 2016 during the same six weeks, 28
Albertans died as a result of a fentanyl overdose.
The drug was first found in St. Albert in 2014 and since then the St.
Albert RCMP's drug unit said that currently there is at least one pill
found in around 80 per cent of their overall drug cases.
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he federal government outlined its plans for the legalization of
cannabis April 13, which includes regulations for the production,
distribution, sale and possession of the drug while introducing strict
penalties for its misuse.
"Today, we are following through on our commitment to introduce
comprehensive legislation to legalize, strictly regulate and restrict
access to cannabis and to create new laws to punish more severely
those who drive under its influence," Minister of Justice and Attorney
General of Canada Jody Wilson-Raybould said in a release issued by the
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Beach Avenue along Sunset Beach closed Thursday
The stage is set for today's 4-20 pot rally at Sunset Beach in
Vancouver and organizers say the annual protest is here to stay
despite the federal government's intention to legalize pot next year.
The unpermitted event, which drew 25,000 people to the beach last
year, will feature more than 300 vendor booths and live music.
Park board commissioners voted against giving 4-20 event organizers a
permit for this year's event but that hasn't changed things on the
ground, said marijuana advocate, Dana Larsen.
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Last week the federal government announced it will move forward with
its highly-anticipated and contentious pledge to legalize recreational
What might possibly be the most memorable piece of legislation
undertaken by the Justin Trudeau Liberals will most certainly result
in polarizing political and personal stances.
Social media and online reactions range from cheers to fears -
including criticisms that the whole movement is nothing short of a
government tax grab that has parent and landlord advocates up in arms.
"I've witnessed Justin Trudeau try to manage the economy, electoral
I'm not sure I have faith in his ability to protect kids from
pot," said Banff-Airdrie Conservative MP Blake Richards.
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